09
September

سعادت کی زندگی شہادت کی موت

تحریر: رسالدار (ریٹائرڈ) بغداد شاہ

سپاہی سہیل خان کے والدگرامی رسالدار (ریٹائرڈ) بغداد شاہ کی آپریشن المیزان میں شہید ہونے والے اپنے بیٹے کے بارے میں ایک تحریر

زندہ قوموں کی ایک پہچان قوم کے بہادر اور بے باک بیٹے ہیں جو اپنے وطن کی خاطر اپنی جان کا نذرانہ دینے سے بھی گریز نہیں کرتے۔ ایسے بیٹے قوم کے سر کا تاج ہوتے ہیں اور قوم انہیں خراج عقیدت پیش کرتے ہوئے فخر محسوس کرتی ہے۔ ایسا ہی ایک بیٹا سپاہی سہیل خان ہے جنہوں نے اپنی جان وطن کی حرمت پر قربان کر دی۔


سہیل خان نے میٹرک تک تعلیم آبائی گاؤں محب بانڈہ میں حاصل کی۔ وہ پڑھائی کے ساتھ ساتھ کھیل کا بھی بہت شوقین تھا اور والی بال کا بہت اچھا کھلاڑی تھا۔ سہیل خان پاک فوج میں شامل ہونے کا از حد متمنی تھا۔ کبھی کبھی مجھے کہتا تھا کہ ابو مجھے فوج میں بھرتی کروائیں کیونکہ آپ توخود بھی آرمی میں رسالدار ہیں۔ میں نے اُس کو کہا کہ ٹھیک ہے چونکہ میں خود اس وقت کوئٹہ ڈویژن میں 13لانسرز (آرمڈکور) میں سروس کررہا تھا تو میں نے سہیل خان کی پری ٹریننگ کے لئے یونٹ کمانڈنٹ سے بات کی۔ انہوں نے مجھے اجازت دے دی۔ پھر سہیل خان میری یونٹ سے پری ٹریننگ مکمل کرنے کے بعد گھر واپس چلا گیا۔ میرے نقشِ قدم پر چلتے ہوئے سہیل خان نے بھی وطن کے محافظوں کی صف میں شامل ہونے کا فیصلہ کیا اور کوہاٹ بھرتی دفتر چلا گیا۔ تربیت کے دوران ایبٹ آباد ریکروٹمنٹ سنٹر کے مختلف ٹورنامنٹس میں حصہ لیا۔ جس میں سہیل خان نے بہترین کارکردگی پر سنٹر کمانڈنٹ سے انعامات بھی حاصل کئے۔

 

sahadatkizin.jpgپاسنگ آؤٹ کے بعد جب سہیل خان اپنے فرائض پر مامور ہوئے اس وقت اس کی یونٹ 16ایف ایف رجمنٹ پشاور کینٹ میں تھی جب کرم ایجنسی میں حالات خراب ہوئے تو ملک کے دفاع کے لئے 16ایف ایف کو کرم ایجنسی جانے کا حکم ملا۔ وہ کرم ایجنسی میں تعینات اپنی یونٹ کے ساتھ پیشہ ورانہ فرائض انجام دیتا رہا۔ وہ وہاں سے ایک ماہ کی چھٹی آیا تو ہم نے اُس کی شادی کرا دی۔ وہ اپنی چھٹی گزار کر واپس چلا گیا۔ میرے بیٹے نے جاتے وقت اپنی والدہ محترمہ سے کہا تھا کہ ماں ہمیں دعاؤں میں یاد رکھنا انشاء اﷲ والدہ کی دعاؤں سے ضرور کامیاب ہوں گے۔ یہ میرے بیٹے کے والدہ محترمہ سے آخری الفاظ تھے۔ سپاہی سہیل خان جب اپنی یونٹ کے ساتھ آپریشن ایریا پہنچا تو کچھ دن گزرنے کے بعد ہمارے ملک کے خلاف شدت پسندوں نے چوگی قلعہ پرحملہ کیا جس کا پاک فوج نے ان شرپسندوں کو مؤثر جواب دیا اس وقت سخت سردی کا موسم تھا اور اس جوابی کارروائی کے دوران کچھ سپاہی زخمی بھی ہوئے۔ مگر میرے بیٹے نے اپنے حوصلے کو بلند رکھا اوردشمن کو مزید آگے نہیں بڑھنے دیا۔ سپاہی سہیل خان شدت پسندوں سے ڈٹ کر مقابلہ کر رہا تھا۔ اس دوران دشمن کی طرف سے شدید فائرنگ جاری رہی۔ خراب موسم کی وجہ سے ہتھیاروں کی رکاوٹیں پیش آتی رہیں جو بھی ہتھیار فائر نگ کے دوران رک جاتا تھا تو سپاہی سہیل خان ان ہتھیاروں کی صفائی اور رکاوٹیں دور بھی کرتا تھا۔اس نے اپنا اور اپنے ساتھیوں کا حوصلہ بلند رکھا اور دشمن کو آگے بڑھنے نہیں دیا۔


31جنوری2012 کو شدید فائرنگ جاری تھی۔ اس دوران دشمن کی جانب سے کی گئی گولیوں کی بوچھاڑ سپاہی سہیل خان کو شہادت سے ہمکنار کر گئی۔ سپاہی سہیل خان (شہید) میرا سب سے بڑا بیٹا تھا۔ جب مجھے شہادت کی خبر ملی تومیری زبان پرالحمد ﷲ اور انا ﷲوانا الیہ راجعون کے الفاظ تھے۔


وہ وقت اور دن کبھی نہیں بھول سکتا۔ وہ میری زندگی کا ناقابلِ فراموش دن تھا۔ اس دن مجھے اپنے بیٹے سپاہی سہیل خان کی شہادت کی اطلاع موبائل فون پر رجمنٹ کے صوبیدار میجر نے دی تھی۔
قومی پرچم میں ملبوس شہید کے جسدِ خاکی کو تدفین کے لئے گاؤں محب بانڈہ لایا گیا تو پاک فوج کے ایک چاق چوبند دستے نے اسے سلامی دی۔ مجھے اپنے بیٹے کی شہادت پر فخر ہے‘ موت تو برحق ہے اور سب نے مرنا ہے لیکن شہادت والی زندگی ہر ایک کامقدر نہیں ہوتی۔ اگرچہ مجھے بیٹے کی جدائی کا دُکھ ضرور ہے مگر مجھے ملک اور قوم کے لئے اپنے بیٹے کی شہادت کا رتبہ اور بھی اچھالگا میری دعا ہے اﷲ تعالیٰ ایسے بیٹے سب ماؤں کو دے۔میرے بیٹے کی بہادری پر حکومت پاکستان نے اعتراف کرتے ہوئے ان کو بعد از شہادت تمغۂ بسالت عطا کیاہے۔

 
14
October

ہے شوق شہادت کس قدر۔۔۔

تحریر: لیفٹیننٹ عاصمہ ناز

(پاکستان نیوی)

چھ ستمبر 2014 کو جب دشمن نے اس ملک کے یوم دفاع پر اس قوم کی غیرت کو للکارا تو وہ شاید یہ بھول گیا تھا کہ یہ دن تو خود اس قوم کے آہنی عزم اورشجاعت کامنہ بولتا ثبوت ہے پھر یہ کیسے ممکن ہے کہ اس وطن کے بہادر سپاہی دشمن کو اپنے مذموم عزائم میں کامیاب ہو نے دیں گے۔ چھ ستمبر کی صبح جب دہشت گردوں نے پاکستان نیوی ڈاک یارڈ پرحملہ کرنے کی کوشش کی تو محمدارشاد ایس این اے 4 پیٹی آفیسر آف دی ڈے کے فرائض انجام دے رہے تھے۔ انہیں جوں ہی دہشت گردوں کی موجودگی کا علم ہو ا انہوں نے افسران بالا کو مطلع کرنے کے ساتھ ساتھ فوری طور پرڈیوٹی پر موجود تمام عملے کو ہدایات دینے کا فریضہ بھی انجام دیا۔ انہوں نے کمال فرض شناسی اور چابک دستی کا مظاہرہ کرتے ہوئے بذات خود ہر سنتری کو ہدایات دیں اورجہاں جہاں ممکن تھا خود جا کر صورت حال کا معائنہ کرتے رہے۔ دہشت گردوں کے خلاف آپریشن کے دوران پوری ہمت اور دلیری کے ساتھ اپنا فرض ادا کرتے ہوئے انہوں نے ایسی حکمتِ عملی اپنائی کہ دشمن کو زیادہ حرکت کا موقع نہ ملے اور وہ ڈاک یارڈ کے اہم حصوں کی طرف پیش قدمی نہ کرپائے۔دشمن کی طرف سے گولیاں اور ہینڈ گرینیڈ فائر ہونے کے باوجود محمد ارشاد اپنے ساتھیوں کی رہنمائی کرتے رہے کیونکہ دشمن کا کوئی بھی ہتھیار ان کے عزم سے زیادہ طاقتور نہیں تھا۔ان کے بروقت اور دانشمندانہ فیصلوں کی بدولت دہشت گرد ایک جگہ محصور ہو کر رہ گئے اوروہ جس بڑی تباہی کے عزم سے آئے تھے‘ اس کے بجائے مدافعانہ حکمت عملی اپنانے پر مجبور ہو گئے تاہم انہیں صرف حصار میں لے لینا کافی نہیں تھا ۔دہشت گردوں کی جانب سے اب بھی فائرنگ جاری تھی۔اپنے فرض کے احساس اورقومی اثاثوں کے تحفظ کی خاطر محمد ارشاد نے دشمن کو صفحۂ ہستی سے مٹانے کے عزم سے اب جارحانہ حکمت عملی اپنانے کا فیصلہ کیا۔ دشمن کی جانب سے برستی گولیاں ان کے راستے کی دیوار بن سکیں نہ ہی ہینڈ گرینیڈ ان کے بڑھتے قدم روک سکے ۔وہ آگے بڑھتے رہے اور اپنے ساتھیوں کی ہمت بندھاتے رہے۔ ان کے الفاظ اور بلند حوصلہ ان کے ساتھیوں کا خون گرماتے رہے اور وہ وطن عزیز کی حرمت کی خاطر ہر خطرے سے بے نیاز ہو کر آگے بڑھتے رہے۔ یہاں تک کہ وہ دشمن کی کمین گاہ تک جا پہنچے اور اسی دوران دشمن کی ایک گولی ان کے سر اور دوسری ان کی گردن کو نشانہ بنا گئی لیکن اپنی آخری سانس تک اس ملک کی حفاظت کا حلف اٹھانے والے محمد ارشاد نے اپنا عہد نبھایا اور اس وقت تک اپنے ساتھیوں کو ہدایات دیتے رہے جب تک ان کے جسم میں زندگی کی آخری رمق باقی رہی۔ وہ زخموں کی تاب نہ لاتے ہوئے گر گئے اور دوبارہ اٹھ نہ سکے لیکن ان کی اپنی ڈیوٹی سے لگن اور فرض شناسی کا اندازہ اس بات سے لگایا جا سکتا ہے کہ جس ہینڈ ہیلڈ ریڈیو پر وہ اپنے ساتھیوں کو ہدایات دے رہے تھے شہادت کے بعد بھی وہ ریڈیو ان کے ہاتھ سے نہیں نکلا۔ریڈیو پر ان کے ہاتھ کی مضبوط گرفت اس مصمم ارادے اور عزم کا ثبوت تھی جس کی بدولت انہوں نے اپنی جان قربان کر دی لیکن دشمن کے ناپاک ارادوں کو ناکام کر دیا۔ان کے جرأت مندانہ اقدامات اور بہترین حکمت عملی کی بدولت آپریشن کرنے والی ٹیم نے بہت جلد دہشت گردوں پر قابو پا لیا اور تمام دہشت گردوں کو ان کے منطقی انجام تک پہنچا کرقومی اثاثوں کو کسی بھی قسم کا نقصان نہیں پہنچنے دیا۔

hayshadat.jpgمحمد ارشاد مری کے ایک نواحی گاؤں میں پیدا ہوئے۔7 جنوری1975 کو پیدا ہونے والے محمد ارشادچار بہن بھائیوں میں دوسرے نمبر پر تھے لیکن بڑا بیٹا ہونے کے ناتے ہمیشہ اپنے والدین کے لئے سہارا بنے۔ والد کی ملازمت کے باعث ان کی غیر موجودگی میں محمد ارشاد نے ہمیشہ ایک ذمہ دار بیٹے کی حیثیت سے نہ صرف اپنی والدہ کا ساتھ دیا بلکہ اپنے بہن بھائیوں کے لئے بھی شفیق بھائی کا کردار ادا کیا۔ان کے اہل خانہ کا کہنا ہے کہ جو محبت ،رواداری اور حسن اخلاق ان کی شخصیت کا حصہ تھا‘ اس کی بدولت وہ اپنے اقربا ء میں بے حد مقبول تھے۔ان کی اہلیہ کا کہنا ہے کہ وہ حقیقی معنوں میں گھر کے ایسے سربراہ تھے جن کے بغیر گھر کا تصور ہی محال تھا۔ ان کا کہنا ہے کہ ان کی شفقت اور تربیت ان کے بچوں کی شخصیت میں نظر آتی ہے اور یہی وجہ ہے کہ آج بھی ایسا لگتا ہے کہ وہ ہمارے ساتھ موجود ہیں۔ان کا بیٹا ابھی بہت چھوٹا ہے لیکن اس کے خواب اس کے والد کی طرح بہت بڑے اور ارادے بلند ہیں وہ اس ملک کے ان محافظوں کی فہرست میں اپنا نام لکھوانے کا خواہاں ہے جن کی عظمت کی داستانیں اس خطے میں نسلوں تک دہرائی جاتی رہیں گی۔


محمد ارشاد کے کمانڈنگ آفیسرکیپٹن ہاشم رضا کا ان کے بارے میں کہنا ہے کہ وہ ایک انتہائی محنتی اور قابل ٹیم ممبر تھے۔ اُن کے مطابق محمد ارشاد پاک بحریہ کے ہر آفیسر اور سیلر کے لئے عزم و ہمت اور فرض شناسی کی ایک زندہ مثال ہیں یہی وجہ ہے کہ وہ محمد ارشاد کا ذکر ہر نئے آنے والے سیلر اور آفیسر کے سامنے ضرور کرتے ہیں تاکہ ان کی شخصیت میں بھی وہ اوصاف پیدا ہوں جن کی بدولت محمد ارشاد نے اس ملک کی تاریخ میں اپنا نام سنہری حروف میں لکھوایا۔۔بحری جہازوں پر موجود کیبن ہمیشہ ایک جیسے نمبروں سے پہچانے جاتے ہیں تاہم محمد ارشاد کو خراج تحسین پیش کرنے کے لئے پاک بحریہ کے ایک جہاز پرسیلر ڈائیننگ ہال کا نام محمد ارشاد شہید کے نام پر رکھا گیا ہے تاکہ اس جہاز پر آنے والے ہر سیلر کے سامنے محمد ارشاد کی شجاعت کی مثال ہمیشہ موجود رہے۔


لیفٹیننٹ کمانڈر عاطف جو محمد ارشاد کے ڈویژنل آفیسر بھی رہے‘ کہتے ہیں کہ محمد ارشاد ان لوگوں میں سے تھے جو اپنے جونیئرز کے لئے ایک قابل تقلید مثال بن کر کام کرتے ہیں۔محمد ارشاد کبھی اپنے جونیئرز کے ساتھ مل کر کام کرنے سے کتراتے نہیں تھے،ان کے اند ر سیکھنے اور کچھ نیا کر دکھانے کا ایک ایسا جذبہ تھا جو انہیں کہیں رکنے نہ دیتا ۔ وہ ہمیشہ نئے افق کی تلاش میں سرگرداں رہتے اور خوب سے خوب تر کرنے کی جستجو رکھتے تھے۔انہوں نے محمد ارشاد کی فرض شناسی کا ذکر کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ وہ اپنے فرض پر کسی اور کام کو ترجیح نہ دیتے حتیٰ کہ اپنی سب سے چھوٹی اور لاڈلی بیٹی کے دل کے آپریشن کے وقت بھی جب انہیں بیٹی اور فرض میں سے کسی ایک کا انتخاب کرنا پڑا تو انہوں نے بیٹی کے آپریشن میں تاخیر گوارا کر لی مگر فرض کو ترجیح دی ۔محمد ارشاد کے سینئر افسران کے مطابق وہ پاک بحریہ کا ایک اہم اثاثہ تھے۔پاک بحریہ کا ہر شخص محمد ارشاد کا مقروض اور شکرگزار ہے کہ انہوں نے اپنی جان کی قربانی دے کرنہ صرف قومی اثاثوں کا تحفظ کیا بلکہ اس ملک کو ایک بڑی تباہی سے بھی بچا لیا۔


محمد ارشاد نے نہ صرف وطن سے کیا ہوا وعدہ وفا کیا بلکہ اپنے والدین کا سربھی فخر سے بلند کردیا ۔ان کے والدکہتے ہیں کہ میرے بیٹے کی قربانی نے ہمارے علاقے کے لوگوں کا سر بھی بلند کردیا ہے اور آج دیر کوہ ستیاں کی ہر ماں اپنے بچے کو اپنے مُلک کے دفاع کے لئے وقف کرنے کا عزم رکھتی ہے۔تعلیم کے میدان میں ہمیشہ امتیازی کارکردگی دکھانے والے محمد ارشاد نے نہ صرف زندگی کے ہر میدان میں نمایاں مقام حاصل کیا بلکہ رہتی دنیا تک ایسے مرتبے پر فائز ہو گئے کہ جس میں ان سے سبقت لے جانا ممکن ہی نہیں۔ ان کی بے مثل شجاعت ، فرض شناسی اور وطن کی خاطر جان قربان کرنے کے اعتراف میں انہیں (بعد از شہادت) ستارۂ بسالت سے نوازا گیا۔

 

کشمیر جل رہا ہے


(کشمیر کے موجودہ تناظر میں لکھی گئی نظم)


کشمیر کی وادی پہ ہو بھارت کا تسلّط
یہ بات کسی طور گوارا نہ کریں گے
کشمیر میں ہر گام پہ ہوں ظُلم کے پہرے
ہر آن فضاؤں میں رہیں خوف کے سائے
کشمیر کی وادی میں ہوں سہمے ہوئے بچے
کشمیر کے بیٹوں کے اٹھیں روز جنازے
کشمیر کی وادی پہ ہو بھارت کا تسلّط
یہ بات کسی طور گوارا نہ کریں گے
کشمیر کی وادی سے ہوں ماؤں کی صدائیں
کشمیر کی بہنوں کے نہیں سر پہ ردائیں
کشمیر کی وادی میں کُہرام مچا ہو
کشمیر کی بیٹی کی ہوں دلدوز صدائیں
کشمیر کی وادی پہ ہو بھارت کا تسلّط
یہ بات کسی طور گوارا نہ کریں گے
کشمیر ترے بیٹے جھکے ہیں نہ جھکیں گے
حق بات سرِ عام سرِ دار کہیں گے
کشمیر کی آزادی کا دِیا جلتا رہے گا
کشمیر کے پروانے سدا جلتے رہیں گے
کشمیر کی وادی پہ ہو بھارت کا تسلّط
یہ بات کسی طور گوارا نہ کریں گے
کشمیر کی وادی سے اٹھیں آگ کے شعلے
کشمیر کی وادی سے اٹھیں خون کے چھینٹے
کشمیر کی وادی میں رہے ظُلم مسلسل
گولی کے نشانے پہ ہو ں کشمیر کے بیٹے
کشمیر کی وادی پہ ہو بھارت کا تسلّط
یہ بات کسی طور گوارا نہ کریں گے


غضنفر علی شاہدؔ

*****

 
08
September

The Martyrs’ Lineage

Written By: Lt Col Danish Javed

“It is truer to say that martyrs create faith more than faith creates martyrs.”(Miguel de Unamuno)

They were sitting in an office in a pleasant mood with smiles on their face, one was busy in writing and the other was making calls. Their desks were full of invitation cards and papers which reflected preparation for an upcoming event. Calls were being made to people involved in execution of the event and participating guests. The atmosphere of the room was comfortable and peaceful, as these two young army officers with shining stars on their shoulders were busy doing their work. The officer who was making calls had put phone on speaker so as to easily manage calls while the other officer too could listen to the conversation in order to write down the relevant details.


"Hello", the officer introduced himself politely as Major Imran as a little girl picked his call. The little girl shouted, "Mama, Mama come here. There is a call from Papa’s office, he must be waiting for you to talk." Then she returned to the officer, "Uncle do you know my papa? Where is my papa? Is he o.k.? Is he coming back home? Does he miss me? Is he doing well?" she had showered upon him a million innocent questions. All of a sudden, there was dead silence in the room, both officers looked at each other and froze in shock, they had just connected to a five-years-old daughter of a Shaheed. Still in frozen state, the officers forgot their work and after a brief pause, they heard a trembling voice, "Hello!". Someone was trying to stop crying as if trying to wall a heavy flood with hands only and a screaming voice full of pain was being heard on the speaker. That moment was so full of sadness that tears started dropping from eyes of both officers on the phone. Emotions make their way out no matter how strong you are, how courageous you are, pain of your lost loved ones can break you in pieces.

 

This is what was happening there; two army officers were hearing the broken voice of a widow of their fellow officer who had laid his life for the peaceful future of the nation, leaving his children and wife screaming, so that others won't have to leave their families crying.


Major Imran gathered his senses and looked at his uniform, a small flag of Pakistan was shining on his chest. He asked the lady, "Bhabi, I have called to invite you on Youm-e-Shuhada and want to ask for any assistance which Army could provide to our respected families. Other side of the phone was silent; he could sense that the lady was unable to speak. After a stretch of silence he heard voice of the little girl again, "Uncle can you tell my papa to come home on this Eid, I have not seen him since long, I want to see my Papa. My Mama says, Papa is very brave and always ready to defend the country, he is my hero." They had no answer to her demand of seeing her father. Major Imran replied, "My dear angel he is your hero, he is our hero and is hero of the nation."


Untold words of the widow, the innocent expressions of love for a father by a little girl were enough to describe the story, and yet another surprise came. This time it was the fourteen-years-old daughter of the shaheed who just took the receiver from her younger sister. “Sorry uncle, my younger sister does not understand that papa has gone forever,” said the girl. “Though my mother is hit by painful memories of our brave papa but we belong to a proud family as my grandfather and uncle are also shaheeds," she had a mesmerizing strength and courage in her tone. How mindful we are, that at times, we do not expect to answer certain things which are beyond our imagination, and the same happened there. And then she asked the unexpected, “Uncle please help me to join the forces, some place where I could easily see and join my father, grandfather and uncle as shaheed, so my soul finds peace for something that the nation could be proud of.” Her tone was radiating marvelous faith and confidence but emotions left the officer crying. "Why are you crying uncle?," she further stunned him, "I am very serious and conscious of my desires, it is not an emotional longing but a thoughtful call from inside me. Uncle help me please," she asked what was unimaginable and could only be the aspiration and desire of a sacred blood.

 
12
November

Thank You Balochistan

Written By: Tahir Mehmood

thank u balachistan2Another long working day for Hayat Ullah had just commenced. He began working in his field like many other residents of Sissan Manna village. He waved to Haji Abdul Rehman who was also working in the next field. Both knew that by the end of the day, they must finish the job in the fields as next day was planned for cattle grazing. They had spent their youth repeating this cycle. Their lives were less restricted by high mountains than by scarcity of resources; the natural were yet to be explored and human-made to be provided for! Their few fields and cattle equalled to the whole universe. Occasionally they had visited the nearby town of Ziarat, and had been only for few times to the city of Quetta. However, like many others, Hayat Ullah had taken his family to visit Quaid-i-Azam's Residency in Ziarat. A visit to this place was a kind of local ritual and also display of their love for the country and the Quaid. And whenever they visited Quetta, the thought of educating their sons often nudged their minds. They wished for better days! They always felt a special attraction for the soldiers wearing different uniforms marching on the streets of Quetta Garrison. These soldiers were either standing still in front of few buildings or walking in small groups swinging arms and taking steps together. Nevertheless, they felt amused and exchanged smiles with the marching soldiers. Busy in the work, Hayat Ullah heard usual noise of Army aircrafts flying above. He just looked up for a while and got busy with his routine. Almost in no time he started noticing an unusual sound and looked up again. Oh God! a small aircraft was almost over their heads, but it was coming down like a stone. Its nose downward, the plane was to hit the ground with a bang in less than a minute. Hayat Ullah noticed Haji Abdul Rehman’s eyes were also fixed on the air plane. Both had sensed a great danger. They exchanged the gaze of helplessness and fear. And, then they noticed a little change; instead of directly smashing to the ground, the plane jerked upward, its tyres touched the ground with a big bang and it smashed into a big tree. Not sure what to do, they both just rushed towards the plane. But then they stopped for a moment. The thick dust had engulfed the aircraft, strangely there was no fire so far but they sensed, it could catch fire in seconds. As the dust started thinning out, they could see a man's body hanging out of the plane. They could not resist going further close. They observed another man laying unconscious on the pilot's seat. The injured pilots were young and they both were wearing uniform. A small Pakistani flag on their uniforms was clearly visible. Hayat Ullah and Haji soon concluded: these were the soldiers of Pakistan Army that they had often seen in Quetta. Emboldened by spotting no flames, they reluctantly moved closer to the plane to see pilots' fate. One pilot's seat was broken, and his body almost hanging out of the plane. The other was still tied to the seat and could not be dragged out being stuck in his seat. Something was to be done but in seconds as the plane could catch the fire and burst. Both the soldiers were bleeding profusely. Hayat Ullah and Haji could hear their occasional cries. Hayat Ullah in a state of helplessness jut looked towards Haji's hand that was holding a sickle. In a second, the seatbelt was cut and the soldier taken out. They moved them away from the plane. Both the pilots had suffered serious injuries, bleeding and were unconscious. They had to be taken to the doctor in no time! The nearby hospital was in Ziarat, and that was almost forty kilometre away from their village. Hayat Ullah and Haji Abdul Rehman felt utterly helpless. The soldiers' lives were in great danger!

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thank u balachistan3It was a bright sunny morning of September 20, 2014 in Quetta. Two young pilot officers from Pakistan Army Aviation were busy taking breakfast in the beautiful sunroom of 10 Army Aviation Squadron. They were little early than rest of their colleagues. These were Captain Hasnain Mahmud and Captain Rana Umer Karim. They both were on a week-long flying mission as part of the Basic Pilot Training Course and it was to end that day after their flight mission from Quetta to Gujranwala. Captain Hasnain was instructor in the Army Aviation School and Capt Umer (a 2nd generation 6 Baloch Regiment officer) was an under-training pilot. On this training mission, they were also accompanied by few other pilot officers including their Commandant, Brigadier Nasir. Last night both the officers had talked to their families and were excited to join back. Capt Hasnain's wife, Capt Fatima (also serving in Pakistan Army's Corps of Engineers) brought their one-and-half-year son, Suqraat Mahmud to the telephone. She knew Hasnain was very fond of little giggling that Suqraat produced on the phone. They had married in 2012 and were living a happy but busy military life. Aniqa Umer, wife of Capt Umer also exchanged prayers and good wishes for safe journey back home. The morning was usual and both these young pilot officers were soon joined by their other colleagues at breakfast. Brig Nasir, the Commandant, thoughtfully gazed out and felt relaxed – the weather was good and by evening the week long air navigation part would be over, and the course would be passing out on time in November. This brought a smile on his experienced face, he said 'hello' to the young officers and joined at the breakfast. Captain Hasnain, being instructor, settled in the pilot's seat and Umer took responsibilities of the co-pilot. According to the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs), they checked all the gadgetry. They were to fly in a formation that also had two other Mushak aircrafts; one flown by Brigadier Nasir and the other by Major Owais. The Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Khalid Aviation Base gave 'all clear' and the three Mushak aircrafts were soon circling over Quetta to gain height. The usual flying height of Mushak aircraft is around 3000 feet above ground; however, keeping in view high mountain peaks around Quetta Valley and other adjacent areas, the Mushaks were to fly above 9000 feet. Tail number 354 soon achieved this height and a smooth flying journey towards Multan began. Captain Hasnain started his flying lessons and Umer became more attentive. All seemed quite normal. And, then all of a sudden, Capt Hasnain could feel flying in the midst of notorious 'air pockets' around Quetta and Ziarat. The aircraft was jolting, shaking, trembling and losing height. Hasnain immediately cautioned Umer who had already smelled the dangers ahead. Capt Hasnain gave an emergency call to Brigadier Nasir of losing altitude and his fear of inability to cross above the fast approaching mountain pass. Nasir advised him to take a 360 degree turn and try getting out of the danger, but to no avail. The Tail 354 was behaving like an unbridled horse or, a mad elephant. To control the aircraft was becoming difficult each passing second. In next few seconds, a deadly revelation appeared certain to Capt Hasnain. The instruments were revealing that was heard of before but never experienced. The Tail 354 was descending very quickly. It was losing height at a fast speed and soon was to hit the ground. The Tail 354 was going to be “stalled” in seconds. Oh God, if that happens, Capt Hasnain knew, the death was more than certain! Something was to be done but very quickly. Hundreds of emergency flight lessons flashed to Capt Hasnain's mind. And, then Hasnain made a decisive move, he put the control at “neutral”, tried to gain the speed and overcame his instinct to gain height. But, the aircraft was still going down at a much faster speed. The descending speed grew with each passing second. The situation needed iron nerves and Capt Hasnain had plenty of those. When the aircraft was just 50 feet above the ground and was to bang the ground in few seconds, Capt Hasnain pulled the 'control stick' backwards to give a “lift” to the aircraft. The miracle happened! The hard training of Pakistan Army Aviation had won. The nose-down Tail 354 got a severe jerk, the downward fall somewhat straightened and as it banged the ground, the tyres had touched the ground. This last minute 'command' had saved the Tail 354 from bursting into countless small pieces. Now it was heading forward like a blind rocket. Soon it got a big jolt as it hit a heavy tree trunk and cut it into two pieces. The last scene Capt Umer’s bleeding eyes saw that Capt Hasnain had gone unconscious and was bleeding profusely; Umer, too, succumbed to injuries and went unconscious.

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thank u balachistan4Leaving Haji Abdul Rehman to the severely injured and unconscious pilot officers, Hayat Ullah rushed to the nearby road. He had to stop any vehicle passing-by. And, he had not to wait for long. Akbar and Noor Muhammad, two brothers from his village, Sissan Manna, were driving a 'Pick Up' vehicle and were heading towards a nearby village. They were carrying their goats and sheep in the rear of the vehicle. They needed to sell these animals to get some money for approaching Eid festival. The abject poverty had rarely offered them moments to celebrate. As the vehicle approached nearer, Akbar saw Hayat Ullah waving desperately and asking to stop the vehicle. They took no time to understand the whole situation. They just disembarked the cattle, cleaned the floor and put the two pilots hurriedly into the vehicle. The ancestors had taught these simple dwellers how to minimise bleeding by making small tourniquets and even place splints along the broken bones. They also did not forget to put some grass and clothing underneath the injured officers. They had very less time and rushed towards Ziarat. While en-route to the District Headquarters Hospital Ziarat, Capt Umer opened his eyes and looked around. His Baloch brothers were quick to assure him that he was in safe hands. Capt Umer heard them saying, “Don't worry, we love Pakistan Army and Pakistan. You are injured but don't worry, we are about to reach Ziarat Hospital. All will be okay soon!” With a faint smile on bleeding face, injured Capt Umer again fell unconscious in those warm and safe hands.

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Doctor Irfan-ud-Din, a resident of Ziarat, serving as the only Child Specialist in District Hospital Ziarat was on-duty on September 20, 2014. After dropping his four years old daughter Ayesha to school and kissing one year old sleeping Muhammad Rafay, Irfan-ud-Din, who graduated from Bolan Medical College in 1999, busied himself in checking routine patients. The hospital does not have much of latest equipment and medicines, nevertheless, Irfan being local resident, had always put his best to serve his people. It was around 1030 a.m. that he observed a 'pick-up' vehicle approaching very fast to the Hospital's parking area. He guessed for some civilian casualties. Being only doctor present at that time, he came out of his room. He was met by serious-looking Akbar and Hayat Ullah. Hurriedly they told him about the aircraft crash and the injured pilots. At that time, both Akbar and Hayat Ullah had assumed Capt Hasnain to be 'dead'. Therefore, doctor Irfan first shifted Capt Umer to the 'emergency' department. He then went towards Capt Hasnain who was lying motion-less. Hasnain’s blood pressure was almost negligible, but doctor Irfan found some signs of heartbeat and running 'pulse' in Hasnain's absolute motion-less body. Doctor Irfan instantly shifted Capt Hasnain to the 'Operation Theatre'. He gave best possible emergency medicines as first-aid and started making all efforts to stop any further bleeding. Although he was a 'Child Specialist', but he took all the risks and went for surgery. He wanted to save the lives of these Pakistan Army's officers who were badly injured. After nonstop efforts of almost one hour, both the pilots started showing some signs of life and stability. Doctor Irfan was soon joined by District Coordination Officer (DCO) Ziarat, Abdul Khaliq Mando Khail, at the hospital. He took pains and rendered all support needed. Meanwhile, a large number of people from Ziarat City had gathered in the hospital. They all volunteered to donate their blood, if needed. They were also praying for the life of the wounded soldiers. Around 12 o'clock, once Pakistan Army Aviation's helicopters arrived for evacuation of the injured to Quetta, doctor Irfan accompanied. He saw the local crowed waving, cheering to the helicopters' crew, and shouting slogans, “Pakistan, Zindabad; Pakistan Army, Zindabad”.

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Colonel Muhammad Afzal Kamal, acting Base Commander Khalid Aviation Base got distressed once he heard through Air Traffic Control Samungli Base about crash of the Mushak aircraft. He hurriedly received Brig Nasir and Maj Owais at the Base who had returned back after visually seeing the crash. Years of operational experience had convinced Brig Nasir that probability to survive such a crash was less than 10%. Colonel Afzal analyzed the situation and immediately flew two helicopters; one carrying medical staff and the other security personnel, albeit with a lump in his throat. He also sent one of the returned pilots so as to locate the wreckage of the crashed aircraft. Then, began the most agonizing spell – a long break in the communication – which often happens in such like rescue operations in remote areas. The younger hearts sink while coming to terms that this is actually happening, but the seniors like Col Afzal Kamal keep calm and start preparing for the eventual, a task someone in Aviation has always to undertake. He had no choice but to order for the 'coffins' of the two pilots – guided by his experience, and denying the possibility of a miracle! But, then he received the unusual message from Capt Asad from Ziarat Scouts that the injured pilots had been evacuated by the local Baloch civilians to Ziarat. He instantly realized that pilots might have only suffered serious injuries and their lives could be saved. He became sure in his heart that Baloch brothers would make all efforts to save the lives of these injured pilots. He just recalled the incident that his Commandant had narrated him about terrorists' attack on Khalid Aviation Base on night 14/15 August 2014. On that fateful night, a patriotic Baloch timely informed the military authorities about the terrorists trying to sneak into the Base. This information proved most valuable and the attack met a ready-response from the military. The terrorists also attacked PAF Base Samungli on that night but were defeated comprehensively by the vigilant soldiers of Pakistan Army. All terrorists were killed in that operation and both the bases remained fully safe. Being assured of locals' help, Colonel Afzal flew two more helicopters to Ziarat. By mid-day, the injured pilots had been successfully evacuated to the Combined Military Hospital Quetta. But his job was not over yet! Colonel Afzal had another uphill task at hand. It was removal of the aircraft wreckage from the crash site back to Quetta. It was a difficult task for the Aviation as the nearest landing zone was almost seven kilometres away from the crash site. Again the local Baloch civilians displayed a great love for Pakistan Army and came forward with the unwavering support. They used all available manpower and their robust tractor-trolleys to move the wreckage to the landing zone. They worked day-and-night along with troops of Loralai Scouts (FC Balochistan) headed by Colonel Faisal. What best can be the proof of people's love for Pakistan Army than this display of unconditional support rendered by Baloch civilians under such trying circumstances.

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Today, Captain Hasnain is being treated in Combined Military Hospital Quetta for multiple injuries. His both legs are broken and he has 35 stitches for his injuries. But he has been joined by his wife, Capt Fatima and son, Suqraat Mahmud. Capt Umer has also joined his family at Karachi and undergoing medical treatment. The life would soon return to normal for many people around them. It was certainly a miracle made possible by two simple mountain dwellers, an honest and hardworking doctor and a dutiful District Coordination Officer (DCO) – all fastened invisibly by a strong love of their country and traditions of their soil. Today, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Army Aviation, Major General Muhammad Khalil Dar and everyone who is part of Pakistan Army Aviation is proud of love and unflinching support of their brothers from Balochistan. They whisper, they cheer, and, they share three proud words repeatedly: “Thank You Balochistan”. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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