18
September
September 2017(EDITION 09, Volume 54)
 
Written By: Maria Khalid
In many instances technology becomes a threat affecting human minds as at least some of their issues stem from experiences they have on social media. Terrorism in its advance manifestation is targetting educated youth, especially ISIS, and manipulating them with the ideals they portray....Read full article
 
Written By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand
The safekeeping of nuclear and other strategic weapons has always been given enhanced attention over the storage of conventional weapons system. Since the first development of nuclear weapons more than 70 years ago, gradual development of the command and control of these very sensitive weapons.....Read full article
 
Written By: Mushaal Mullick
If anyone asks me what is Kashmir for me? I will seriously fall short of words to express my emotions. Respected readers, it is nothing but all soul for me. Today, for the very first time, I will give my most personal perspective and bond with the journey of freedom struggle of Kashmir.....Read full article
 
Written By: Anwar Ahmed
Indian war of aggression in Kashmir begun by landing her forces on October 27, 1947.Kashmir War 1947-48.Despite United Nations Security Council Resolutions, no plebiscite held in Kashmir due to India....Read full article
 
Written By: Col Azam Qadri (R)
Captain Muhammad Sarwar was the first Nishan-e-Haider in the history of our great nation. He was born in village Singhori, Rawalpindi in 1910. His father, Raja Muhammad Hayat Khan served in the British Indian Army and rose to rank of....Read full article
 
Written By: Sadia Sattar
We knew this once we were strafing the Indians. But the mission of destroying the Indians was of great strategic importance, and for that I and my pilots took maximum risk. We had been able to destroy Indian forces advancing to capture Lahore. We destroyed their tanks, guns, infantry....Read full article
 
Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha
Ever since Pakistan’s war with India in 1965, highly polarizing debates have continued to erupt concerning the nature and result of the conflict. On the one side are those who claim that Pakistan won the war, while on the other side are those who suggest otherwise....Read full article
 
Written By: Squadron Leader Usama Tassawar
“For the people on ground, if they want to know how exactly the life of a Sherdil inside a cockpit is; It’s a tight rope walk with blindfolds on. It is an absolute trust on members and they, in turn, trust the leader blindly even to doors......Read full article
 
Written By: Zarrar Khuhro
Dispensing with the hyperbole, let’s take a close look at what Donald Trump’s new Afghan policy means for the region in general and Pakistan in particular. To begin with, calling it ‘new’ would be something of a misnomer as, in broad strokes, it is a continuation of past policies.....Read full article
 
Written By: Zubair Torwali
There were no roads and people from the faraway villages had to walk all this distance. There was scarcity of rations in every house but many people did not care about that and opened their Bethaks and Hujras for the wayfarers. In the village of Chikri the locals would treat.....Read full article
 
Written By: Brig Syed Wajid Raza (R)
It was a pleasure to see young Jamal in Sialkot who had recently joined 5th Battalion of the Azad Kashmir Regiment, a composed and confident Balochi officer from the remote region of Balochistan. With every passing day, he grew humble with obvious signs indicative of brave gestures and postures....Read full article
 
Written By: Hilal Desk
OUR SACRIFICES.MARTYRS AND GHAZIS.OUR STRUGGLE....Read full article
 
Written By: Capt Faisal Siddique
The United Nations African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) is the first joint Peacekeeping Mission in UN History and so far the largest peacekeeping mission. UNAMID has been operating under UN Security Council Resolution since 2007 under UN Security Council Resolution to bring peace in Darfur. The mandate....Read full article
 
Written By: Ayesha Farooq
Imagine walking down a slum area with open sewers, foul smells and miasma of marshes where humans lay literally on the ground; alive but with a skin full of ugly sores, their limbs dilapidating and sensations in them so lost that they remain unaware while rats gnaw at their decaying limbs. How many of us will cross.....Read full article

 
Lieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jordan Armed Forces, who was on a three days official visit to Pakistan, called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman JCSC at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi.........Read full article
 
General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited Rajgal valley, Khyber Agency on August 5, 2017. COAS was given detailed briefing on progress of Operation Khyber IV in which forces have cleared over 90% of the objective area.....Read full article
 
Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah officially visited Germany. During the visit, the Naval Chief called on Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Germany, Vice Admiral Ruehle, German Naval Chief (Inspector of German Navy), Vice....Read full article
 
A seven member high level Afghan Military delegation led by Lieutenant General Muhammad Zaman Waziri, Commander 201 Corps, ANA, visited HQ 11 Corps Peshawar and held meetings with Commander Peshawar Corps, Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt. Meeting......Read full article
 
COAS highlighted the importance Pakistan accords to its relations with U.S., particularly security cooperation and efforts towards regional stability. COAS said that Pakistan has undertaken operations against terrorists of all hue and colour. He reiterated his commitment to work in close coordination with Afghan ....Read full article
 
A group of students and faculty members from University of Central Punjab spent a day visiting various military units and formations of Pakistan Army at Lahore Garrison. The program was specifically organised to enlighten students on routine.....Read full article
 
Independence Day of Pakistan was celebrated all across the country with traditional fervour. Various ceremonies were arranged to mark this historic event as well as a breathtaking airshow by Pakistan Air Force....Read full article
 
Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force was awarded the Legion of Merit in recognition of his services for promotion of defence ties between two air....Read full article
 
Ground Breaking Ceremonies of Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC) and 2nd Force Protection Battalion were held at Karachi. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah graced the ceremonies as chief guest. Commander Coast, Rear ....Read full article
 
Modern battlefield is likely to witness all arms and services under a fluid and demanding environment. Foregoing, operation oriented training has always been the focal consideration of Pakistan Army. Bridge/watermanship training being....Read full article
 
The program was organized to enlighten students on routine functioning of Pakistan Army and, its organizational and defence capability. Students took keen interest in compound clearing demonstration by a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), students chanted slogans of Pakistan Zindabad and applauded the swift and.....Read full article
 
18
September

Written By: Ayesha Farooq

Imagine walking down a slum area with open sewers, foul smells and miasma of marshes where humans lay literally on the ground; alive but with a skin full of ugly sores, their limbs dilapidating and sensations in them so lost that they remain unaware while rats gnaw at their decaying limbs. How many of us will cross such a path as quickly as possible averting our eyes from the dreadful sight trying our best to never be able to recall the horrendous picture? Perhaps ninety-five percent of us. How many of us will stop, inquire the reason for such a miserable state of the destitute, learn that these people have been outcast by the society due to the abominable disease they suffer from, and then leave in a state of sadness? Probably four-point-nine percent of us. How many of us will try to send a donation to help these people? May be the remaining zero-point-one percent. But who amongst us will be the one to feel so deeply hurt by the despondent circumstances that it compels us to make a key lifetime decision; of staying right there, never going back home, for the rest of our lives in order to bring a reform? Quite possibly none of us. It will take a heart of gold, spirit of an angel, courage, bravery and strength of a warrior and a level of compassion that is purely selfless. Such a combination is too rare to be found. However, one woman who belonged to a city in the erstwhile Eastern Germany, was blessed with all of these attributes and she made sure to put them to service in the best possible manner. Her name was Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau.

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Born in Germany before World War-II in the city of Leipzig, Ruth was four years old when atrocities on a smaller level began while as a teenager she witnessed the official war break out. Watching her city get bombed each day, passing by scalded and crippled bodies of people suffering inconceivable pain, she realized that if there was anything she could do to help ease the misery, it would be if she knew how to heal the wounds. There, she decided to become a doctor. Her persistent determination led her to cross the dangerous demarcation line in 1948 travelling from East Germany to West Germany to pursue education as a medical student. Once graduated, she joined the catholic order of ‘Daughters of the Heart of Mary’ where she found out from Misereor (German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation) that professional medical staff was urgently needed in some developing countries. Ruth, by then known as Dr. Pfau, gave it a thought and deduced that post-war Germany was already laying the foundation to get back up on its feet and would be able to do it without her because it had an educated youth, but she desired to be a beacon at a place where hope was dying. Thus, she decided to leave for Bombay, India. On her way, she stopped over at Karachi due to visa problems and happened to visit the slum quarters commonly called Leper’s Colony on McLeod Road where she witnessed the horrifying scenes she had never imagined before. There existed only a small dispensary made out of wooden crates surrounded by long lines of leprosy patients from adults to children, having lost every sense of dignity while their flesh became nutrition for rats and themselves been abandoned for suffering from a disease that the society considered incurable. The drains were open and sewage water mixed with garbage giving birth to unbearable stench. Ruth was appalled beyond words but was not sickened. The insufferable condition of people and the colony did not deter her for she was not an ordinary passer-by, she was the one with the heart of gold. She cancelled her plan to go to India and made a lifetime decision; to stay in Pakistan and love the most despised.


Love indeed, remained her guiding stone throughout her life as she started working diligently for patients of leprosy. Her approach was not limited to treating the patients and provision of free drugs, she focused on rehabilitating the alienated human beings to bring back in them dignity, esteem and honor that they had long been deprived of. Dr. Pfau started by reorganizing the dispensary into a proper care unit for leprosy patients, trained paramedical staff, compiled a curriculum for further trainings, gathered funds from wherever possible and most of all, preached compassion and mercy towards the patients. She ate with the patients, touched them without hesitation and made them feel human again. In the beginning when Dr. Pfau tried to involve the municipal administration she was told by a doctor that leprosy did not exist in Pakistan. Such a response clarified her concepts and she decided not to waste any of her time and begin moving forward on her mission physically and socially to build an infrastructure not only for controlling the most neglected disease but rooting it out as well. Within three years, her efforts started bearing fruit and she was able to set up an actual leprosy clinic known as Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC). At the launch of clinic, she had about a hundred families being treated. When the news of a free of cost treatment facility for leprosy spread, almost a thousand families approached MALC from different parts of Pakistan. She travelled to her home country a number of times during this time to collect funds. By the year 1968, her services had started getting attention when she was awarded ‘The Order of the Cross’ from Germany. She utilized the spotlight to attain Government of Pakistan’s support as she aspired to expand the leprosy control program thereby setting in motion a ‘National Leprosy Control Programme’ in collaboration with MALC establishing leprosy centers across the nation. From the vast mountains of Kashmir to the barren land of Balochistan to deserts in southern Sindh, she left no place deprived of her visit. Her network stretched to far off areas with her workforce manifold; from Sindhis, Balochis, Pathans, Panjabis, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and a dozen other ethnic groups worked in harmony at the leprosy centers. In the year 1996, World Health Organization (WHO) declared leprosy to be under-control in Pakistan. A breakthrough Pakistan could not have achieved had it not been for Dr. Pfau to address the issue while the local doctors remained in denial of leprosy’s existence in the country.

pradigoflove1.jpgRuth Pfau ventured on to cross newer milestones every step of her journey of love. Love that was unconditional, devout and wholesome. She embraced her crippled patients and made them forget about their deplorable state, gave them hope and made sure to convey that she loved them as persons. Leprosy being under-control did not stop her. She said in her interview to Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, “If WHO points out that leprosy is under-control, that does not mean the danger is over. We made this mistake much too often. The moment we controlled malaria, we fought the fronts, and today it is one of the most common causes of death. We also dismantled the fronts when we had tuberculosis under control, and TB has returned. We certainly do not want similar for leprosy. To this end, we have given too much, my team has often enough risked their lives to get leprosy under control. Leprosy has a very long incubation period, so we have to maintain our network for a long time”. Thus, after the leprosy control program succeeded, she started working on Leprosy Elimination Program, a rather bigger challenge due to long incubation periods of leprosy. Alongside, she started a Triple Merger strategy which was aimed at tuberculosis and blindness prevention programs for utilizing the widespread network of MALC to the full capacity. The program was further developed into Extended Leprosy Control Program (ELCP) in 2002. Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre continues to progress and today is an eight-storey hospital as well as the hub of 157 leprosy centers situated across the country.


Over the course of five decades spent in Pakistan, Dr. Pfau was awarded with numerous accolades including Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Hilal-e-Pakistan, Nishan-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Life-time Achievement Award from the Government of Pakistan and the Honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Agha Khan University. She also received various international honors such as the Damien-Dutton Award from USA, Marion Doenhoff-Prize and The Commanders Cross of the Order of Merit with Star from Germany and many others. Once she was asked whether she wanted to receive a Nobel Prize and she laughed off saying what would she do with that, for her concerns were beyond what material awards could do. Although, the general perception about humanitarians is that they have much less to give an opinion on the political system of a country but Dr. Pfau was one of a kind. Having survived one of the greatest wars the world has seen and authored several books, she was a woman vocal in her opinions without hesitation. In her interview to Tribune she said that if she had to make an electoral choice for Pakistan it would definitely not be democracy. In her words, “I was a happy 30-year-old when the Berlin Wall fell and democratic values triumphed. But democracy needs education and education is barely given any attention in Pakistan. So, I don’t know how far democracy will succeed here.”. Moreover, she revealed that the most kind to her were the men in uniform and her efforts attained recognition and support from the military rulers more than any civilian statesmen of Pakistan.


Dr. Pfau’s work did not remain limited to leprosy patients. She traveled from city to city whenever a natural calamity or a refugee crisis hit Pakistan. Be it TDPs due to operations being carried out against terrorism or those affected by earthquakes and floods, she was there for everyone. Most often, her inclination used to be to reach where no one else had been willing or able to go. In an interview to BBC when Ruth was busy helping the people affected by the deadly flooding in Pakistan in 2010, Mervyn Lobo, who traveled with her for years said, “Working with Dr. Pfau is very, very difficult, because she has such immense stamina, that I don't think anyone can match”. Despite being in her eighties, she used to visit the wards and meet the patients with the same gentle and caring attitude that she had in her yesteryears.


Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau, the woman who was an apotheosis of love in this world, breathed her last at the age of 87 on August 10, 2017 and was laid to rest in full honors of the state funeral held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on August 19. The honour, respect and love displayed by the people and state of Pakistan on Dr. Ruth’s death is also testimony to the fact that Pakistanis by nature are most loving, caring and tolerant people. This love is not bound by caste, colour or creed. Those who came to attend the funeral of Dr. Ruth, their tears and sombre gestures are a message to the world that life deeply exists in Pakistan beyond the false images of a violent country mostly created by the western media.


Through her exemplary life, she demonstrated how love can conquer what wars cannot. Pakistan not only has a lot to learn from the legendary Ruth Pfau but also is indebted to her, and while it may help to remember her more by changing labels on hospitals and streets after her name, her mission can only be accomplished when the message of love, tolerance, harmony and acceptance regardless of caste and creed will be acted upon.

 

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18
September

Written By: Capt Faisal Siddique

The United Nations African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) is the first joint Peacekeeping Mission in UN History and so far the largest peacekeeping mission. UNAMID has been operating under UN Security Council Resolution since 2007 under UN Security Council Resolution to bring peace in Darfur. The mandate of the mission includes protection of unarmed civilians, mediation of peace talks, promotion of rule of law and human rights and assistance in humanitarian activities. Major troop contributing countries include Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Egypt and Tanzania. Pakistani contingent in the mission includes two infantry battalions, one engineer company, one field hospital and one formed police unit.

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In May 2016, a Pakistani battalion (Pak Batt 3) was relocated in Kutum Sub-Sector and in August 2016, Pak Batt 5 relieved Pak Batt 3. Kutum, known as birthplace of the war in Darfur, has remained one of the most volatile areas of Darfur. The area was totally uncontrolled with no functioning government machinery. Even UNAMID troops were restricted to the camp site and often ambushed and raided along the main supply route. Under these circumstances, Pakistani Contingent was trusted by the UNAMID leadership for bringing peace in the area. Pak Batt 5 under Contingent Headquarters undertook the challenging task achieving praiseworthy and exemplary results which have been appreciated at the highest level within UNAMID and among the local government authorities and communities. The professional approach of Pak Batt 5 has brought peace in the area. Pakistani Contingent also undertook significant WHAM activities projecting soft image of Pakistan amongst the local communities under an international environment. Major activities include medical camps, renovation of mosques and schools, construction of youth centers for boys and girls, construction of women vocational training center and basic girls school, initiation of inter-community harmony dialogues and promotion of sports. The performance of Pakistani Contingent can be judged from the fact that Kutum has not seen any communal or ethnic conflict for the last one year. Government departments are now fully functional in Kutum Sub-Sector.


To commemorate successful completion of Pak Batt 5’s tenure in UNAMID, medal wearing ceremony was held at Kutum on August 7, 2017. Elegantly turned out Pakistani Contingent Pak Batt-5 (26FF Khaara Shagaaf Battalion) presented a remarkable display of military parade.


The Acting Force Commander Major General Fida Hussain Malik, Contingent Commander Brig Syed Mazhar Hussain and Mission Chief of Staff Karen Tchalian attended the medal wearing ceremony along with officials of Sudan government and large number of local community representatives attended the parade. The Force Commander, Contingent Commander, Sudan Military Commander and Mission Chief of Staff decorated officers, JCOs, NCOs and soldiers of the unit with UNAMID medals. Children and women of local community also took part in the ceremony displaying local culture and traditional exhibition. At the end of the parade, contributions for WHAM activities were made by the Pakistani Contingent which was highly appreciated by the UNAMID authorities and local community elders.


Pakistan Army is respected for its professionalism and performance within the UN Peacekeeping Operations. Pakistani Contingent in Darfur is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the name and respect of Pakistan remains in high esteem within the international community as well as amongst the local populace of Sudan.


Pakistan Army Zindabad!
Pakistan Paindabad!

 
15
September
A Day with Pakistan Army

A group of more than 800 students and faculty members from different schools, colleges and newsadaypakarmy.jpguniversities of Balochistan spent a day with military units and formations of Pakistan Army at Quetta Garrison.


The program was organized to enlighten students on routine functioning of Pakistan Army and, its organizational and defence capability. Students took keen interest in compound clearing demonstration by a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), students chanted slogans of Pakistan Zindabad and applauded the swift and effective action of the raiding party. While another contingent of 2 Light Commando Battalion displayed its skills in Austrian rapelling, seat rapelling and lizard crawl combined with demonstration of opening fire on terrorists. The demonstration was followed by artillery gunfire which destroyed terrorists’ outposts. Later, aviation fly past was held that was applauded by all students.


Garrison Commander Major General Abid Latif Khan who was also present on the occasion interacted with the students. He appreciated the zeal and enthusiasm of visiting students and said that the youth of this country are gifted individuals, who have a rich history and a bright future ahead. He further said that CPEC will open new vistas for the youth of Balochistan and with sheer hard work they can prepare themselves for the future challenges.


The students applauded the state of morale, commitment and professional competence of Pakistan Army and expressed their gratitude for being provided a lifetime experience and opportunity. Later, the students visited different stalls and took keen interest in the displayed equipment.


A large number of participants including female students showed keen interest in live firing by weapons like G-3, SMG and MP-5.

15
September
Bridge/Watermanship/Raft Training Held Near Kharian

newsbrgadewaters.jpgModern battlefield is likely to witness all arms and services under a fluid and demanding environment. Foregoing, operation oriented training has always been the focal consideration of Pakistan Army. Bridge/watermanship training being an important facet, was conducted near Kharian. All units/sub units undertook progressive and mission-oriented training while practicing tactical drills and procedures including launching/de-launching of assault bridges to enhance operational worthiness.

 

Bridge/watermanship training provided the formation an excellent opportunity to demonstrate its operational readiness and technical expertise. Commander 1 Corps, Lieutenant General Azhar Saleh Abbasi witnessed and appreciated the training standards achieved by the formation.

15
September
Ground Breaking Ceremonies of Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC) and 2nd Force Protection Battalion

newsgroundbreaking.jpgGround Breaking Ceremonies of Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC) and 2nd Force Protection Battalion were held at Karachi. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah graced the ceremonies as chief guest. Commander Coast, Rear Admiral Abdul Aleem was also present.


Maritime Counter Terrorism Centre (MCTC) is being constructed with an aim to fulfill the training requirements of Special Operation Forces and special wings of own and other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Maritime Counter Terrorism domain. MCTC will house state-of-the-art training facilities including live fire shoot houses, sniper ranges, military training in urban terrain, close quarter combat ranges and simulators etc.


2nd Force Protection Battalion is an operational segment of Pakistan Marines and has been raised for protection of Karachi harbour and offshore infrastructure including sensitive installations at Karachi, anti amphibious operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.


The inauguration ceremonies were attended by a large number of Naval officers and CPOs/sailors.

15
September
PAF Presents a Stunning Airshow to Mark the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan

newspafairshow.jpgIndependence Day of Pakistan was celebrated all across the country with traditional fervour. Various ceremonies were arranged to mark this historic event as well as a breathtaking airshow by Pakistan Air Force.


The largest airshow in the history of Pakistan was held at Islamabad and Karachi on different intervals. The first airshow was held at Fatima Jinnah Park, Islamabad. Mr. Mamnoon Hussain, President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan was the chief guest on the occasion. Defence Minister, Khurram Dastagir and Air Chief Marshal, Sohail Aman NI (M), Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force also witnessed the magnificent event. Ambassadors of friendly countries, former Air Chiefs and high ranking civil and military officers were also present on the occassion.


PAF’s fighter and training aircraft including Mirage, SAAB-2000, and Augusta-139 from PAF, while, MI-17 and PUMA helicopters from Army Aviation participated in the show. Besides PAF aircraft, world renowned aerobatic teams from our brotherly countries Turkey and Saudi Arabia also performed in this mega event. The huge crowd gathered in the lush green F-9 Park was ecstatic to see “Solo Turk” flying overhead in a thundering sound. The stunning maneuvers of this world famous aerobatics team of Turkish Air Force left the spectators spellbound. The next event was a spectacular aerobatics display of “Saudi Hawks”, 07 ship formation aerobatics team of Royal Saudi Air Force. The blue skies of Islamabad were filled with colours as this acclaimed aerobatic team displayed eyecatching drills. The spectators thoroughly enjoyed the breathtaking maneuvers of these aircraft and showed their appreciation by clapping and chanting slogans.


After the thrilling performance of “Saudi Hawks”, the indigenous JF-17 Thunder aircraft entered the arena. The spectators cheered with joy to see the spectacular maneuvers of this aircraft, rightfully called the Pride of the Nation. Moments after the departure of the roaring JF-17 Thunder, Augusta helicopters appeared on the horizon for solo aerobatics display. The show was rounded off with the Tri-Services free fall display in which the Commandos from the Special Services Wings jumped from a C-130 aircraft flying at height of 10,000 feet and safely landed at the designated places.


Another airshow was held at Sea View Karachi in which Chief Minister Sindh, Mr. Murad Ali Shah was the chief guest. F-16, P-3C Orion, Z-9, Alouette-III and Sea King helicopters presented the fly past at the venue. Afterwards JF-17 Thunder and PAF aerobatics team Sherdils presented a mesmerizing aerial display.

15
September
Students from University of Central Punjab Spend a Day at Lahore Garrison

newsstudentatlahore.jpgA group of students and faculty members from University of Central Punjab spent a day visiting various military units and formations of Pakistan Army at Lahore Garrison. The program was specifically organised to enlighten students on routine functioning of Pakistan Army, its organisation and defence capability.

 

The day-long program started with wreath laying ceremony at Yadgar-e-Shuhada to pay homage to martyrs of Pakistan Army. The students visited a field formation and had an informal interaction with officers and soldiers. Later, they also witnessed arms and equipment display including small arms’ fire at the firing ranges.

 

The program culminated with flag lowering ceremony at Wagah Border. The students applauded the state of morale, commitment and professional competence of Pakistan Army and expressed their gratitude for being provided a lifetime experience and opportunity.

15
September
Commander U.S. CENTCOM and Delegation Meet COAS

General Joseph L. Votel, Commander United States Central Command (US CENTCOM) along with his newscomandercentcom.jpgdelegation met General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on August 18. Matters of professional interest with special focus on security situation in Afghanistan were discussed.

 

COAS highlighted the importance Pakistan accords to its relations with U.S., particularly security cooperation and efforts towards regional stability. COAS said that Pakistan has undertaken operations against terrorists of all hue and colour. He reiterated his commitment to work in close coordination with Afghan Security Forces and U.S.-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) for improved security environment in Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. While referring to Afghanistan and Pak-U.S. relations, COAS said that no other country has more interest for peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan. He further said that more than financial or material assistance, we seek acknowledgement of our decades long contributions towards regional peace and stability, understanding of our challenges and most importantly the sacrifices Pakistani nation and its security forces have rendered in fight against terrorism and militancy.

 

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. David Hale was also present on the occasion.

(PR-424/2017-ISPR, August 18, 2017)
United States Delegation Headed by Commander U.S. CENTCOM Visits NWA

newscomandercentcom1.jpgUnited States’ Delegation headed by General Joseph L. Votel, Commander United States Central Command (U.S. CENTCOM), visited North Waziristan Agency on August 19. The delegation was briefed about Pakistan Army's operations in NWA and Pak-Afghan border security mechanism through enhanced surveillance measures. The delegation was also briefed about progress on the socio-economic developments including return of Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs).

 

The delegation appreciated efforts and sacrifices of Pakistan Army and local tribes for re-establishing peace and order in the area. The visiting dignitaries also realized the importance of Pak-Afghan bilateral border security coordination. Later, the delegation visited APS Miranshah and interacted with students.

 

Earlier, upon arrival at North Waziristan Agency the delegation was received by Commander Peshawar Corps, Lt Gen Nazir Ahmad Butt. Lt Gen Bilal Akbar, Chief of General Staff accompanied the delegation. (PR-425/2017-ISPR, August 19, 2017)
15
September
Afghan National Army Delegation Visits HQ 11 Corps

newsafghannatarmy.jpgA seven member high level Afghan Military delegation led by Lieutenant General Muhammad Zaman Waziri, Commander 201 Corps, ANA, visited HQ 11 Corps Peshawar and held meetings with Commander Peshawar Corps, Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt. Meeting was also attended by DGMOs of both the Armies and IGFC KP. Both sides re-affirmed their resolve to continue their fight against terrorism. Areas of mutual security mechanism were deliberated upon during the interaction. Both sides concluded that peace and stability can best be achieved through joint efforts and enhanced cooperation.

Afghan Media Delegation Visits ISPR
A nine member Afghan media delegation visited ISPR and interacted with DG ISPR. They were briefed on efforts by Pakistan towards peace and stability along Pak-Afghan Border and role of media for its rightful projection. The delegation is on a week long visit to Pakistan, visiting different places including NWA.

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15
September
CJCSC Addresses Commissioning Parade at Pakistan Naval Academy

newsnavalchieftogermany.jpgChief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah officially visited Germany. During the visit, the Naval Chief called on Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Germany, Vice Admiral Ruehle, German Naval Chief (Inspector of German Navy), Vice Admiral Andreas Krause and also visited German Naval Academy at Flensburg and German Submarine Naval Base at Eckernforde.


Upon his arrival at Federal Ministry of Defence Germany at Berlin, the Admiral was received by German Naval Chief (Inspector of German Navy), Vice Admiral Andreas Krause. A ceremonial guard with military honours was also presented to the Naval Chief on the occasion. Thereafter, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah laid wreath on German Armed Forces Memorial at Federal Ministry of Defence.


Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah called on Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Germany, Vice Admiral Ruehle in his office. During the meeting, professional matters of mutual interest and bilateral defence ties were dilated upon. Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Germany highly appreciated the role and contributions of Pakistan in spearheading various initiatives for maintaining peace and stability in the region. Both the dignitaries agreed and looked forward to further enhancing the interaction between Pakistan and Germany in the diverse fields of training, mutual visits and defence collaboration.


During discussions with German Naval Chief, various matters of mutual interest including bilateral naval collaboration, maritime security and stability, Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP), counter piracy operations, drug trafficking and various avenues to enhance inter-operability between Pakistan and German Navy were pondered upon. Naval Chief also highlighted Pakistan’s commitment and performance in fight against terrorism in general and Pakistan Navy’s efforts for maintaining regional peace and security in particular. Vice Admiral Andreas Krause acknowledged Pakistan Navy’s efforts and focused commitments in support of collaborative maritime security in the region and also hoped to extend cooperation between both the Navies in diverse fields of Naval collaboration.


During his visit to German Naval Academy, Chief of the Naval Staff was received by Flotillen Admiral Kay-Achim Shonbach, Commandant German Naval Academy. Professional matters of mutual interest came under discussion during the meeting. Subsequently, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah visited German Submarine Training Centre at German Submarine Naval Base Eckernforde, where Chief of the Naval Staff was given detailed briefings regarding Submarine Training Centre.


Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah also visited German Navy Ship and Submarine. During his visits onboard, the Naval Chief interacted with crew of the ship and submarines and lauded their operational competence.


It is expected that the recent visit of the Naval Chief will further enhance and expand defence ties between the two countries in general and Armed Forces in particular.

15
September
COAS Visits Rajgal Valley

newscoastoragalvalley.jpgGeneral Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited Rajgal valley, Khyber Agency on August 5, 2017. COAS was given detailed briefing on progress of Operation Khyber IV in which forces have cleared over 90% of the objective area. COAS appreciated professionalism of the participating troops including support of PAF in skillful targeting of the terrorists' strongholds minimising own casualties. On completion of this operation, Khyber Agency would be free of terrorists' influence thereby providing safe environment for return of TDPs and development prong to proceed.

 

Talking to officers and troops at the occasion, COAS thanked Allah for His blessings which enabled Pakistan Army to come up to the expectations of the nation in achievements against terrorism and militancy in the country. He said that with full backing of the nation we are heading towards a normalized Pakistan where writ of state and supremacy of law would be second to none and where every Pakistani whether in cities, tribal or far flung areas will be able to play a positive and rightful part in Pakistan's progress.

 

Earlier, Commander Peshawar Corps Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt and IGFC KP North Major General Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood, Commander Operation Khyber IV received the COAS on arrival in operational area.

15
September
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Jordan Armed Forces Calls on CJCSC

newscjscjordan.jpgLieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jordan Armed Forces, who was on a three days official visit to Pakistan, called on General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman JCSC at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi.

 

Besides security and regional issues, matters relating to enhancing the level and scope of bilateral military engagements and cooperation were also discussed. The visiting dignitary applauded the professionalism of Pakistan Armed Forces and acknowledged the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. Earlier upon arrival at Joint Staff Headquarters, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jordan Armed Forces was presented a tri-services guard of honour.

CJCSC of Jordan Armed Forces Visits LOC
newscjscjordanloc.jpgLieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Jordan Armed Forces visited Chakothi Sector. Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza, Commander 10 Corps accompanied him during the visit. On arrival he was briefed about the prevailing situation along the Line of Control. He was apprised in detail that unprovoked and constant ceasefire violation from Indian side has become a permanent feature which is causing heavy loss to civilian population and their properties. The visiting dignitary was also briefed that Pakistan is not violating ceasefire and Indian allegations against Pakistan regarding infiltration are totally false and baseless. Further, he was also briefed about the losses incurred as a result of Indian ceasefire violations at the Line of Control. He appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Army for maintaining peace at the Line of Control. He assured that his country would continue moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of freedom struggle and right of self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
15
September

Written By: Hilal Desk

OUR SACRIFICES

MARTYRS AND GHAZIS

OUR STRUGGLE

DIFA-E-WATAN BAQA-E-WATAN

THE HOPE

NATIONAL RESOLVE SELF RELIANCE

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15
September

Written By: Brig Syed Wajid Raza (R)

It was a pleasure to see young Jamal in Sialkot who had recently joined 5th Battalion of the Azad Kashmir Regiment, a composed and confident Balochi officer from the remote region of Balochistan. With every passing day, he grew humble with obvious signs indicative of brave gestures and postures. He smiled in trouble, showed strength under duress and grew brave by reflection.

 

Jamal had married in the early winters of 2016. Since their marriage Jamal and his wife had not lived together, due to his participation in war against terrorism. With the passage of time, I noticed that he had grown stouter and broader, so it was difficult to recognize the robust, smart yet slim Jamal of earlier days.

 

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His features had become more defined and had a calm, soft, and serene expression. All that struck the eye was a strong, handsome, and confident young officer. All who had known Jamal before joining army noticed the change in his thoughts and posture as something extraordinary.

 

In July 2017, Major Jamal met shahadat in a suicide attack in Peshawar. A motorcycle-borne suicide bomber hit Frontier Corps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (FC KP) vehicle, targeting Major Jamal Sheran. While serving in Special Operations Group, Jamal had conducted daring operations and he knew that things were scary, difficult and dangerous around him, but he had the conviction that winning the fight is worth the chance of losing life for Pakistan.

 

Perhaps we can never repay the debt of our proud nation to those who have laid down their lives for Pakistan and best we can do is honor their memory so that their sacrifices do not go in vain. Jamal’s mausoleum, a hospital and cadet college around it, if constructed can become beacon of hope and inspiration for hundreds and thousands who had gathered to pay homage. These institutions will defeat all ill-intended narratives of anti-Pakistan elements using rhetoric of narrow Baloch nationalism. The actual Baloch nationalism is not separate from Pakistani nationalism and, Maj Jamal's martyrdom for Pakistan is a living shining example of patriotism.

On the fateful day, the newly wedded wife of Major Jamal had hardly finished her packing as she was to join her husband to live in Peshawar, perhaps for the first time after her marriage that took place seven months earlier. Sheran Sanghoor, father of Jamal reluctantly stopped his daughter-in-law from packing, as he had been informed about his son’s shahadat. Her hopes turned into fears, while the fears of the nation were turning into hopes.

 

Sheran Sanghoor, father of Jamal was so proud that he dressed up in his best attire to receive the coffin of his son who had made him so proud. As the coffin of Jamal reached his home, a sea of people gathered to pay homage to the son of soil, who had laid his life for his beloved nation.

 

When spokesman of  TTP was taking the responsibility of Jamal’s shahadat, he forgot that he would be buried wrapped in Pakistan’s flag and a similar flag shall flutter over his grave, denouncing the enemies of Pakistan that its sons are not tired of sacrifices.

 

Ideas don't come with imagination, rather realization. Major Jamal had thought of joining Pakistan Army right from the early days in the Ketch Grammar School Turbat, a remote region that saw violence perpetrated by foreign stooges and enemies of Pakistan. Belonging to a traditional Baloch family of Mir Sheran Baloch, his father had served in the Omani Army. Jamal, after completing his higher school degree from Balochistan Residential College Turbat, joined Pakistan Military Academy with 117 Long Course in Kakul, Abbottabad in May 2006.

 

His military career had been challenging. During the Indo-Pakistan escalation in 2008 on the borders, he remained at the forefront and later the unit saw his daring actions during  Operation Al-Mizan in Bajaur Agency of FATA. On joining Frontier Corps KP, he was picked as Commander Special Operations Group, Frontier Corps. He led numerous sting operations against terrorists and enemies of the state, making him the real target of TTP and other terrorist groups.

 

While serving in Special Operations Group, Jamal had conducted daring operations and he knew that things were scary, difficult and dangerous around him, but he had the conviction that winning fight is worth the chance of losing life for Pakistan.

When young Jamal on joining Pakistan Army, moved out in streets of his village, he was often stopped by his people, and they would ask him, 'When would you grow higher in ranks and construct a hospital in the village?’ This was the one thing Jamal’s father requested in the TV interview.

 

It is difficult to conclude about a hero who was driven by destiny. In army every officer and soldier has a place to fill in and it is important in some respect whether he chooses to be or not. I know destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice, which changes with our thoughts and ideals. I have seen many unsung heroes during my service who have high aims and believe in controlling their destiny before someone else does.

 

Jamal’s shahadat is not ordinary in any manner, he defeated the narrative of enemy in service, who is bent upon conspiring in Balochistan and his shahadat is the last nail in the coffin of conspirators. He fought with the enemies of Pakistan in uniform and he continues to fight while shrouded in Pakistani flag inspiring hundreds of young Balochis to sacrifice for Pakistan.

 

When young Jamal on joining Pakistan Army, moved out in streets of his village, he was often stopped by his people, and they would ask him, 'When would you grow higher in ranks and construct a hospital in the village?’ This was the one thing Jamal’s father requested in the TV interview.

I have been in uniform for more than three decades and I know that heroism doesn’t come from taking orders, but rather it is born from the act of great Pakistani officers and soldiers who through their own willpower and courage are willing to sacrifice their lives for Pakistan.

 

Perhaps we can never repay the debt of our proud nation to those who have laid down their lives for Pakistan and best we can do is honor their memory so that their sacrifices do not go in vain. Jamal’s mausoleum, a hospital and cadet college around it, if constructed can become beacon of hope and inspiration for hundreds and thousands who had gathered to pay homage. These institutions will defeat all ill-intended narratives of anti-Pakistan elements using rhetoric of narrow Baloch nationalism. The actual Baloch nationalism is not separate from Pakistani nationalism and, Major Jamal's martyrdom for Pakistan is a living shining example of patriotism.

 

In retrospect, like nations, men also have destiny. Many conflictual states couldn’t hold against bloody attacks of terrorism and collapsed in less than a year’s time. This is only Pakistan that is faced with the combined threats of hybrid wars and fourth generational warfare for the last 16 years and is sustaining and winning. These great achievements of Pakistan in utter turmoil are indeed born of great sacrifices of its sons… of their selflessness, courage and resilience.

 

Listening to the proud father of Balochi son and other members of Jamal’s family, I felt that Pakistan has won and defeated its enemies.

 

Glorious we stood to the siege of bread

And for long we were mounted on the back of patience

The winds of autumn shall not efface

With unquenchable sighs of love we implored

As secretly he whispers to me, as loudly he whispers to me…

The eye of the star shall not be robbed away

(Omar Saleem, Libyan poet)

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A Letter to My Soldier Brother

In this hour when I make my bed to sleep, I think of you my dear brother, that you must be in some rocky area along the mountains, where you will be sleeping another night. I remember so well from our childhood days how much had you always been conscious of your comfortable sleep but you were in no way reluctant to leave these pampered habits when you decided to wear this graceful uniform. You knew it since the day one that this uniform will bring hardships and challenges for you, yet you remained adamant. I miss you, I miss your smile, the smile of your contentment, the smile of a valiant soldier, smile of a son of this sacred soil who has taken an oath to serve this nation at the best irrespective of any loss to himself. When our mother misses you, she goes to your room to see your picture in the uniform with tears in her eyes and yet she says, “I am the mother of a soldier and these are the tears of gratitude.” Our father keeps following the news from Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad and later shares his analysis with his friends in the evening with pride that his son is also a part of war against terrorism for the country.

 

My dear brother, I hope you read this letter soon, We miss you but we feel content when we pray for you and for all those who are with you there. In fact, this connection of prayers is the most beautiful thing that we have with you now. I am so sure that other soldiers’ sisters, mothers, fathers, brothers, wives and children miss them the same way as we miss you. May you and all of them be successful. Amen! May we make a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan very soon. Amen!

A proud sister,

.Asma Ishaq.

15
September

Written By: Zubair Torwali

There were no roads and people from the faraway villages had to walk all this distance. There was scarcity of rations in every house but many people did not care about that and opened their Bethaks and Hujras for the wayfarers. In the village of Chikri the locals would treat these people warmly and with impressive care. The people of Madyan, Bahrain and other villages would bring food from their houses to the village mosques where most of the wayfarers would stay. This was the time when one fell greatly in love with his people. This spirit of sacrifice and care is symbol of Pakistani people and society.

The specie of homo sapiens is resilient but not that sapient. If they were they would have curtailed the climate change which is a bigger threat to the human race than the World Wars.

 

If oral traditions are of any worth, the elderly people tell that they had never noticed such irregularities in the weather in the past. They tell stories of more snowfall each winter than we get now. They say summers were colder in the past. They warn us from their indigenous intuition not to encroach a riverbed or the territory of a stream because, they say, a river or stream will one day reclaim its territorial sovereignty.

 

Homo sapiens is a greedy specie, too. They add a greater value to land ownership. Land plays an even greater role in the lives of agrarian society. Its value becomes higher than the value of human life in many cases.

swatflood2010.jpgThis is common everywhere; and Swat is not on Mars either. If the people of Swat had learnt any lesson from the worst ever floods in the valley exactly seven years ago, they would have never reconstructed the huge barriers in the way of Swat Rivers and the tributaries which were washed away by that hair-raising and extremely unusual deluge in the valley on July 28 in 2010.

 

Exactly seven years ago, I saw the beautiful three-storeyed mosque, built on a rock at the junction of Swat River and the Daral stream in Bahrain, fall to the torrents. I saw trucks, buses and cars float on the water like paper toys. I saw the hotel opposite to the black rock in Bahrain fall like a feather, which was one of the few hotels of old Swat.

 

On the night prior to July 28, 2010, I was constantly in contact with people in the upper valleys of Kalam, Mankiyal, Utror, Kedam and Mitiltan.

 

There was one voice to everybody’s wailing. “Kalam fell”, “Mankiyal fell”, "Utror no more on earth”, “Chail Valley devastated”, so on and so forth.

 

Much havoc was done on the night of July 27. The remaining damage was done the next day. The beautiful and cleanest bazaar in Bahrain, often called the Mall Road by the locals, was deep in water, mud, sand and wood logs.

 

Soon after flood in 2010 in Swat, many humanitarian organizations rushed to this area and tried to provide basic relief to the affected people. Among state institutions Pakistan Army was on the forefront to rescue and relieve the people from this suffering. Pakistani soldiers not only saved the lives of stranded people but also provided them free rations, medical aid, timely evacuation, and later reconstructed the destroyed bridges and roads.

Seven years back, the deluge washed away the entire road from Utror to Fatehpur devastating the bazaars on the way to Kalam, Mankiyal, Bahrain and Madyan. Many villages in Utror, Kalam, Mankiyal, Bahrain, Madyan, Chail Valley and other fell to the floods. Almost all the bridges across the Swat River were washed away except a wooden bridge in Ayeen and a portion of the Red Bridge in Madyan. The side valleys of Chail, Daral, Gurnal, Kedam, Mankiyal, Ushu and Gabral, except that of Darolai and Ramet, also roared and brought huge piles of rubble of boulders, trees, shrubs, mud and sand which added to the torrent of the Swat River flowing in between high mountains.

 

The road from Fatehpur to Utror was about 75 kilometers which was completely destroyed by the floods. Almost all the bridges over the streams to villages across the Swat River were washed away. Only one bridge in Ayeen village was miraculously safe.

 

This meant people of these areas had to walk 70-100 kilometers in the rough terrain to get some food for their children from Chikri, a place where the road leaves the riverbank and runs among the orchards. Rations could be delivered to this place only as the main road of Swat was intact up to this place only. I myself was stuck at the house of a friend in Bahrain town because all the five bridges to my village across the river were no more.

 

As mentioned earlier that hilly streams roared everywhere except Darolai and Ramet. This is not because some saint or sage lived in these villages. The simple reason was that the people of these villages had stopped leasing their forests and pastures to grazers. Because of the embargo on grazing in these forests and pastures the seedlings grew into herbs, shrubs and trees covering the land which would become resistant to flash flooding.

On the morning of July 29, 2010, everybody in this 75 kilometers long valley and adjacent valleys found themselves helplessly stranded. Additionally, there were thousands of tourists stuck in Kalam, Bahrain and Madyan. They had taken refuge at the homes of the locals. Stocks of rations were soon finished as majority of bazaars were no more in existence.

 

A person from Utror had to walk for a full day to Chikri, a nearby village in Fatehpur, in order to get some food for his stranded family.

 

Many agrarian people have not given up the values of hospitality and caring. There were no roads and people from the faraway villages had to walk all this distance. There was scarcity of rations in every house but many people did not care about that and opened their Bethaks and Hujras for the wayfarers. In the village of Chikri the locals would treat these people warmly and with impressive care. The people of Madyan, Bahrain and other villages would bring food from their houses to the village mosques where most of the wayfarers would stay. This was the time when one fell greatly in love with his people. This spirit of sacrifice and care is symbol of Pakistani people and society.

 

No doubt this was a time of intense agony but we also saw proud examples of resilience, mutual help and support. This behaviour usually emerges in time of calamites and is greatly laudable. But our lack of understanding of risk reduction and disaster management leads to chaos during such natural disasters.

 

Soon after flood in 2010 in Swat, many humanitarian organizations rushed to this area and tried to provide basic relief to the affected people. Among state institutions Pakistan Army was on the forefront to rescue and relieve the people from this suffering. Pakistani soldiers not only saved the lives of stranded people but also provided them free rations, medical aid, timely evacuation, and later reconstructed the destroyed bridges and roads.

 

Afterwards many humanitarian organizations came to the area with their interventions on rehabilitation and the impressive strategies of ‘disaster risk reduction’. Along with them quite a number of international organizations started their rehabilitation work through their national implementing partners, IPs. They introduced strategies such as ‘cash for work’ and ‘food for work’. They would give cash or food to the villagers in return to their work of reconstruction of their destroyed pathways. Given the poor image of our people these strategies were fascinating but the counter impacts these ventures left on the people were of dependency and degeneration.

 

Among all these interventions the causes of the floods were never analysed. The locals would justify the havoc as wrath of Allah for their ‘sins’ whereas many opinion makers in the mainstream regarded it a certain geological conspiracy by the Americans.

 

As mentioned earlier that hilly streams roared everywhere except Darolai and Ramet. This is not because some saint or sage lived in these villages. The simple reason was that the people of these villages had stopped leasing their forests and pastures to grazers.  Because of the embargo on grazing in these forests and pastures, the seedlings grew into herbs, shrubs and trees covering the land which would become resistant to flash flooding. 

 

This area, sometimes referred to as Swat-Kohistan, is rich in precious forests and pastures. The local people usually lease these pastures to herders of sheep and goats. They graze their animals on these pastures and forests during summers. This causes irrevocable damage to the new and existing plants turning the pastures and forestlands into dust. The sustainable mitigation of the risk of floods in such areas is to grow more plants and protect the existing ones. 

 

After the floods we wished that the government would put some restriction on construction near the riverbeds and banks; or at least, the people would realize the risk. What we see is quite opposite. The people not only began to reconstruct their buildings but also encroached the riverbeds. The rehabilitation by the government was very slow. Schools and other public buildings destroyed by militants during the Swat insurgency were rebuilt but such buildings destroyed by the floods could not catch the eye of the government to date. The ruined road from Chikri to Bahrain was rebuilt but the 36 kilometers road beyond Bahrain is still in rubble causing scores of accidents each year. It is still that track which was made by Pakistan Army in 2011.

 

The writer is a journalist based in Swat.

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15
September

In many instances technology becomes a threat affecting human minds as at least some of their issues stem from experiences they have on social media. Terrorism in its advance manifestation is targetting educated youth, especially ISIS, and manipulating them with the ideals they portray in the guise of false religious obligations.


Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa while interacting with interns at ISPR urged them to be mindful and vigilant of hostile narratives on social media and to exercise prudence and deliberation in their choices."Educated youth is prime target of ISIS and affiliates, be extra cautious,” he said. The youth must be aware of their role as members of the society and avoid becoming a tool in advancing the political and religious agendas in the name of which terrorism is perpetrated. The terrorists run a protracted campaign of terrorism coupled with cyber and psychological warfare that includes targeting the youth through social media platforms. It is a timely and laudable initiative by the COAS as when we help our youth understand the reality of situations they are faced with, it validates their thoughts, and gives them the confidence and courage they need to stand up to evil they contend with. They must become part of the solution and not the victims of circumstance.


If aptly guided, our youth can truly be an asset as over 60% of our population is less than 25 years of age. There is a window of opportunity presented by the majority of youth entering their productive peak, and hence the potential to reap enormous benefits from ensuring that youth have the right opportunities, health, skills and social capital to contribute to growth productively. COAS said, “Pakistan is blessed with the most talented and vibrant youth, and the future of Pakistan belongs to them. I have full confidence and optimism that the youth will lead Pakistan to new era of peace and progress.” The COAS also urged the youth to have confidence in themselves, adhere to merit, follow rule of law, and not to look for shortcuts in life for success.


However, of immediate concern is the fact that Pakistan has to make investment in the youth now to create jobs quickly enough to absorb the large youth cohorts entering the workforce. Greater female turnout in the workforce in the recent years can either be turned into a tremendous asset; or a risk manifesting itself as a drain on growth and society rather than a dividend. Efforts are to be made to coordinate the development and implementation of the youth agenda through the creation of national youth policies to address needs of the youth. Pakistan must build on the successes and potential such as the resplendent intellectual achievements that have been made by the youth and correct the failures in order to provide them a merit based society with focus on growth.


In terms of providing safe and secure environment to our youth, COAS reiterated that Pakistan Army is committed to provide them a safe, secure and stable Pakistan and Pakistan Army is fully capable of meeting all internal and external challenges. COAS resolved and assured the youth as well as the nation that:“Pakistan Army has achieved great successes to rid the country of violence and terrorism. However for enduring peace, each one of us has to contribute our respective bit”.

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15
September

Written By: Zarrar Khuhro

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

Dispensing with the hyperbole, let’s take a close look at what Donald Trump’s new Afghan policy means for the region in general and Pakistan in particular. To begin with, calling it ‘new’ would be something of a misnomer as, in broad strokes, it is a continuation of past policies and the results are likely to be no different than what we have seen thus far – a continuation of the spiral of war, destabilization and recrimination. Even the difference in the rhetoric – which has gone from ‘do more’ to ‘no more’ – is in fact the logical culmination of existing trends in Washington’s approach towards Pakistan, which has seen a steady hardening over the years.  The U.S. assertion that it can and will target terrorists regardless of where they are based is also nothing new, as this has been standard U.S. policy for some time now.

 

So even if we ignore Trumps’ typical hardline language, the ‘new’ stance has been on the cards for some time now. However, it is important to note that while the Trump doctrine can indeed be considered as ‘more of the same’, it will in fact be a ramped up version of past practice.

 

Another central flaw in the ‘new’ Afghan strategy is that it ignores that the South Asia of 2017 is not the South Asia of 2001, or even of 2015: there are more players in Afghanistan now, and they all have their own interests and agendas. Even if Pakistan were to completely disassociate itself from Afghanistan, the Taliban problem will not go away

While in the past we have seen Washington taking a ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach… with defence and intelligence officials lambasting Pakistan and the State Department then taking a more conciliatory line, this time it’s more like ‘bad cop, worse cop,’ with the accusations being harsher and the State Department (already short-staffed to the point of dysfunction) not quite performing its traditionally diplomatic role.

 

What then can we expect to happen? For one thing,  an increase in drone strikes is highly likely to be on the cards, especially when you consider that Trump has already overseen on average one drone strike per day during his first 74 days in office (contrast that with Obama ordering a strike every 4-5 days while in office). It also cannot be ruled out that such strikes, or some other type of military action, may also  target few other locations, and a hint of this was found in General John Nicholson’s recent interview to Afghan media.

 

backtofuture.jpgAnother likelihood is that of actual ground incursions as occurred in Angoor Adda in September 2008, and this possibility becomes greater as soon as it becomes evident that the surge in troops in Afghanistan – reportedly to be no more than 4-5000 – will make little difference.

 

Writing in the Washington Post, an Afghan war veteran, Stephen Carlson writes: “Anyone who has been to Kunar or Helmand provinces knows that the equivalent of a badly understrength brigade is not a drop in a bucket so much as spit in a sieve.”

 

As U.S. frustration then increases, so do the chances of action on Pakistani territory. That the surge will not succeed is a foregone conclusion: the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan saw the Taliban crumble in the face of overwhelming U.S. airpower combined with the ground troops of the Northern Alliance. The war was considered won, prompting the U.S. to invade Iraq, which provided the Taliban with the chance to regroup and by mid-2008, George W. Bush sent in additional troops, taking the total deployment to 48,500. It didn’t work and the next year Obama was forced to continue the policy taking U.S. troop strength to around 68,000 – their highest level ever. This didn’t work either, and though the U.S. announced the end of combat operations in 2014, the sudden and swift Taliban assault on Kunduz the next year showed that the war was still very much a reality. For an investment of close to a trillion dollars (ironically the same sum that China plans to spend on the OBOR project) America has barely gained any dividends.

 

Earlier this year, the Trump administration sent a clear message of what its approach would be when it detonated a MOAB on Daesh positions in Afghanistan. This was an indication that the Trump doctrine would be more of the same, but with even less restraint than has been shown in the past. Much like Obama, Trump also initially opposed extending the war in Afghanistan, and like his predecessor, seems to have decided that the cost of complete withdrawal would be greater than the cost of remaining in the game.

 

Even the reasoning given mirrors that of Obama’s, that a withdrawal will create a vacuum that terrorists will fill.

 

The threat of sanctions and financial punishment being inflicted on Pakistan is a real one, and while this has been hinted at in the past, this time around National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton has categorically said that the U.S. could impose sanctions on Pakistani officials “who are tied to these kinds of groups, you know, in ways that they shouldn’t be.”

 

But this too is an amplification of past policy: As pointed out by Nadia Naviwala in a recent column in Dawn newspaper, “Then senator Carl Levin took the first step (towards cutting off aid) in 2015 when he successfully amended the law, requiring the United States to hold back military aid if Pakistan failed to take “sufficient action against the Haqqani network”, Amendments like this usually come from the house and go nowhere. If passed into law, they are neutered: the president can waive the requirement rather than make a determination. The Pressler Amendment fell in this category. It was waived year after year. But Levin Amendment cannot be waived. For Levin, then chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to take a hard line and succeed signalled that even sound minds in Washington are reaching for sticks instead of carrots.”

 

Naviwala also points out: “A few hundred million dollars isn’t much of a stick anymore. The China-Pakistan relationship is now worth $110 bn, with around $4 bn expected this year. And those billions come easy.” Nonetheless, the impact of U.S. pressure on international financial institutions cannot be dismissed lightly.

 

There are certain ground realities that cannot be altered, however. Talking in terms of logistical support for U.S. forces, Afghan expert and former U.S. official Barnett Rubin notes: “No matter how great President Donald Trump makes America, he cannot win the war on geography.” While the Northern Distribution Network (which re-supplied Afghanistan through the Central Asian Republics) was set up as an alternate resupply route for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, that route has now been closed, in some part due to U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine. This leaves little alternative to using the Pakistani route, making a complete breakdown in relations unlikely.

 

Another central flaw in the ‘new’ Afghan strategy is that it ignores that the South Asia of 2017 is not the South Asia of 2001, or even of 2015: there are more players in Afghanistan now, and they all have their own interests and agendas. Even if Pakistan were to completely disassociate itself from Afghanistan, the Taliban problem will not go away.

 

The Washington Post made exactly this point when, following Trumps’ speech, it ran a story titled: “Three countries undermining Afghanistan progress that President Trump didn’t call out,” and pointing to the involvement of Iran, Russia and China.

 

While Iran has traditionally been opposed to the hardline Taliban, even nearly going to war against them in 1998, the changing strategic calculus has also caused a change in Iranian policy towards the Taliban. The Taliban, looking to gain support from any quarter, have also proved responsive and both parties seem to have decided that there is room for cooperation against the U.S., at least in the short-term. These links, while often alluded to by Afghanistan watchers, came to the fore after the death of Mullah Mansour in a drone strike near Noshki, when a passport belonging to Mullah Mansour (issued in the name of Wali Muhammad) was found to contain immigration stamps showing it had been used to enter Iran some months prior, and also that he returned via the border crossing of Taftan. Carlotta Gall, among others, has published detailed stories  highlighting Iran’s growing Taliban links, and the above referred story makes for interesting reading indeed. Gall quotes several Afghan officials who allege that the October 2016 Taliban assault of the western Farah province had Iranian backing, and was guided by Iranian military personnel. Afghan intelligence officials alleged that the Taliban who assaulted Farah were trained and recruited in Iran and that the dead and wounded were taken back across the border.

 

Muhamad Arif Shah Jehan, a senior intelligence official who recently took over as the governor of Farah province told the New York Times, “The regional politics have changed… the strongest Taliban here are Iranian Taliban.” Their support to the Taliban does not seem to be focused on achieving their victory, but is more of an attempt to keep Kabul destabilized, maintain a proxy force, stymie U.S. interests in the region, maintain a check on Saudi influence and also to curb the advances of Daesh. What is certain, though, is that the regional situation points towards more, and not less, such interference in this theatre.

 

Similarly, Russia – which was recently accused by Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson of providing arms to the Taliban – also has growing stakes in Afghanistan though one can argue that the presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is in fact an advantage for Russia, which thus avoids direct entanglement with a country that it has had a bitter past experience in.

 

China, for its part, does not maintain a military presence in Afghanistan as such, but has increasing economic stakes in the country, which it is matching with diplomatic outreach. For China’s One Belt, One Road project to succeed regional peace is required and the U.S. policy in Afghanistan does not seem a step towards ensuring that peace.

 

And that is because the strategy makes no mention of the concerns of neighbouring states and is not (as yet) matched by any kind of complementary diplomatic outreach. Indeed, it seems to be a step towards pitting South Asian states into a strategic competition, as is evidenced by the appeal to India to take a larger role in Afghanistan. While this can be seen as a threat aimed at making Pakistan fall in line, the likely effect is to feed Pakistan’s strategic anxieties, achieving an entirely opposite result. Given the state of relations between India and China – strategic rivalry at best and confrontation at worst – the appeal to India is also being seen as a challenge by Beijing in the constant flanking movement it is engaged in with its Asian neighbour.

 

Interestingly, this call has not caused the expected paroxysms of joy in New Delhi and perhaps one reason for the relative caution being displayed is the wording of Trumps’ appeal to India: “We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States – and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.”

 

This mirrors the kind of language Trump has used with others, far older American allies. In March this year, the U.S. president arrived in Brussels and lambasted NATO allies for “not paying what they should be paying and what they're supposed to be paying for their defence." Similar language was used for Saudi Arabia, when in April this year Trump said: "Frankly, Saudi Arabia has not treated us fairly, because we are losing a tremendous amount of money in defending Saudi Arabia.”

 

While this sort of rhetoric is tame by Trump standards, it’s not exactly the sort of thing that translates into effective diplomacy or coalition-building.

 

Yet the beginnings of a coalition can be seen, although this is more of nations opposed to U.S. policy in the region and beyond. This is evidenced by the kind of statements that have come from both Russia and China on this issue, and the ways in which their own strategic interests versus those of the U.S. and its allies. Thus far, Pakistan’s response has been uncharacteristically robust, with both civilian and military leadership being found on the near-mythic ‘same page’. Diplomatically, postponing the visit of Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells, acts as a public rebuke but cannot be the basis for sound policy. If it is grandstanding, it must also be matched with tangible contacts with the Trump administration and the various branches of American polity. However, one is not optimistic about the dividends this will bring, given the chaotic nature of the Trump administration and the antipathy towards Pakistan in Washington policy circles.

 

Instead, the single greatest impact of the Trump doctrine will be to speed up the formation of already emerging networks of alliances and groupings: apart from having the obvious result of pushing Pakistan even further into the China camp, it also sets the stage for a wider clash between Chinese and Indian interests, should the latter take Trumps’ bait. While Russia is playing a balancing game on the sidelines, its general strategic policy is not at all aligned with that of the U.S.

 

The importance of these two nations to the Pakistani position was highlighted when it was announced that Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif would visit China and Russia prior to visiting the U.S., and one hopes that this kind of strategic outreach is maintained proactively and that Pakistan’s foreign policy does not fall back into the anemic and reactive patterns of the past.

 

I would argue that a similar, if less high-profile outreach is also needed with Iran though this will  naturally have to be balanced against our relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States which are engaged in a confrontation with Tehran in the greater Middle East. Nevertheless, this may be something that the good offices of Turkey can be useful in, given the recent visit to Ankara of the Iranian military chief. Foreign relations are all about flexibility, and this is a lesson we ignore at our peril.

 

The Trump speech, while not actualized into policy just yet, is certainly a threat but also an opportunity to set our house in order. Flaws in foreign policy must be addressed to the best of our ability. Finally, Pakistani policy-making can and must be made inclusive and as broad-based as possible to be able to adapt to the multi-dimensional needs of the world we live in.

 

The writer has worked extensively in Pakistan's print and electronic media and is currently hosting a talk show on a private TV Channel.

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backtofuture1.jpg

No other country has more interest for peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan. More than financial or material assistance, we seek acknowledgement of our contributions and sacrifices, and understanding of our challenges.

 
15
September

Written By: Squadron Leader Usama Tassawar


“For the people on ground, if they want to know how exactly the life of a Sherdil inside a cockpit is; It’s a tight rope walk with blindfolds on. It is an absolute trust on members and they, in turn, trust the leader blindly even to doors of heaven or hell!”

Defining Sherdils

Precision, brinkmanship, sharp reflexes and alertness! Blend all of them together with synchronized harmony achieved through grueling training, spirit of teamwork and you have just defined: The Sherdils. Sherdils are the selected group of instructor pilots who belong to Advance Jet Training Squadron of PAF Academy, Asghar Khan. From the first call of ‘Pull- up’ to ‘Bomb Burst’, the Sherdils’ Ride is jaw-dropping; it leaves the viewers enthralled for  those  eight  minutes, no witnessing eye can afford to look away lest it misses out the splendid color-filled Sherdils’ sequence. To put an analogy in perspective, the Sherdils’ display is a formation aerobatics display, well-choreographed to milliseconds and rehearsed to perfection – where movement of the whole appears as one. The only difference is that Sherdils are meticulously matching their steps: maintaining a wing-to-wing distance of only 3 meters, at a speed of over 600 kilometers per hour in an environment of upto 6-Gs (under a gravitational force five times normal weight). That’s the finest blend of pilotability, guts, and passion seamlessly fused with aesthetics that you can't find anywhere in the world.

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Sherdils’ Legacy

The idea of formation aerobatics in PAF Academy was the brainchild of a flying instructor, Squadron  Leader  Bahar-ul-Haq,  back  in  early  70s.  After  months  of  trials and practices, a four-ship team of T-37 aircraft (nicknamed as Tweety-Bird) performed historically – first-ever aerobatics’ sequence over the skies of PAF Academy on August 17, 1972.

 

It is interesting to note that the team did not own its present name from the onset. In fact, it performed for 2 years with call-sign of its formation leader. It was entitled to the appellation – The Sherdils’ – on September 19, 1974.

 

From these humble beginnings, the Sherdils legend was born. Tweety-Bird served Sherdils for 37 years. In these four decades, it performed on various national occasions like Academy Graduation Parades, heads-of-state visits, Pakistan Day and Defence Day celebrations. Internationally, it performed in Dubai Airshow in 2007.

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In late 90s, PAF Academy had inducted the modern K-8P aircraft for jet training; in parallel to old T-37s. With the turn of the century, the idea emerged to trade T-37 with K-8P for the Sherdils’ team. The idea went through deliberation and rigorous test flights and trials.

 

In 2009, Sherdils were hurtled into the future when K-8P replaced the T-37 as the premier choice of aircraft for performing Sherdils. 

 

 

Building Upon the Legacy

Since the baton has been passed to K-8P, new chapters of splendid glory and saga of success have been added to Sherdils' resumé. Owing to K-8s bigger size, faster speed and  enhanced  agility,  the  Sherdils’  performance  looks  even  more  eye-catching and breath-taking.

 

Those few minutes are like an unforgettable treat to watch for the viewers. For the guy sitting inside the cockpit; however, the time virtually feels like an eternity. Over the years, a lot has changed in the Sherdils from display point of view; from four-ship to six-ship and now to nine-ship formation performance. Additionally, the concept of Singleton and Paired High Speed Aerobatics display coupled within the main six-ship formation display.

 

The only thing that has not changed is the professional acumen and relentless training of Sherdils' Team members. In words of the Officer Commanding Advanced Jet Training Squadron and Sherdils’ Team Leader, Wing Commander Khalid Matin:

 

Becoming a Sherdil

As pleasing as it might look from the outside, it is equally nerve-racking from the inside. Then what is the spell that Sherdils cast upon others, which makes it all happen so flawlessly without much effort? That’s where the tenacious Sherdils’ training comes in.

 

Becoming a Sherdils’ member is no easy task. In simple words, it’s not a territory meant for the faint-hearted. It requires what Sherdils’ crew room saying quotes: “Wits of a Warrior and Guts of a Gladiator”. Sherdils are selected fighter pilots from various PAF operational fighter backgrounds, having an experience of atleast a thousand hours on various fast jets. They meet stringent criteria to qualify for Sherdils’ team before the commencement of formal Sherdils’ training spanning over several months. The training goes by a step-up approach where basic level of two-ship formation is achieved for the sequence.

 

The intermediate level includes four-ship and six-ship training. All this is well-practiced at higher altitudes. As the proficiency of under training member increases, the altitude is lowered, finally down to the deck of 500 feet above ground level. An under training Sherdils’ member, Squadron Leader Usama narrates his experience in the following words:

 

“With more than 500 hours experience on K-8P, I assumed I had mastered this machine. My delusion was fractured on the very first training sortie of Sherdils. I realized that despite immense experience on K-8P, my acumen to sit in a real Sherdils’ sequence, if gauged on a scale of 1 to 10, was not even 1.”

 

Within Pakistan, Sherdils have become a symbol of national pride and cohesion. They wear their laurels well and display their proud tradition across the skies of the world. Sherdils are playing a role of ambassadors, not only of PAF, but of Pakistan itself.

 

The Sherdils’ Sequence
Sherdils’ sequence comprises basic maneuvers that every Fighter Pilot learns during his training. Performing these maneuvers as a singleton is challenging, but performing in a tight formation is a much daunting task.


The sequence begins with an initial run-in of entire 9-ship formation at over 600 kph maintaining an altitude of 500 feet AGL. As they reach the show center, on the pull-up call of leader front 6-ship pulls up for a loop whereas the rear 3-ship (Sherdil 7, 8 & 9) perform a lateral bomb burst.


As the 6-ship finish the loop and adjust for a wing over towards left side, Sherdil 8 & 9 appear at high speed charging in towards the venue at combined speed of 1000 kph. They criss-cross each other, head-on and perform a high-g turn known as carousel. After 8 & 9 clear off, 6-ship performs a parallel loop over the show center.


As the main complement exits the venue established into a steep turn to right side, Sherdil 7 makes a sneaky entry from behind the show center at 600 kph and performs a dare-devil maneuver called the tail-slide.


As Sherdil 7 finishes, the 6-ship again runs in for a barrel roll (perhaps the most difficult maneuver to perform in a formation).


As the barrel finishes, Sherdil 8 & 9 are seen dashing in towards the show center at 600 kph and 500 feet. They perform a ‘Shaheen-Break’ right overhead the show center.


This is followed by the 6-ship running in towards the show center and performing the last and arguably the most spectacular Sherdil maneuver, the Bomb Burst Loop.

 

International Appearance and Acclamation
Within Pakistan, Sherdils have become a symbol of national pride and cohesion. They wear their laurels well and display their proud tradition across the skies of the world. Sherdils are playing a role of ambassadors, not only of PAF, but of Pakistan itself.


Their yeoman service has won millions of hearts across the region. They have performed in Dubai Air Show in UAE, Zhuhai Air-Show China and Exercise ‘North Thunder’ in Saudi-Arabia.


Under the command of present Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman NI(M), PAF is expanding its international ties, Sherdils are expected to perform at well-lauded international exhibitions in 2017 as well.

Sherdils’ Team for the Year 2017

wingcomnakhalid.jpgWing Commander Matin hails from the city of Lahore. He completed his schooling from Beaconhouse Public School before joining the Government FC College Lahore. He was commissioned in the GD(P) Branch of PAF in May 1998. He is an experienced fighter pilot with over 3400 hours on various combat and combat training aircraft.

 

From 2008 till 2011, he served as Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander (Operations) at Advanced Jet Training Squadron. As Sherdils converted from T-37 to K-8P aircraft in 2009, he was selected as the pioneer ‘slot’ member of first-ever K-8P four-ship Sherdils’ team. In 2010, the then Squadron Leader Matin became the Leader of 9-ship Sherdils’ team which he continued to lead till end of his tenure in 2011. Besides leading Sherdils’ on various national events, he led the team on Sherdils’ first-ever international debut, Zhuhai Air-Show China in 2010. Wing Commander Matin is now the Commanding Officer of Advanced Jet Training Squadron with a unique and prestigious opportunity to lead Sherdils’ team for the second time.

 
sqleadermali.jpgSquadron Leader Muhammad Ali Ghous belongs to Layyah, a city in Southern Punjab. He got his education from PAF College Lower Topa. He was commissioned in PAF in November 2007. Before joining the ranks of Sherdils’ he has flown FT-6, A-5 and Mirage fighter aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 500 hours on K-8 aircraft.
 
qlleadermaqeel.jpgSquadron Leader Mirza Aqeel is from Lahore. He received his education from Fazaia Inter College Minhas Kamra. He was commissioned in PAF on March 2008. Before joining the Sherdils he has flown F-7P and F7-PG fighter aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 700 hours on K-8 aircraft.
 
waheedzafar.jpgSquadron Leader Waheed Zaffar belongs to Peshawar. He got his initial education from FG Public School Peshawar and PAF College Sargodha. He was commissioned in PAF in March 2006, he has flown F-16 and F-7P aircraft, apart from K-8 and Super Mushshak. He is a qualified flying instructor with 600 hours on K-8P aircraft.
 
shoaibahsan.jpgSquadron Leader Shoaib Ahsan Babri belongs to the historic city of Lahore. He got his initial education from Lahore and PAF College Lower Topa. He was commissioned in PAF in March 2007. Before joining the Sherdils he had a fighter flying experience of over 550 hours on F-7P and Mirage aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 1200 hours of experience on K-8 aircraft.
 
sqsyedfahad.jpgSquadron Leader Syed Fahad Babar Gillani belongs to Lahore. He got his education from St. Anthony’s High School and Government College Lahore. He was commissioned in PAF in September 2006. Before joining the Sherdils he has flown F-7P and Mirage fighter aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 680 hours on K-8 aircraft.
 
sqtaimurnawaz.jpgSquadron Leader Taimur Nawaz Khan hails from Mardan. He got his education at Army Public Schools and Colleges. He was commissioned in 2006 and has over 900 hours on F-7P. He was an instructor at an F-7P OCU. At present he is a qualified flying instructor with 750 hours on K-8 aircraft. He is with the team since 2015 and has flown Sherdils’ as No. 4 and 7. He was Sherdils’ team leader in exercise ‘Northern Thunder’ 2016 in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan Day Parade 2016. At present he is one of the solo display pilots and the deputy leader for the team.
 
squsman.jpgSquadron Leader Usman Taufiq belongs to Lahore. He got his education from Government College Lahore. He was commissioned in PAF on September 2006. Before joining the Sherdils he has flown F-7P fighter aircraft. He is a qualified flying instructor with more than 500 hours on K-8 aircraft.
 
sqfarhan.jpgSquadron Leader Farhan Rana belongs to Mansehra. He got his education from PAF College Sargodha. He was commissioned in 2005 and has flown F-7P, FT-6 and A-5 fighter aircraft for 1000 hours. He has been an instructor at F-7P Operational Conversion Unit. He is a qualified flying instructor with 500 hours of experience on K-8 aircraft. At present he is one of the solo display pilots.
 

Millions of people have witnessed the Sherdils’ demonstrations and they’ve seen the pride, professionalism and dedication of this selected group of pilots and maintenance team serving Pakistan Air Force. Sherdils’ are a manifestation of the fine qualities that a fighter pilot possesses: crisp handling, perfect timing, audacity, team work and leadership.

 

People may differ in their views or pre-supposition about what they thought Sherdils are about, before they had witnessed them. However, once they see them perform, they leave impressed and unanimous on one fact, From the first call of ‘Pull-up’ to ‘Bomb-Burst’, the Sherdils’ Ride is jaw-dropping. It leaves the viewers enthralled and for those few minutes, no witnessing eye can afford to blink lest it misses out even an iota of the splendid color-filled Sherdils’ sequence. Witnessing Sherdils’ is enchanting and incredible. It has a magical charm that throws men into a state of boyish excitement and they yearn to see it all over again, one more time.

 
15
September

Written By: Nadeem F. Paracha


Ever since Pakistan’s war with India in 1965, highly polarizing debates have continued to erupt concerning the nature and result of the conflict. On the one side are those who claim that Pakistan won the war, while on the other side are those who suggest otherwise.

 

However, we now have enough academic and anecdotal sources to convincingly conclude the following: After making initial gains, the Pakistan Armed Forces were suddenly left high and dry when its ally the United States decided to impose military sanctions on both the countries. The sanctions had a harsher impact on Pakistan’s war effort because of its closer military and economic proximity to the U.S. The conflict ended in a stalemate; however, being defender a stalemate is equal to a moral victory for the defender.

 

spirithavingflow.jpgWhat has gone missing over the years is the core raison d'être behind celebrating September 6 as Pakistan’s Defence Day. It has very little to do with what takes place in the aforementioned debates on the conflict. Truth is, it was declared a special day mainly to celebrate the kind of spirit that was exhibited by the Armed Forces and civilians of Pakistan during the war – especially after an all-out attack by the Indian military on Lahore was repulsed on September 6, 1965.

 

Academic sources and eyewitness accounts which appeared after the attack show the Indian military crossing the Pakistan-India border on the western front under Major General Prasad and reaching the BRB Canal east of Lahore. Here, the Pakistani military successfully waylaid the invaders and pushed them back. The Major General had to flee the scene in his military jeep.

 

The Indian military tried again and this time after using a bridge near the village of Barki, it began its charge towards the centre of Lahore. A cousin of my late paternal grandfather who was in Lahore at the time used to tell us that when word got out that the Indian soldiers were about to enter Lahore, hundreds of civilians from almost all classes poured out from their homes to help the Pakistani combatants fight back the invasion.

 

Never again would Pakistanis unite in such a spirited manner as in September 1965 – even though we have often seen similar spirit emerging during crucial sporting events, formerly during hockey games and now during cricket matches.

Whenever I come across a debate on the 1965 War, I am surprised by the manner in which both the poles completely ignore the real essence of September 6. This essence was about the kind of resolve and spirit the Armed Forces and people of Pakistan exhibited when they challenged a much larger army without the fear of being overwhelmed.

My mother still remembers how when Radio Pakistan briefly reported the attack, my parents, grandparents and uncles ran up to the rooftop of our house in Karachi. Once there, they saw that the whole neighborhood had come out. Some had gathered in a nearby park and some, like my parents and grandparents, were standing on the roofs of their respective homes and apartment blocks.

 

Many years after I was born, I asked my parents what they were trying to achieve by coming out in Karachi when the attack was taking place in Lahore. My mother told me that it was an instinctive reaction. They felt they had to come out to exhibit their solidarity with the people of Lahore and Pakistan Armed Forces.

 

As the Indian military was making futile efforts to advance towards Lahore, embassies of various countries began to draw up emergency plans to evacuate their countries’ citizens from Lahore. In 2004 I met a Dutch man during a visit to the Netherlands whose father was posted in Lahore at the time. The father was working for a European petroleum company in the city.

 

spirithavingflow1.jpgHe told me that his father received a call from a Dutch deputation in Karachi asking him to reach any European or U.S. government outpost in Lahore for possible evacuation. The father obliged and began to drive towards a European embassy which was just a few kilometers from his house. However, what was supposed to be a short drive, turned into a much longer one because the roads and streets were jammed by people on foot, motorbikes and cars. It was as if everyone was trying to make their way to the border to fight the Indians.

 

The father did manage to reach the embassy. After waiting there for many hours, he was finally told by the embassy staff that the evacuation plans have been dropped. This happened because Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force successfully pushed back the Indian military, making the foreign embassies withdraw their evacuation advisories.

 

Never again would Pakistanis unite in such a spirited manner as in September 1965 – even though we have often seen similar spirit emerging during crucial sporting events, formerly during hockey games and now during cricket matches.

 

Whenever I come across a debate on the 1965 War, I am surprised by the manner in which both the poles completely ignore the real essence of September 6. This essence was about the kind of resolve and spirit the Armed Forces and people of Pakistan exhibited when they challenged a much larger army without the fear of being overwhelmed.

 

Pakistan was a developing country, just 18 years old when the 1965 war erupted. But compared to where it would begin to go after the war, it was a rapidly evolving nation-state and one of the most promising countries in the region. This is why so many Pakistanis came out to defend it in 1965 and why its Armed Forces displayed such valour.

Recently, while conducting research for my forthcoming third book I ventured towards a question: what made the people behave in such a selfless and bold manner during that war? After going through dozens of quotes and eyewitness accounts printed in newspapers and books, I came to the conclusion that Pakistanis at the time saw the Indian attack as an attack on their way of life.

 

They had some very good reasons to do this. In the early and mid-1960s, Pakistan’s economic growth rate was almost 6%; GDP growth rate was 7% (one of the highest in the region at the time); and its manufacturing growth was 10% of GDP. Inflation remained in check.

 

State, private and foreign investments witnessed a massive increase, triggering rapid industrialization, creating white and blue-collar jobs, the initial formation of a Pakistani urban middle-class and a manifold increase in the demand for higher education. Compared to the late 1950s, the net foreign inflow trebled to about 7% of GDP.

 

Mechanization, introduction of more effective pesticides and high-yield grain in agriculture and some land reform had begun to greatly benefit classes based in the country’s rural areas as well.

 

Socially it was a tolerant time. Religious and sectarian tensions were minimal and aggressively discouraged and subdued. And though ethnic tussles were more prominent, they were countered with equal zeal.

 

The tourism industry had begun to take shape and so had Pakistan’s film industry. Pakistanis with more liberal tastes in recreational activities conveniently co-existed with those with more conservative palates.

 

This was no Utopia. Pakistan was a developing country, just 18 years old when the 1965 war erupted. But compared to where it would begin to go after the war, it was a rapidly evolving nation-state and one of the most promising countries in the region. This is why so many Pakistanis came out to defend it in 1965 and why its Armed Forces displayed such valour.

 

There is a lesson for us all in the now elapsed spirit of this day. Nations need some very solid reasons to exhibit the kind of spirit in discussion here. These reasons have to enhance their economic and social sense of wellbeing and then safeguard it. The Ayub Khan regime provided these reasons.

 

I am a committed democrat, but I never have shied away from proclaiming that to me, Field Marshal Ayub Khan, was one of the most focused visionaries to become head of state of this country. At least till 1965, Ayub was able to largely materialize what he envisioned. This is exactly why as Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Armed Forces during the 1965 war, he enjoyed overwhelming support and outpouring of genuine patriotism. A patriotism that had nothing to do with hollow sloganeering; or the myopic idea of nationalism which has now become the unfortunate hallmark of our polity.

 

The writer is a Pakistani journalist, cultural critic and satirist. He is the author of a detailed book on Pakistan’s ideological, political & social history, called ‘End of the Past.’

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15
September

Written By: Sadia Sattar


"After the 17 minutes of devastating attacks, we were low on fuel, which I had expected; 250 miles from our base at Peshawar.

We knew this once we were strafing the Indians. But the mission of destroying the Indians was of great strategic importance, and for that I and my pilots took maximum risk. We had been able to destroy Indian forces advancing to capture Lahore. We destroyed their tanks, guns, infantry and other war equipment. India’s war plans had been shattered on the very first day of 1965 war. Consequently, I told my warriors that we would recover at Sargodha base to refuel and hopefully re-arm. But fate had other plans for No.19 Squadron. Fighters from Sargodha continued the destruction of enemy for rest of the war.”

At the age of 86 the spark in his eyes and the determination in his voice, love for the motherland, from Pakistan’s first sunrise till this moment, reflected in every gesture and ardent will to serve Pakistan in every possible way was charismatically mesmerizing. The interview started with 1965 War's most debilitating and decisive Pathankot Strike and goosebumps could already be felt as the original narrative was pouring from the horse's mouth himself; the legendary, professionally adept and spirited Nosey Haider as he is fondly  known, Air Commodore (R) Sajad Haider, Sitara-e-Jurat, the war hero who was leading the Sherdils of No.19 Squadron gave incapacitating drubbing to Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) with his professional brilliance, precision and through the indomitable spirit and dauntless patriotism of falcons under his command. During the course of conversation, Air Commodore also came out with this revealing opinion that besides Pathankot’s historic strike, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) struck a devastating and decisive blow to Indian 15th Division’s juggernaut’s blitzkrieg towards Lahore on the morning of September 6. According to him, at Wagah the fierce wall of resistance by the handful of Pakistan Army’s gallant troops which were sparsely deployed and the timely PAF action which averted the capture of Lahore, has not been perceived by the concerned and media in its enormity that how Lahore was perilously threatened. Neither this crucial event merited in Pakistan’s historical war accounts of 1965 War. However, since Indian invaders suffered a collapse due to aggressive battle by our troops and air strike by No. 19 Squadron, it virtually changed the course of war by halting Indian forces’ advance towards Lahore as per their planning. Ironically, the Indian top military commanders of Western Front have unabashedly admitted with accolades of this bold war mission by PAF pilots. Recalling the Wagah Strike, Air Commodore (then Squadron Leader) Sajad Haider who led the attack shared details as:

 theeagleruled.jpg“Number 19 Squadron (Sherdils – war call-sign was Zambos) that I had the good luck to command was assigned the mission to destroy Indian artillery that was deployed across the Jassar Bridge in the Sialkot-Shakargarh Sector. One of our infantry battalion was under intense pressure and had suffered casualties as it was being directly targeted by Indian artillery guns. Significantly, in those times there was no precision guided amunition (smart bombs etc.) or modern Navigational Attack Systems to guarantee accuracy and precision in weapons delivery. All had to be done by the pilot through intricate estimation techniques. From precise navigation to arriving at the exact target location was achieved by simple map and watch. The weapon delivery was equally demanding. On that morning as we neared our assigned aircraft, I was disconcerted to see 5 inch rockets loaded instead of 2.75 inch that we had been using all along. This changed the firing parameters drastically but there was ‘not to question why’ situation and I had to swiftly devise firing profile for firing those 5 inch rockets. In consultation with my deputy it was decided to fire at very low angles and as we say ‘when you see the whites of thy enemy’s eyes.’ That was a bit dangerous but then in war things are not always done according to the peace time Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). As the leader I had to make the hard choice how best to demolish the assigned target. The tactical plan was that once we were near the Initial Point (I.P.) from target area, we would descend steeply to 50-100 feet above ground,  at tree top level, avoiding communication lines so as to disappear from Indian radars at Amritsar. That momentous morning at 9:15 a.m. hours, as we were just a few minutes away from the target area I was called by the Air Defence Commander and instructed that the C-in-C had ordered to abandon the assigned mission and immediately divert towards Attari village near Lahore and ‘search and destroy’ Indian invaders advancing rapidly towards the city of Lahore.

 

After the war we learnt that Indian high command was fully confident to capture Lahore on the same day trusting the element of surprise and superiority of numbers and weapons. Indian General Chaudhry was so confident that he even had invited many journalists including the famous BBC journalist, Mark Tully for a ‘Victory Reception’ in Lahore Gymkhana arrogating to himself the capture of the Heart of Pakistan.

 

It was tryst with destiny when F-86’s of No. 19 Squadron, trained as second-to-none, led by the most irrepressible and skilled Squadron Leader Sajad Haider were to make war history. Waving over the GT Road, between Amritsar and BRB canal they were to demolish and teach the enemy lesson of the lifetime.

 

Air Commodore Sajad Haider continued...

"What actually happened in our air strike at Wagah is unabashedly and factually recounted by none other than Indians themselves." To interpolate their accounts a few names and their acknowledgements below make incredible reading:

 

 theeagleruled1.jpgGeneral Harbakhsh Singh, GOC-in-C of the Western Command, (War Despatches), his Chief of Staff, Major General Jogindar Singh, (Behind the Scene), Lachhman Singh (Missed Opportunities) and importantly Colonel Desmond Hyde, leading the blitz against Lahore recall the devastation caused by the 19 Squadron attackers followed by fighters from Sargodha. Their comments are indelibly validated by award winning historians Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra, in these words: “No.19 Squadron from Peshawar, led by Squadron Leader S.S. (Nosey) Haider, flew a six aircraft strike mission at 9:30 a.m. hours against the leading elements of Indian army thrust towards Lahore. The leading battalion of the Division, 3 Jat Regiment, led by Col Desmond Hyde had its columns strafed and rocketed by PAF Sabres. The unit lost all its RCL guns in the attack. A troop of Sherman Tanks sent to support Hyde’s battalion was attacked from the air and incapacitated. Sabres (from Sargodha) returned and napalmed the troops through the afternoon.”

 

Major General Lachhman Singh mentions in his book Missed Opportunities, "It was about 9:30 a.m. and the enemy aircraft shot up every vehicle for about 15 minutes undeterred by fire from our troops.”

 

Similarly, 38 Brigade on the G.T. Road behind 54 Brigade lost vehicles and men due to the PAF’s deadliest air strike. The Command and Communication Headquarters were destroyed. The drubbing by Pakistan Air Force of the Indian Army dreaming to have ‘cocktails’ in Lahore Gymkhana was deeply buried in the exploding tanks full of ammunition, the RCL guns and ammunition carrying vehicles. There was dark smoke and flames billowing on both sides of G.T. Road, right up to the BRB canal.  Incontrovertibly, this strike changed the course of war by shattering Indians’ war plans on the very first day of the war. Pakistan’s 10 Division war diary and a monument near Wagah testifies the attack.

 

Air Commodore Sajad Haider mused, quoting from the Indian General’s diaries: “The C.O. of 54 Brigade retreated after the rout, (inflicted with first strike by 19 Squadron but relentlessly followed by Sargodha fighter squadrons), the brigade commander with just one sock and one shoe was found  on a bicycle  heading towards Amritsar. His 2nd-in-Command had been killed. Major General Lachhman Singh reportedly had said, "The Commanding Officer of the Indian 15 Division, General Narendra Prashad was caught in sugarcane fields on a bicycle heading for Amritsar. When presented before the GOC-in-C, he was taunted,‘Are you a General or a chaprasi.’ His cowardice and that of another two senior officers is proven as they were court-martialed and dismissed from the military service. Not long ago the famed historian Pushpindar Singh messaged me to inform that it was Major General Narendra Parshad whose flag jeep was hit by me at Wagah on the morning of September 6, 1965. He said it had been recently refurbished for Indian Museum. Sajad Haider ended the Wagah episode thus:

 theeagleruled2.jpg

 "After the 17 minutes of devastating attacks, we were low on fuel, which I had expected; 250 miles from our base at Peshawar.

 

We knew this once we were strafing the Indians. But the mission of destroying the Indians was of great strategic importance, and for that I and my pilots took maximum risk. We had been able to destroy Indian forces advancing to capture Lahore. We destroyed their tanks, guns, infantry and other war equipment. Indian war plan had been shattered on the very first day of 1965 war. Consequently, I told my warriors that we would recover at Sargodha base to refuel and hopefully re-arm. But fate had other plans for No.19 Squadron. Fighters from Sargodha continued the destruction of enemy for rest of the war.”

 

Mesmerized by his narration of Wagah Strike, I felt proud of those fearless pilots from Peshawar and Sargodha in the skies and soldiers on ground that ruthlessly fought the Indian Army and pushed them back to lick the deep wounds in perpetuity. The clock was ticking fast, I wanted to know more of Wagah Strike but I postponed it for some next occasion. I then asked this daring Falcon, who is getting older as years fly past him, yet his spirit and demeanor does not reflect it, as to how that fantastic counter air operations mission was accomplished with such dexterity at Pathankot that makes the Indians still edgy while remembering the aircraft ablaze on their base?     

 

Sajad Haider who holds that ‘life is not counting the years but the life one has put into the years’ reminisced: “After the Wagah Strike, we landed back at Sargodha. There was that natural rapture as we recounted the scenes of routing Indian advancing columns to our comrades remaining behind.  I felt elated at the spectacular shooting by the pilots and importantly a ‘Thank You Allah’ for returning unscathed. There was a call from the C-in-C, Air Marshal Nur Khan who asked about mission details. His encouraging words were like a shot in the arm. I suggested with humble restraint to use bombing against the Indian juggernaut.”

 

It was around 12 o’clock when our Station Commander came rushing inside our bunker. He handed me a Flash Top Secret signal.  It read something like: “No.19 Squadron to strike IAF airfield at Pathankot with 8 aircraft. Guns only. Destroy aircraft on the ground. Light Anti-Aircraft.” I looked back in surprise and bit of consternation at the Commanding Officer and asked, “But Sir, our target assigned by Air Marshal Asghar Khan earlier in June was Ambala, and you know we have been training day and night for 2 months for Ambala as target. Where on earth is Pathankot?” He said it was east of Shakargarh. Not being sure about the location and layout I asked the Commanding Officer to kindly get us a photo of the airfield in order to brief the formation. To arrive precisely at the altered target, we needed to carry out thorough planning. A lot of calculation had to be done to reach the target and a photograph of the airfield layout for allocation of precise targets to each formation member was imperative. We could not loiter around looking for the airfield and then deciding who targets what. In highly defended target systems with anti-aircraft weapons and enemy interceptors in combat air petrol, attackers are extremely vulnerable, as the tragedy at Halwara proved the point. No photo of the airfield was made available. Thus my briefing for the strike was simple, but ad hoc as we had to figure it all out once we arrived at the target.”

 

"At Pathankot, we arrived dead on estimated time, with 8 aircraft formation, two as top cover. Six of the pilots having done two sorties already, including recovery from Sargodha. We were 257 miles away and the combat operational range of F-86 was 180 or so miles.”

 

Sajad Haider in his customary humility continued: "Now, when people read about Pathankot Strike or Wagah Strike, usually my name appears, which is unfair and causes me disquiet.  The destruction of advancing Indians towards Lahore and the deft performance at Pathankot, Srinagar, Jammu Radar etc. was the triumph of those 20-25 years old pilots who performed beyond my expectations. I witnessed spectacular performance by them because even at our firing range in peace time in Peshawar such accuracy was rare. But this was war and they exhibited matchless precision and courage.”

 

“At Pathankot airfield, anti-aircraft, shells were bursting all around as confirmed in recent eyewitness accounts by many especially by Air Marshal Raghavendran who writes: ‘There was pandemonium. Bullets were flying all around. We all rushed to the nearest trench and dived in, not sitting and crouching as we should have been but piling ourselves flat on top of each other! we could hear and see the Pakistani Sabres going round and round, as though in range practice, and picking off all the possible aircraft, including the two MiG-21s, in spite of the anti-aircraft guns blazing away.” (The day the PAF got away, www.bharat-rakshak.com). My words to my pilots were: ‘no matter where we go for a strike, the anti-aircraft will be active. Never deviate from your target in order to avoid a shell, as being Muslims we believe that only the shell with our name on it is destined for us, none other; by ducking you may well connect the shell that has ‘to whom it may concern’ written on it,” Sajad Haider recalled with a smile.

 

The immense power of faith could be felt in each word and through each gesture. He continued:

“Before going to the aircraft, I had arranged cologned towels (mentioned by many Indian authors as a cynical gesture about hour is) to smell good just in case some of us go up and not return. Possibly it was going to be like an African black bee-hive nest that we may be subjected to. It was probable that some of us may not comeback. The morale of the people who are flying with you is gauged by the way they are flying. That day when we were emblazing the earth it was a matter of great pride for me as I saw those 7 aircraft like they were tied with a string, that’s what reflects the morale and professional excellence of your team.

 

Flight Lieutenant Arshad Sami, flying escort with missiles, recounts in his book ‘Three Presidents and one Aid’ that when I called pulling-up for attack at Pathankot, I said Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem and Allah-ho-Akbar, leader is ‘IN’ as we commenced the attacks. Thunder must have been resonating on Pathankot Base and I could feel that in Sajad Haider’s voice. For a few moments, I felt Sajad Haider was not with me, not present in his study, but flying over skies of Pathankot Base, giving instructions to his pilots while seeing burning Indian aircraft on the ground. And, then he just said, “All 8 exiting safely, was inextricably help from Almighty God.”   

 

"During my third attack I suddenly saw my number four Flying Officer Khalid Latif  seemed also diving towards the same aircraft as I was. We were on a collision course. He called me and said, ‘Leader My Shot’. I said, ‘continue’ and pulled away towards a farther target.  Because the attack was adhoc for reasons explained above, I had asked my deputy leader Flight Lieutenant Akbar’s formation of four to circle on top above AckAck (anti-aircraft) fire till I call him to enter for attack, since 8 aircraft in a circuit of 1-1/2 mile had serious chances of collisions. When I pulled up for my 4th attack, Akbar called “Leader Not Fair”. We were supposed to do maximum two attacks, but I must admit I got carried away. Immediately I called off my attack and told him to enter the attack. As I was exiting I noticed to my utter surprise my wingman Flying Officer Arshad on my right, in combat formation, amazingly flying, as I saw Pathankot air traffic control about a mile ahead where there was a C-119 standing. I called ‘C-119 ahead’. Number two said, mine leader, I said, shoot, and he shot. We were dead low and not in firing profile, but I saw his bullets land smack on the aircraft. ‘Superb shooting’ I thought.  IAF Pathankot Base was in flames as we exited after brilliant performance and valor of my team. Our top cover lead Wing Commander, Tawab called , ‘Great shooting Zambo Leader, I count 14 fires. 13 Indian aircraft were destroyed and their base pulverised’. We claimed 11 aircraft but the Indian historians quoting official IAF statistics in 2015, said that 13 aircraft were destroyed in that attack. “They say 2 were damaged but they were incapacitated for any operation). We always tried to under-claim even for the Wagah attack. Indian history itself is a testimony of PAF performance.”

 

I was once again speechless, entrenched and lost in the moments. Courage, spirit of sacrifice and patriotism cast their own spell! 

 

When I asked him the main reason behind this dazzling success, Sajad Haider described that in these short words, ‘PAF Leadership’. He then explained, “Air Marshal Asghar Khan had created a formidable fighting machine through his stellar vision and strategy and we were being led by another great commander Air Marshal Nur khan.” He then further intoned:

 

“Leadership is the most important factor behind every success. With fearless, determined, truthful, morally upright, sterling honest and skilled leadership, success is achievable in most impossible circumstances just as during 1965 War where Pakistan Armed Forces like a steel wall held back four times its preponderant adversary, and inflicted five times attrition upon the IAF. They admitted loss of 74 aircraft in 1965 and 73 in 1971 Wars. Surprised? It is their official declared record.”

 

Sajad Haider’s love for Pakistani youth is immense and the message he gave was: “Chase your dreams in pursuit of honour with passion through merit. Aim high in whatever profession you choose. Acquire education not just for degrees but to be a leader who can think critically and independently, to tell right from wrong and good from bad. Don’t be a mediocre looking for a job for mere existence. National leadership has the cardinal responsibility to provide fair turf and opportunity for the youth of a resonate nation. There is nothing worse than undue patronage and nepotism which destroys one’s mind and soul.”

 

I left Sajad Haider’s home engulfed in immense pride in heroes of Pakistan.

 

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15
September

Written By: Col Azam Qadri (R)


Captain Raja Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed (1910-July 27, 1948)

captmsarvar.jpgCaptain Muhammad Sarwar was the first Nishan-e-Haider in the history of our great nation. He was born in village Singhori, Rawalpindi in 1910. His father, Raja Muhammad Hayat Khan served in the British Indian Army and rose to rank of Havildar. He served with distinction during WW-I and was awarded with a war medal. Along with the medal, the British Government also awarded him with three squares of agricultural land in Chak 229 Tehsil Samundri. After his retirement from the British Indian Army, Raja Muhammad Hayat Khan was also appointed as the “numberdar” of his village. He passed away on February 23, 1932.

 

Since his childhood, Raja Muhammad Sarwar was fond of reading and he acquired extensive religious knowledge. The people of his village named him “Sakhi (generous) Sarwar”. The chief characteristic of his nature was piety and devotion. His other hobbies were horse riding, hunting, and playing football.

 

He started his military career in the ranks as a Sepoy. He was a self-made man who finally rose to be a commissioned officer. He joined as a recruit in Baloch Regiment on April 15, 1929 and got his initial training from the old Baloch Centre at Karachi. He served there until April 30, 1941. On April 27, 1944, he passed out as a Commissioned Officer from Indian Military Academy Dehradun and took part in World War II, where he was awarded the Burma Star.

 

After independence, Captain Muhammad Sarwar joined the Punjab Regiment of Pakistan Army. Captain Muhammad Sarwar was serving as a Company Commander in the Uri Sector in Kashmir when he was tasked by his Battalion Commander to undertake a very important operation that involved a pre-emptive attack on a well defended Indian position that was to serve as a base for further operations by his battalion. Indian Army had landed in Srinagar on October 27, 1947 and since then advanced upto Uri. Indians had plans to capture the remaining Kashmir. There was a need to stop Indian advance and save innocent Kashmiris. Young Captain Sarwar decided to volunteer for noble cause of defending Kashmir.

 

The strength of the Indian Army was more than eight Brigades in Uri Sector and they were supported by tanks and engineers. What made the task more challenging was the fact that the Indian posts were located on an uphill position and had many LMG positions and tanks in this area.

 

The Commanding Officer asked for a volunteer who can silence enemy tanks and guns by ‘surprise attack’. Captain Muhammad Sarwar said, “Sir, I will perform this duty”. Capt Muhammad Sarwar thus planned his attack with diminutive details and the essence of his success depended upon the charge with an element of surprise. This called for highest level of leadership to lead his company by example, which he did by leading the charge himself.

 

By attacking a strongly fortified enemy position under heavy machine gun, grenade, and mortar fire, he not only led his Company bravely but inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

 

Having achieved this initial foothold, he held it against several repeated counter-attacks and finally secured it as a base of future operations. In order to provide a safe passage to his battalion, he volunteered to make way for the rest of his battalion.

 

On the night of July 27, 1948 at 0300 hours, he took along six men, crawled out of his bunker to cut the enemy's barbed wire barrier to make way for his battalion to move  through this gap for further operations. He moved  stealthily and bravely, closed up to the defensive position of the Indians and was able to cut the barbed wire for his battalion to pass through. While he was waiting to guide his comrades, he was picked up by the Indians, when he was still perched up near the gap in the barbed wire, he received a direct burst of enemy's heavy machine gun fire, and was wounded badly. He however, continued guiding his battalion despite being badly wounded and eventually embraced shahadat on the spot. By that time, the battalion was able to pass through, assemble and complete its task successfully.

 

In recognition for his courage, selflessness, and bravery that was beyond the call of duty, he was posthumously awarded with the first Nishan-e-Haider.

 

Naik Saif Ali Janjua Shaheed (April 25, 1922-October 26, 1948)

naiksaifali.jpgNaik Saif Ali Janjua was born in a Janjua Rajput family on April 25, 1922 in Khandbaz (Khandhar) Tehsil Nakial, Kotli (Azad Jammu and Kashmir).

 

Saif joined the Royal Corps of Engineers in British Indian Army as a “Sapper” (Sepoy in Engineers) on March 18, 1941, while he was only eighteen years old.

Later, he served overseas for 4 years during WW II. On termination of war, his unit sailed back to the subcontinent, and remained stationed at Jullundur and Lahore.

 

After completing his service in the British Indian Army in 1947, he came back to his native town to apply his knowledge to good use and started raising a volunteer Haidari Force. He also inspired and got support of Sardar Fateh Muhammad Karailvi. On January 1, 1948, Haidari Force was further raised to a battalion strength and named as “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion” under the command of Lt Col Muhammad Sher Khan. Later on during the re-organisation phase of Azad Kashmir Regular Forces (AKRF), “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion” was re-designated as 18 Azad Kashmir Battalion. Indian forces after landing in Srinagar on October 27, 1947, advanced with the intention to capture whole of Kashmir. “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion” (18AK) of Pakistan Army comprising Kashmiri Muslims could not stay silent and joined the Azad Forces against Indian occupation. Naik Saif, being part of the battalion, participated in these operations with full zeal and fervor.

 

Saif Ali Janjua showed exceptional leadership qualities, and was promoted as a Naik, well before his time and appointed as Platoon Commander; an appointment normally given to officers or Junior Commissioned Officers. While acting as a Platoon Commander, he set personal examples in gallantry and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy at Bhudha Khanna where his platoon was given the responsibility to defend Bhudha Khanna.

 

During this period of re-organisation of freedom fighters, a major Indian offensive supported by armour, artillery, and air force to establish link-up with Poonch was gaining momentum in Mendhar Sector. A platoon of “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion”, commanded by Naik Saif Ali Janjua, was deployed on the dominant Pir Kalewa feature (6640) along the Rajauri-Bhimber Gali route. The Indians attacked with 5 and 19 Brigade at Pir Kalewa on October 20, 1948; but these attempts were repulsed every time. However, Indian Army was successful towards the right of Pir Kalewa feature and captured Naili and Sarola. The defences at Pir Kalewa were untenable and situation had deteriorated further but Naik Saif and his platoon were determined to stop Indian advance. On night October 24/25, 1948, Naik Saif inducted few more volunteers from his own village to strengthen his post. On the night of October 25/26, 1948, Indian attack by 5 Brigade Group with armour in support and occasional air strikes commenced all along the front held by “Sher-e-Riasti Battalion”. Indian Army captured Bhudha Khanna, which was defended by a platoon of B Company and then managed to isolate defences at Pir Kalewa.

 

Indians successfully moved towards the rear of Pir Kalewa feature, developed pressure on Barot Gali by 0500 hours and then launched major attack against Pir Kalewa post.

 

The Indians were allowed to move forward up to about 100 yards and then Naik Saif ordered his platoon to engage the assaulting troops with all available firepower. He led his men gallantly and continued shouting slogans of encouragement while also passing instructions. Meanwhile, a complete section had suffered heavy casualties, but Naik Saif single-handedly held the position until the arrival of reinforcements. He himself took over the Bren gun and started effectively engaging hapless advancing enemy soldiers from an open place.

 

The devotion, highest standard of bravery and exemplary leadership of Naik Saif was instrumental in forcing the enemy to withdraw. The Indians reorganised with fresh troops at 0615 hours. After air strikes, Indian artillery, tanks and mortars continually engaged the position for two hours. Then Indians resumed their attack on the post with fresh troops.  However, they again failed and were repulsed thrice.

 

Brave Naik Saif had meanwhile received severe splinter wounds in both his legs during enemy shelling but he continued firing his Bren gun. Despite his severe wounds, he also continued commanding his men effectively by encouraging and regrouping them to face renewed Indian attacks.

 

By 1500 hours, fourth Indian attempt against Pir Kalewa post had also been repulsed but enemy artillery was continuously and heavily engaging the position. The communication with Battalion Headquarters was restored during the respite in fighting and resultantly, the reinforcement was rushed towards Pir Kalewa.

 

In the meantime, gallant Saif hit and brought down an enemy aircraft with his Bren gun fire.

It was at this time when all the available ammunition at the post had been expended and the reinforcement had not reached yet. Naik Saif had suffered huge loss of blood from his wounds; however, he dragged himself around to collect ammunition from the dead and wounded, and distributed it personally to the surviving soldiers.

 

Naik Saif was reorganising and repositioning his surviving men to face another fresh wave of enemy assault, which was preceded by even heavier and intense artillery shelling, when an artillery shell hit him fatally.

 

The Indians could not succeed to capture the post despite heavy losses until brave Naik Saif Ali was alive. Due to the severe injuries, he embraced martyrdom on October 26, 1948.

 

The extreme selfless and most courageous conduct displayed by Naik Saif Ali Janjua under worst battle conditions is a unique example of chivalry.

 

On his unique selfless conduct and devotion to duty, he was awarded with Hilal-e-Kashmir (posthumous), the highest operational award of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, on March 14, 1949.

 

Government of Pakistan, on November 30, 1995 notified the equivalence of Hilal-e-Kashmir with Nishan-e Haider. Hence Naik Saif Ali Janjua became the 9th  reciepient of Nishan-e Haider.

 

Major Muhammad Tufail Shaheed (1914-August 7, 1958)

majormtifail.jpgMajor Tufail Muhammad was born in 1914 at Hoshiarpur (now part of Indian Punjab). He got his commission in 1943 and joined the Punjab Regiment. At the time of partition, he opted to come to Pakistan, and thereafter he joined Pakistan Army, and got his first posting to 1/16 Punjab Regiment (later re-designated as 13 Punjab). During his professionally exceptional career, he served on several instructional and command appointments.

 

In 1958, Major Tufail Muhammed was posted to East Pakistan as a company commander in a border militia battalion of East Pakistan Rifles (EPR). During his tenure of duty, the Indian troops infiltrated into Pakistani territory through the Pathoria Forest and captured a village in the area of Lakshmipur on the Pakistani side of the border.

 

His battalion was tasked to evict the enemy and the Battalion Commander ordered Major Tufail to launch an attack to push out the Indian troops from the village. The attack was launched on August 7, 1958. Taking cover of the darkness, he attacked the Indians by dividing his attacking force into three groups. During the assault on enemy positions, Major Muhammad Tufail was hit by three bullets, that pierced his stomach. He did not lose his wits, and using sheer willpower when he was bleeding profusely, he kept advancing towards his objective.

 

During the attack, he spotted an Indian Light Machine Gun (LMG) that was making the task of attacking force difficult and even accounted for the shahadat of another officer. After locating this gun, he closed up and threw a grenade, silencing this LMG. With fatal injuries, he crawled further towards an enemy officer, who was aiming to kill a Pakistani soldier. In a hand-to-hand  fight, Major Muhammad Tufail struck the Indian officer’s head with his own steel helmet. Despite being fatally wounded, he led the whole operation until all the area was cleared off the Indian troops.

 

By his sheer presence and leading troops from the front, this brave son of the soil kept boosting the morale of his men, who were now entangled in hand-to-hand fight, and finally Indians fled, leaving behind four dead and three prisoners.

 

By the time the operation was completed, he had lost a lot of blood and energy due to bullet injuries. At that juncture, he conveyed to his junior officer, “I have completed my duty; the enemy is on the run, you take over the command now”.

 

With the mission now completed, Major Tufail took a sigh of relief, thanked Almighty Allah, and embraced Shahadat smilingly, thus becoming immortal. 

 

For his act of bravery, showing great resilience and perseverance while leading from the front, killing an Indian commander despite being wounded in a hand-to-hand fight, something rarely displayed in war, he was awarded with Nishan-e-Haider.

 

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed (1928-September 11, 1965)

majorrajaaziz.jpgOriginally named Aziz Ahmad, Major Aziz Bhatti was born in 1928. During the period he was in Hong Kong his name stayed as Aziz Ahmad. Even the initials on the golden ring he wore had engravings of “A.A.” “As a nick name,” said his mother, “We called him Raja”.

 

In 1946, Major Aziz Bhatti was enlisted as Airman with the RIAF and within a short period rose to rank of Corporal by 1947.

 

At the time of partition, he decided to join Pakistan Army and applied for selection as an officer. He was selected for the first course to be organised and run at the Pakistan Military Academy – The First PMA Long Course. The Course started in the last week of January 1948. Gentleman Cadet Aziz Bhatti excelled and performed well in all aspects of life at PMA.

 

On the passing out parade of 1st PMA Long Course, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, was the chief guest. For distinguishing himself as the best all-round cadet, and for being the most brilliant in academics, Liaquat Ali Khan presented the Sword of Honour and the Norman Gold Medal to Gentleman Cadet Raja Aziz Bhatti. Aziz Bhatti’s Khalid Company (being Champion Company) was also awarded with the Quaid- i-Azam’s Banner.

 

It was generally accepted that of all the parades held at PMA, this happened to be the finest. There was such alacrity and power in the ‘words of command’ of Raja Aziz Bhatti, that even the spectators came to 'attention' in their seats!

 

At the time of passing out, he joined the 4/16 Punjab Regiment (now 17 Punjab) as a commissioned officer.  With only 11 months of service, he was appointed as Adjutant of the Battalion. He was later on posted to the School of Infantry & Tactics, Quetta, from where he appeared for the entrance examination for Command and Staff College. Humble as ever he asked all friends to pray for his success. As expected, his name appeared on top of the list of successful candidates. His selection for the foreign staff course at Kingston Staff College Canada was due recognition of his brilliance as officer. Leaving aside Pakistan, there was hardly any other country where an officer with such a short service was selected for that course. He was promoted to the rank of Major before he left for Canada. Very popular in the College he, as usual, distinguished himself in every test. Writing to Brig Niazi from there, he said, “My English seems to be better than that of the Britishers; my exercise books hardly have any red marks on the pages.”

 

During the Kingston Course, Major General Hayauddin (who was killed in the Cairo crash), came over from New York. When he saw results of the tests Major Bhatti had taken at the Staff College, he was immensely pleased and congratulated him. Major Aziz Bhatti passed his Canadian Staff Course with distinction.  On return, the C-in-C of the Army, General Muhammad Ayub Khan, sent him a special message of felicitations.

 

When September 1965 war broke out, Major Aziz Bhatti’s Alpha Company was deployed forward of BRB Canal. On 6th September, once Indian advancing columns in their bid to surprise Pakistanis found Major Aziz Bhatti’s men ready to receive them with unwavering will to defend Lahore at all costs. As a Company Commander, Major Bhatti chose to locate himself with his forward platoon under constant firing from Indian tanks and artillery. He resisted for six days and nights defending a Pakistani outpost on the strategic BRB Canal. A day before his martyrdom, the commanding officer had sent him word that since he had been fighting untiringly for the last few days, he should take a little rest and that another officer was being sent to replace him. Major Aziz’s reply is a reflection of extreme patriotism saying, "Do not call me back. I will shed the last drop of my blood in the defence of my dear homeland". These words serve as an inspiration for future generations of Pakistan Army soldiers and officers.

 

On September 10, while constantly observing the enemy terrain, Major Bhatti noticed some trucks speeding up at intervals behind a cluster of trees, stopping at a point for a while and then dashing back. It was evident that the enemy was again dumping ammunition and armament at that place. In the meantime, he also saw a convoy of 13 vehicles moving up.  He kept his eyes on it.  As it got close to milestone 17/18, he ordered fire. The entire convoy was destroyed, engulfed in a huge cloud of smoke. It was evident from the gunpowder what these vehicles were carrying.

 

In the afternoon, IAF aircraft made their appearance felt again, had a circle or two over the border, and went back without any action. Things then appeared quiet; no transport was visible, nor was there any sign of troops movement.

 

He had hardly slept for 15 minutes when he stood up saying. “Is it actually the sound of moving tanks, or am I imagining it?,” he asked those around him. Captain Anwar replied, “You are very right. These definitely are tanks; I’m already trying to locate them.” Major Bhatti picked up the binoculars, and managed to get two enemy tanks in view. He ordered the fire and both were knocked down. He continued to scan the area but could not observe any further movement. Nevertheless, he remained alert all the time.

 

But sooner, the enemy launched the attack with an Infantry Brigade comprising 16 Punjab and 4 Sikh Regiments, with a tank regiment and heavy artillery in their support. By 10 o’clock in the night when shelling had stopped, Major Bhatti went upstairs and called all the others over the wireless set, and then threw a flare to have an overall view of the area. By then the light emanating from enemy’s truck captured during the day, that was set ablaze by the shelling enabled them to watch the Indians. At the same time, shouts of Jai Hind were also heard. Obviously, enemy tanks and infantry had come up close to Burki Police Station. 

 

Major Bhatti now re-organised his troops on the home bank of the canal and directed the “jawans” to take position along the embankment.  He climbed up, and started surveying enemy activity in the area.

At night, the Regiment Adjutant, Anwar Muniruddin, came over to meet him. He narrated to him the episodes of previous days, recounting the enemys attacks, how they were repulsed and how they managed to pull back safely after the ammunition had been exhausted. Then he handed over his gold ring to him. “Make sure to deliver it at my place in case I am martyred,” he urged.

 

Anwar put on the ring on his own finger. Major Bhatti had been wearing it all along since his Hong Kong days. He turned to Anwar again, “You are a young officer,” he said, “You’ll one day write the history of your Regiment.  Bhatti may not be among you at that time, but one thing you must definitely keep in mind – don’t forget to mention the historic role of the artillery in this war.”

 

The last sun of Major Bhatti’s life had come up. Passing to the left of Havildar Nazir’s platoon holding position near Company Headquarters, he went up the canal bank, and started surveying the far side through his binoculars. Havildar Major Faiz Ali was lowered down the embankment due to enemy fire. He shouted, “Sir, there’s fire from that side – please come down.” “I cannot look around from that position,” said Major Aziz, “It is certainly dangerous standing here but then everything is from God! If ‘Shahadat’ is in store for me, I’ll welcome it.”

 

Soon some tanks were seen advancing towards the canal from the direction of Burki. Under their cover, infantry was also on the march.  Indicating their positions, Major Bhatti ordered fire. Off went the guns but the shells did not land where desired. He quickly passed another message.  This time the shells found the target. He was overjoyed. Two enemy tanks had been knocked down. Captain Anwar (Artillery) was directing the fire. Major Bhatti appreciated his precision. “Well done, Anwar,” he said loudly.

 

Just then, an enemy shell whizzed past Maj Bhatti, cut across a nearby shisham tree and landed on the heap of bricks, which had been dug out of the trenches and stocked there. That point was hardly a few feet away. A cloud of dust arose. His men around feared that the Major had been hit! They ran towards him but found him unscathed. “Go back to your positions immediately,” ordered Major Bhatti, “This shell was not for me; the one for me has yet to be manufactured in India’s ordnance factories!”

 

Destiny was smiling at what Major Bhatti had just uttered. He was about to raise his binoculars and scan the enemy area when an armoured piercing shot fired from an Indian tank hit him in the chest and passed through his right lung. He fell face down on the bank. Havildar Major Faiz Ali and Sepoy Aman Khan rushed to his aid but by then that highly dedicated, valorous, selfless human being, an exceptional and unique military hero had been relieved of his duty.

 

Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed (February 17, 1951-August 20, 1971)

rashidminhassh.jpgBorn in the metropolitan city of Karachi on February 17, 1951 Rashid belonged to the famous Minhas clan of Rajputs. At partition in 1947, Rashid’s father migrated from Gurdaspur (Indian Punjab) to Pakistan. Rashid had a great passion for aero-modelling and used to spend his entire pocket money buying the aircraft models especially those of fighter jets.

 

Since childhood, he wanted to join the Armed Forces of Pakistan. His school days diary records indicate the same. On  August 7, 1965 he wrote in his diary, “Today I promise from my heart that out of three defence forces I will definitely join any one.” His parents on the other hand were ignorant of his hidden passion as his father always wanted him to become an engineer. However, after seeing the eagerness of his young boy, he had no other option but to surrender to his overwhelming passion.

 

Rashid completed his O and A levels with distinction at the age of 18 and joined PAF College Lower Topa for initial training. During his days at Lower Topa, he displayed extraordinary tallent in literary activities and emerged as a promising orator. After training at Lower Topa, he joined 51st GD(P) Course at PAF Academy Risalpur in August 1969. At the Academy, his passion for flying saw no limits. He did his primary and basic flying training on Harvard and T-37 aircraft respectively and showed great promise.

 

March 14, 1971 was the historic and proud day in the life of young Rashid Minhas. On this memorable day, he earned his 'wing' and became Pilot Officer. After spending a few days with his family, Rashid went for the conversion course on T-33 aircraft at Masroor Airbase. Unaware what the destiny had in store for him, Rashid started flying training with No. 2 Squadron.

 

On August 20, 1971, around 1100 hrs, Rashid got ready to take off for his second solo flight in a T-33 jet trainer. He started his engines and completed the checks, the ground crew gave ‘thumbs up’ (signal to taxi out) and saluted him (not knowing that this was his last salute to the young warrior). As Minhas was taxiing towards the runway, his Bengali instructor pilot, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, came on the taxiway and signalled him to stop. Thinking that his instructor might want to give some last minute instructions, Minhas stopped the aircraft. Mati forced his way into the rear cockpit and seized controls of the aircraft; the jet took off and turned towards India.

 

Soon the radio at Mauripur (now Masroor) Control Tower became alive and Minhas informed that he was being hijacked. The air controller requested him to resend his message and confirm that it was hijacking. The events that followed later were the tale of great courage and patriotism. In the air, Minhas struggled physically to wrest control from Rahman; each man tried to overpower the other through the mechanically linked flight controls. The instructor wanted him to fly to India; however, the determined Rashid was not ready for it. The ferocious struggle continued for minutes and as the aircraft neared the Indian border, Rashid Minhas knew what he was supposed to do. He knew that the honour of his country was far greater than his precious life. Some 32 miles (51 km) from the Indian border, Rashid Minhas deliberately put the aircraft nose down and that made the jet to crash near Thatta.

 

Rashid Minhas rendered supreme sacrifice for the honour of the country and became a national hero. Later investigation showed that Rahman intended to defect along with the jet trainer to India to join his compatriots in Bangladesh. Minhas was posthumously awarded with Pakistan’s top military honour, the Nishan-e-Haider and became the youngest man and the only member of the PAF to win the prestigious gallantry award.

 

Citation of Gallantry Award (NH)            

The citation of Rashid Minhas Shaheed gives account of his bravery as:

“On the morning of Friday, August 20, 1971, Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, a pilot still under training, was in the front seat of a jet trainer, taxiing out for take-off. An instructor pilot from the same unit forced his way into the rear cockpit, seized control of the aircraft and having taken off, headed the aircraft towards India. With just some 40 miles of Pakistan territory remaining, Minhas had only one course open to him to prevent his aircraft from entering India. Without hesitation and living up to highest traditions of the PAF, Rashid Minhas tried to regain control of his aircraft but finding this to be impossible in the face of the superior skill and experience of his instructor, forced the aircraft to crash at a point 32 miles from the Indian border. In doing so, Pilot Officer Minhas deliberately made the supreme sacrifice for the honour of Pakistan and service to which he belonged. For this act of heroism beyond the call of duty, the President of Pakistan is pleased to award the NH to Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas”.

 

Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed (April 28, 1943-December 6, 1971)

majorshabirsh.jpgMajor Shabir Sharif Shaheed was born on April 28, 1943 at Kunjah, a small town of District Gujrat. His father, late Major Muhammad Sharif joined the British Indian Army in 1935 and retired from Pakistan Army in 1965. Major Shabir has four brothers and sisters. The eldest sister is Mrs. Khalida Saadat, brother Captain (Retd) Mumtaz Sharif, Sitara-e-Basalat, younger sister Mrs. Najmi Kamran and his youngest brother, General Raheel Sharif, the ex-Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan Army.

 

In 1950, Major Shabbir started his early education from Presentation Convent School, Rawalpindi. He was intellectually an exceptional student. While studying at Government College Lahore in 1961 he was selected for Pakistan Army and underwent training with 29th Long Course at PMA, Kakul.

 

Major Shabbir was an outstanding player of hockey, cricket, football, athletics and cycling. He was declared the best sportsman of hockey and cricket in Saint Anthony High School.

 

At the PMA, he passed out on top, winning the Sword of Honour.

In 1965 war, after the commencement and facing tough resistance, 6 FF operation was slowed down and suffered casualties. The Brigade Commander at that stage ordered 6 FF to send out a reconnaissance patrol to take a look at the deployment of Indians on and around ‘Troti’ feature. Shabbir who was originally tasked to carryout reconnaissance saw an opportunity where an artillery battery was in a state of rest and not fully alert. Seeing an opportunity, he changed his mind and instead of going back, he attacked the Gun Positions and got them into a panic, thus forcing them to either withdraw or surrender. He captured four Indian POWs and having destroyed two guns he brought along a field gun towed to a gun-tower (Shaktiman). He put his own wounded soldiers and Indian POWs in the same vehicle.

 

He returned with full information about the Indian deployments as well as captured soldiers. Operations of 10 Infantry Brigade were resumed with 6 FF again leading on the main axis with 13 Lancers in support and the other action being undertaken by 14 Punjab Regiment, which were to move on the right flank and manoeuvre, and get around Troti Feature and face towards Jaurian. These operations were a great success and the Indians panicked and ran. The Brigade took a large number of vehicles, ammunition dumps and POWs. It was perhaps the largest ever haul of men and materials in all our wars with India. Major Shabbir was awarded Sitara-e-Jurat during the War.

 

In 1971 war, at the outbreak of hostilities, a pre-emptive operation was launched to capture the Sabuna Bund in order to give greater depth and protection to the Sulaimanki Headworks. Major Shabbir not only captured that with lightning speed but held his positions against all odds.

 

During the war, a company commander from India, Major Narain Singh, had sworn before going on attack that he either would retake the bridge, or would never return. Narain Singh was also interested in defeating Shabbir Sharif, as for the last two days he had been hearing from his own men that the Pakistani side had a very tough commander with them. While the battle was going on, Narain Singh, with a few men, came very close to Shabbir’s position. "Where is Shabbir Sharif?," he called out, "If he has the courage, he should come out right now and face me like a man". Shabbir Sharif, being as hot-headed as the Singh, left his position and jumped in front of him upon the call. Perhaps, Narain Singh could not make out that it was Shabbir Sharif, as it was very dark, and he lobbed a grenade in his direction. The grenade exploded a few feet away from Shabbir and his shirt caught fire. A hand-to-hand combat followed between Sharif and Singh. After a short struggle, Shabbir managed to throw Singh on the ground and put his knee on his chest. Taking the Sten gun from his hand, he emptied it on Singh's chest. While the Pakistani soldiers came to Sharif to check whether he was all right, those accompanying Singh disappeared in the darkness.

 

The ferocious non-stop battle of December 4, 5, and 6 was an amazing feat of valour and sacrifice led by the Company Commander, Major Shabbir. At around 1100 hours on December 6 the Indians launched yet another major counter attack with tanks, preceded by an air strike and heavy artillery fire. Major Shabbir started firing on the Indian tanks with 106 mm Recoilless Rifle. While he was engaged in targeting the enemy tanks, one of the enemy tanks fired with its main gun at him, which proved fatal. Major Shabbir gave his life leading from the front and fighting until the last minute. Here was a brave man whose mere presence was a guarantee of victory. He had said this before the war, “If war breaks out this time, I will not be a witness to ceasefire”.

 

It is worth mentioning that this operation by 6FF was so humiliating for the Indians that in 12 days, they changed their General Officer Commanding, and Brigade Commanders thrice in this Sector.

He was decorated with Nishan-e-Haider for his bravery and deeds of valour.

 

Major Muhammad Akram Shaheed (September 25, 1941-December 5, 1971)

majmakram.jpgMajor Muhammad Akram Shaheed was born on September 25, 1941 in a small village named Dinga, very close to Kharian Cantonment. He got his initial education from Chakri Middle School, and then joined the Military College Jhelum. While at the Military College, he was known for his skills in playing hockey and excelled in it. He was also known for his boxing skills.

 

On July 3, 1953, he left the college and joined the Punjab Regimental Centre (then located at Jhelum) in the Boys Company of 14 Punjab Regiment. This Regimental Centre used to train boys aged 15 to 17 years for their future induction in Pakistan Army. After completing his recruit training, Akram joined 4/14 Punjab Regiment (later re-designated 8 Punjab Regiment). 8 Punjab therefore, is his parent battalion. After having served for about 8 years, Muhammad Akram applied for commission in Pakistan Army.

 

He was not selected in the first attempt; however, he made it in the second attempt and was selected in March 1961 for the 28th PMA Long Course. He passed out in October 1963. While at PMA, he led the PMA hockey team and won the inter-academy trophy beating PAF and Naval Academy teams. He was also awarded with the PMA Colour in hockey. He also excelled professionally by being the best firer in his course, thus winning the Best Firer’s Trophy.

 

On his commissioning, he joined the Frontier Force Regiment and joined a very well-known Infantry Battalion, the Fourth Frontier Force Regiment (4 FF) on October 13, 1963. All through his service, he had a good service record, and was promoted as a Major in September 1970 after attending the Military Intelligence Course.

 

In 1971, the situation in East Pakistan was getting worse because Indian troops were consistently penetrating inside East Pakistan borders, and were sponsoring an insurgency through the indigenous terrorist organisation “Mukti Bahini” to destabilise East Pakistan. It was not long after that an all-out war started in December 1971. The main objective of the Indian Army was to get control of Bogra, thereby cutting off Pakistani forces in the north from the rest of East Pakistan. The best way of getting to Bogra was through the town of Hilli. The frontal assault on the Pakistan fortifications took a huge toll on the Indian Army. In a renewed effort and further strengthening, the 20th Indian Mountain Division with strength of 20,000 men, led by Major General Lachhman Singh, comprising 66 Brigade, 165 Brigade, 202 Brigade, and 340 Brigade (all infantry units), 3 Armoured Brigade, 471 Engineer Brigade, and two artillery brigades augmented by 33 Corps Artillery attacked Hilli sector.  

 

The ground troops were aided by aerial support provided by the Indian Air Force, which had already acquired total air superiority in the East and were armed with rockets, guns, and 1000 lbs bombs. On the Pakistan side, the Area of Responsibility was with 205 Brigade, led by Brigadier (later Major General) Tajammul Hussain Malik. 205 Brigade had deployed 4 FF, 13 FF, and 8 Baloch Regiments. Major Akram was commanding Charlie Company of the 4 FF Regiment in the forward most localities of the Hilli Sector. This Company position was very vital and had blocked enemy's route of advance. His Company came under continuous Indian Army attacks duly supported by Indian Air Force, heavy artillery, and armour. Charlie Company, commanded by Major Muhammad Akram, put up a heroic resistance that earned praises even from the Indians.

 

He with his brave Company stood like a rock between the Indian forces, and Pakistani positions for over two weeks, despite the Indians outnumbered them in manpower, firepower, and total air superiority, using even helicopters, and aircraft to the best use.

 

Major Muhammad Akram and his men repulsed every successive attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the Indians. This battle was unique as it had begun before the official declaration of the Indo-Pak war and continued even after the formal surrender of troops at Dacca. The Indians on several occasions, using megaphones and shoutings at his company, asked him to surrender but Major Akram refused. However, the sense of sacrifice, valour, and chivalry was at its apex for the men of this Company but their source of strength remained embodied in the personality of Major Muhammad Akram, whose confident voice and firm orders to deal with the ever-changing situation gave him a stature of a force that raged even fiercer than any battalion. His conduct and resolve incessantly generated high spirit for all his subordinates. Each attack of the enemy on that day was repulsed. By the evening of December 5 enemy was only engaging Charlie Company positions with tanks and artillery fire.

 

It was in such a deafening and shattering holocaust of fire and fury, which had been constantly raging for about three days and steadily weakening strength of the company was pulling on to the hastily prepared defensive positions. Major Akram was personally conducting the battle from the forward defended locality. The need to solve the nuisance of tank fire became the need of the hour. At this juncture, the moment arrived, which became a classic example of highest sense of leadership, commitment and heroism. Major Muhammad Akram acted beyond the known limits of sacrifice and rose up to create a history.

 

Carrying a 40 mm Chinese Rocket Launcher, he crawled along with his runner right up to the clump where enemy tanks were positioned and sited himself at the distance of almost 100 meters from them. From this position, he engaged these tanks. With incredible precision, he destroyed three tanks. It created an immense dread in the armour column of the enemy. While adjusting the aiming sight on the fourth tank the smoke got cleared. An enemy tank spotted him, and quickly opened fire with its .50 browning. He was shot through his neck. Akram’s last words were “Hold out until last”. The bravest son of the Paltan graced the ground as a paragon of gallantry and heroism. Even after the shahadat of their Company Commander, Charlie Company was able to hold on to its positions, and foiled the Indian attempts to gain a foothold nor were they allowed maintaining momentum in their attacks.

 

For his outstanding bravery, he was awarded with Nishan-e-Haider, posthumously.

 

Sowar Muhammad Hussain Shaheed (June 18, 1949-December 10, 1971)

sowarhussainsh.jpgSowar Muhammad Hussain was born in Dhok Pir Bakhsh, near Jatli in Gujar Khan (Punjab) on June 18, 1949. He was the only son of his parents and had one sister. At the time of Indo-Pak war in 1965, Sowar Muhammad Hussain was in Devi High School in his village but the young Muhammad Hussain had been so inspired by the role of Armed Forces that he had made up his mind to join the Army.

 

As a child, and later on when he joined the army, Sowar Muhammad was fond of playing kabbadi and was good at it. He lived a simple life with clean habits.

 

He got enrolled in Pakistan Army and joined Armoured Corps as a recruit on September 3, 1966 at a young age of 17 years. On his passing out from the Armoured Corps Centre, Sowar Muhammad Hussain joined 20 Lancers. This Regiment was then stationed in Sialkot.

 

When the war broke out in 1971, Sowar Muhammad Hussain took active part in every battle which his unit was engaged in, unmindful of any danger no matter how grave was the situation. Despite his trade being a driver he always yearned to participate in active battle.

 

Sowar Muhammad Hussain was performing the duties as driver of a Dodge truck in a Squadron of 20 Lancers. On December 5, 1971, while braving intense shelling and direct fire from enemy tanks and infantry, he went from trench to trench, delivering ammunition to the 106 mm Recoilless Rifle crews, who were engaging the Indian tanks on the frontline. It was then that his vehicle got a direct hit by Indian artillery shelling.

 

Since his vehicle had been knocked out, he was assigned a new responsibility of spotting Indian tanks and then help engaging them by own 106 mm Recoilless Rifles.  He carried out this duty most brilliantly and was able to locate even well camouflaged tanks of the Indian Army. In order to do so, at times he had to stay out in the open, changing his position to know the location of Indian tanks. Through his correct target indication, own Recoilless Rifles were able to hit Indian tanks to good effect. On the following day, he went out with four fighting patrols and undertook the most hazardous missions.

 

On December 10, 1971, he spotted the Indians digging in all along a minefield laid out by Pakistan Army near village Harrar Khurd. He immediately informed the second-in-command of his unit. While having reported about this development, he on his own initiative directed accurate fire at the enemy resulting in the destruction of enemy tanks.

 

In the process, he was hit in the chest by a burst of machine-gun fire, and embraced shahadat on December 10, 1971.

 

At the time of shahadat, he was just 22 years old. Sowar Muhammad Hussain had the distinction of being the first among soldier cadre of Pak Army to be awarded with award Nishan-e-Haider for his unmatchable courage and gallant war performance.

 

20 Lancers has since been given the honour of being called 20 Lancers (Haidari) due to brave Sowar Muhammad Hussain’s actions and making his regiment the only armour regiment that has been awarded with the Nishan-e-Haider.

 

Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfuz Shaheed (October 25, 1944-December 17, 1971)

lansnaikmahfuzsh.jpgMahfuz Shaheed was born on October 25, 1944 in Pind Malikan (now Mahfuzabad), Rawalpindi district. He was enlisted in the Army on October 25, 1962. It is a coincidence that the date of birth and date of joining of Mahfuz Shaheed was October 25. After his recruit training from Punjab Regimental Centre, he joined 15 Punjab Regiment, where he was posted to the Alpha Company.

 

When war broke out in 1971, Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfuz was deployed on the Wagah-Attari Sector with his company. His company was ordered to carry out an attack on village “Pul Kanjri” from where the Indian Army had been exerting immense pressure on Pakistani troops facing them. This Indian position was quite close from the defended positions of Pakistani troops but was very heavily held by the Indians. As part of his Company’s attack, he was deputed by his Company Commander to form part of the firebase and support the attack by manning the Light Machine Gun (LMG). Therefore, he was part of that detachment that covered the move of the assaulting troops leading wave. As the attack progressed, his detachment too moved forward with the assaulting troops, until they were caught up in cross fire. This cross fire was incessant, and that too combined with all calibres of artillery shelling. His detachment kept creeping up and during this act, his companion firing the LMG embraced shahadat.

 

He got hold of this LMG and started firing at the Indians with renewed vigour and motivation, inflicting heavy casualties on them. While he was engaging the Indians, a direct enemy shell destroyed his LMG. This did not stop young Mahfuz. He had seen an enemy bunker whose automatic fire had inflicted heavy casualties on his comrades. By using his best training in the art of field craft, he closed up with enemy position, going straight for this LMG position. While he was closing up, both of his legs were injured badly by shell splinters and bullets, and he was totally incapacitated and therefore pinned down, unable to even walk.

 

Lying face down, he kept observing the battle scene and decided to go for bunker that housed this Indian LMG. Hardly fit for walking or even moving, he still gathered all his energy and resolve to go for it at any cost to avenge his fallen comrades and complete the mission of his Company. By stealthily crawling initially, he managed to close up with the LMG bunker and somehow was able to get around the rear entrance limpingly, while the Indian detachment was engaging the advancing Pakistani attacking forces. He managed to muster up all his strength, and not only pounced on the firer but he went for his neck and strangled him to death with his bare hands. Meanwhile, the other crew member, who was watching the grappling match, managed to bayonet him and got him fatally wounded, and he fell down more or less unconscious by now.  

 

His brave action resulted in capture of the Indian position in a miraculous attack, and remain one of the finest actions at tactical levels in history of the Pakistan Army. The attacking troops managed to capture this formidable position by sheer dint of the courage of Mahfuz Shaheed.

 

After the 1971 War, when the flag meetings took place, the Indian Army Commander conveyed to the Pakistani Commander that he had been in many actions in wars and real life, but he never came across someone as brave as Mahfuz Shaheed.

 

Former Army Chief, General Tikka Khan said these words in praise of Muhammad Mahfuz Shaheed, “The shaheed has set an unprecedented example for emulating by all men of the Pakistan Army. The whole nation and Pakistan Army is proud of his bravery and actions”.

 

Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed (January 1, 1970-July 5, 1999)

captcolsherkahn.jpgKarnal Sher Khan was born on January 1, 1970 in village Fujun (Nawan Kili) in District Swabi. His father, Khursheed Khan was a farmer and his mother died when he was only eight years old, in 1978. His paternal aunts brought him up. His family is deeply religious, and they say that Sher was an embodiment of piety and Islamic teachings. Karnal Sher’s grandfather Mr. Ghalib Khan had participated as a volunteer in 1948 Kashmir War.

 

When Karnal Sher Khan was born, his grandfather proposed to name him “Karnal Sher Khan”. Karnal Sher’s father objected this name but Sher’s grandfather replied that Sher Khan would accomplish what he (Ghalib Khan) could not, and that he would become a Colonel in Pakistan Army. That is how Capt Karnal Sher Khan came to be called as “Karnal Sher Khan”

 

Owing to his martial instincts, he joined Pakistan Air Force as Airman in 1988, and was declared All Round Best Airman in his batch. After the basic training, he was posted to the School of Aeronautics at Korangi, Karachi for advance training where he was awarded with “Chief of Air Staff Trophy” for his outstanding performance. In February 1991, he was posted to Risalpur as electrical fitter.

 

His mind was not at ease, and had a growing inner desire to be where the action was. With a burning desire to become an officer and be a leader in action, he decided to join Pakistan Army. The Inter Services Selection Board rejected him in his first attempt. He, however, with his persistence made it in the second attempt, and was selected for commission with 90 PMA Long Course in October 1992. He was commissioned on October 24, 1994 and joined 27 Sindh Regiment. He is remembered by his colleagues to be cheerful, and was always smiling. He established a reputation of being a highly motivated and devoted soldier. He was fondly called as Shera (lion) and was very popular among officers and soldiers/colleagues.

 

Desirous of some real action and to get away from routine, he volunteered to serve at the Line of Control in Kashmir. His request was acceded to, and he was posted to 12 NLI Battalion in January 1998.

 

He was soon deputed to defend posts in Mashko Valley in the Gultary area of the Kargil Sector. While defending these posts, he repeatedly pushed back the Indians that were far superior in numbers and modern weaponry. He dealt a severe blow to attacking Indians particularly on 8 Sikh Infantry Battalion, that was not only stopped but pushed back. He even counterattacked the enemy during day as situation demanded. He wanted to defeat the enemy even if the cost was his life. It was a surprise attack for Indian Army, as they were not expecting it. Knowing the importance of his post, Karnal Sher was not only successful in forcing the enemy to retreat but also followed them to their base camp, and embraced shahadat in the process. He killed many Indian soldiers who became fearful of his attacks and ran away. He with his twenty one comrades moved with lightning speed, fighting closely, and was able to penetrate the battalion headquarters of 8 Sikh Regiment. During the close quarter battle, he lost most of his comrades, was surrounded and ordered to surrender but decided to continue attacking and fought till his last breath. He eventually embraced martyrdom while fighting.

 

Indian authors could not stop themselves from praising the ferocious counter-attack by Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed, Nishan-e-Haider, and his men on their blocking position. Indian author Amarinder Singh in his book “A Ridge Too Far” appreciated this act of bravery as:

 

“At 0645 hours the next morning, the first counter attack by a weak platoon of twenty men came in; it was broken short of Helmet. Forty-five minutes later, the two “Sangars” (posts) manned by Naib Subedar Karnail Singh and Naib Subedar Rawail Singh holding the MMG and AGL on the forward edge of the perimeter of the Helmet defences, were both hit by the RPG rockets, killing both the JCOs. Havildar Sukhwant Singh took command and beat off the first attack. However, a much determined attack in greater strength and led by two officers was then launched. Having lost his two JCOs and suffered heavy casualties, Lieutenant withdrew to India Gate, as did Subedar Sardar Singh and his forward MMG detachment. The enemy pursued them as far as India Gate. There despite the sustained and heavy fire of Major Parmar and his men, they reached the edge of the defensive perimeter and did not falter until both of the officers had been killed. Of the two Pakistani Officers who led the attack, one, later identified as Captain Karnal Sher of 12 NLI... was awarded with Pakistan’s highest award for gallantry....” (A Ridge Too Far, Amarinder Singh, P 116)

 

After his shahadat when his body was recovered, a few Indian soldiers tried to maltreat his body, the Commanding Officer of 8 Sikh ordered them to step back, and treat him with honour as he fought bravely. His remains were later shifted in a honourable manner to Srinagar. He also stated that he should be rewarded with the highest gallantry award of Pakistan. His written citation by the Indian Commanding Officer makes not only him and his family proud but also Pakistan Army, and the Pakistani nation as a whole.

 

Havildar Lalak Jan Shaheed (April 1, 1967-July 7, 1999)

havlalakjan.jpgHavildar Lalak Jan was born in village Hundur of tehsil Yaseen, Ghizer in 1967. He received his early education from Government Middle School for Boys Hundur. Havildar Lalak Jan possessed a strong martial instinct since his childhood and to fulfill his desires, he joined Northern Light Infantry Regimental Centre as a recruit in 1984.

 

زیارت گاہِ اہلِ عزم و ہمت ہے لحد میری
کہ خاکِ راہ کو میں نے بتایا رازِ الوندی
(علامہ اقبال)
جس دھج سے کوئی مقتل میں گیا، وہ شان سلامت رہتی ہے
یہ جان تو آنی جانی ہے، اس جاں کی تو کوئی بات نہیں
(فیض احمد فیض)

نشان حیدر عزیزِ ملت
ہر ایک دل میں ہے تیری عزت
یہ مرتبہ ہے کہ تاقیامت
رہے گی زندہ تری حکایت
کہ تُو نے ہم کو حیات بخشی
رہ وطن میں شہید ہو کر
(حبیب جالب)

After successful completion of his one-year training at Bunji, he was posted to 12 NLI (Northern Light Infantry) Regiment in 1985. Havildar Lalak Jan was having smart military bearing and therefore, picked up for training as a part of special guards. Seeing his smart military bearing and disciplined conduct as special guard, Lalak Jan was included in the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Guard of 12 Division. He was later on selected to represent his battalion in Brigade commando platoon competition, where he secured the first position. In 1994, Havildar Lalak Jan was posted as weapon training instructor in (NLI) Regiment Training Centre Bunji. He remained Company Havildar Major of Jinnah Company and performed the duties of Special Guard Commander at Yadgar-e-Shuhada in the Regimental Centre. He was posted back to the unit in December 1997, and was appointed Company Havildar Major of Alpha Company.

 

In 1999 Kargil conflict, Havildar Lalak Jan was second-in-command of his post along Line of Control. During the course of war, Indian forces attacked his post many times. Havildar Lalak Jan was deployed ahead of his post as 'screens' to give   early warning as well as inflict casualites on the enemy.

 

Havildar Lalak Jan along with his two men at the 'screens' was repulsing the Indian attacks with great valour, and was able to inflict heavy causalities on the Indians with his Light Machine Gun (LMG). On July 5 around 1700 hours, Lance Naik Bashir and Sepoy Bakhmal Shah embraced shahadat due to Indian sniper fire, yet Havildar Lalak Jan stood fast alone against the advancing enemy. Meanwhile intense enemy attacks and long fight resulted in shortage of ammunition and Havildar Lalak Jan went to the dead enemy soldiers and collected their weapons and ammunition, and started repulsing the Indian attacks with more valour and vigour. By 1830 hours, Havildar Lalak Jan received one bullet of enemy automatics but refused to vacate his position. Despite his injury he was manning all the firing bays around his position simultaneously in order to paint a false picture of own manpower to the Indians. Meanwhile, he received two more bullets during the combat, but kept the Indians at bay for five consecutive days despite being outnumbered. Miraculously, reinforcement from battalion headquarters under command of Captain Kashif Khalil and Captain Ahmad arrived at about 0400 hours on July 7, 1999 and the position was restored.

 

On seeing the condition of Lalak Jan, Captain Ahmed told him to go back to the base camp as his arm was in no condition to be used. Lalak Jan told his officer that he did not want to die on a hospital bed, but would rather die in the battlefield. He told him that he should not worry about the arm. While this was going on, the Indians started shelling from a secret bunker in an adjacent hill. By that time, Captain Ahmad had taken up the command of the handful of troops. He realised that the fire was coming from a hidden bunker and directed fire towards it, but the effort was in vain. There was only one way left to counter the hidden Indian bunker; it had to be blown up from a closer range.

 

When the injured Lalak Jan volunteered for the mission, the Captain, who was of the opinion that he would do it himself, immediately rejected his plea. However, Lalak Jan persuaded him, giving him his previous landmine laying experience coupled with his mountaineering skills as the qualifying conditions for his selection for the task. The Captain agreed.

 

Lalak Jan put a bag of explosives on his back, and while shouldering an AK-47 descended the hill for the second time amidst heavy Indian shelling. Managing to avoid being seen by the Indian forces, and utilising his knowledge of the hills to take cover, he located the secret bunker and threw the explosives inside. The bunker, which was also an ammunition dump, blew up in what was probably the biggest blast ever heard in that area. Lalak Jan managed to take cover, but the Indian Army lost 19 to 20 men inside and around the bunker. The other Indian soldiers saw Lalak Jan, and opened fire on him. Surrounded from all sides by Indian fire, Lalak Jan tried to resist and return fire. This effort was in vain, and Lalak Jan embraced shahadat when a number of bullets pierced through his chest. Later, Commanding Officer of 12 NLI sent two commando forces to recover the body of Lalak Jan. The two forces were called ‘Ababeel’ and ‘Uqaab’. Ababeel provided the covering fire while Uqaab went into the destroyed enemy bunker to retrieve the body of Lalak Jan. When his body was found, Lalak Jan had his AK-47 clinched to his chest.

 

The unflinching courage and bravery of Havildar Lalak Jan and his men at Qadir Post was also acknowledged by the enemy forces attacking Qadir Post in the following words:

 

“There were no wounded and no prisoners. Nor any man abandoned his position.  It has been most gallant defense action fought to the last man last bullet”.

 

The undaunted valour and courage displayed by Havildar Lalak Jan Shaheed wrote shinning pages of history, which will remain alive as a source of motivation for  generations in profession of soldiery.

 

“And do not think of those killed in Allah’s path as dead: indeed they are alive and receive their sustenance from their Lord.They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah.”

Surah Aal-e-Imran [ 3:169-170], Al-Quran

.

The writer is a military historian and biographer.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
15
September

Written By: Anwar Ahmed


Skirmishes Along Cease Fire Line (CFL)

■ Indian war of aggression in Kashmir begun by landing her forces on October 27, 1947.

■ Kashmir War 1947-48.

■ Despite United Nations Security Council Resolutions, no plebiscite held in Kashmir due to India.

■ Skirmishes along CFL continued intermittently.

■ Hostilities, skirmishes and war in Kashmir never prompted to aggression across International Borders

1st September 1965

India Prepares for War

India had not digested the creation of Pakistan and was building up war hysteria since April 1965. India moved its troops closer to Pakistani border.

■ Mr. Jay Prakash Narayan, Indian leader severely criticized Shastri's government about the way the Defense of India rules were being enforced. Shastri's government ordered to harass and victimize any Pakistani going to India. 7 Pakistanis were arrested in Kanpur on flimsy grounds who were on a visit to their relatives with valid documents.

■ While apprising the Indian Parliament on the latest situation in Occupied Kashmir, Indian Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan admitted that operation against Mujahideen by the Indian Army was proving very difficult.

Pakistani Account

■ Khawaja Shahabuddin, Central Information Minister warned India that if she continued her aggressive actions across CFL in Kashmir, Pakistani forces would be forced to retaliate.

■ At 5:19 p.m. four Indian Vampire aircraft flown from Pathankot entered Pakistan and attacked our ground troops. The vigilant Air Defenders picked the violating Indian aircraft. To their utmost surprise, the aircraft were welcomed by two F-86 Sabres flown by the brilliant Squadron Leader Sarfraz Rafiqui and Flight Lieutenant Imtiaz Bhatti. All four Indian aircraft were shot down over Chamb, killing pilots Bharadwaj, Bhagwadar and Joshi while Pathak ejected and was made POW.     

■ This thrilling encounter was personally witnessed by Air Marshal Nour Khan, C-in-C of PAF from an L-19 aircraft. To save on further humiliation meted out by PAF pilots, Indian Air Force withdrew all its 130 Vampires and 50  Ouragons from the frontline.

■ Indians tried to build up pressure at Rajauri, Mandal, Sonamarg, Uri Sectors and faced humiliation by Azad troops who stubbornly resisted the enemy pressure and took heavy toll of Indians. Whole day the Indian helicopters remained busy in shifting the casualties.

2nd September 1965

Indian PM L. B. Shastri threatens Pakistan

■ Indian COAS General J.N. Chowdhry visited Occupied Kashmir and held consultations regarding border situation with Governor Sardar Karan Singh, Premier Mr. GM Sadiq and other high ranking military officers.

■  Shastri admits that 4 Indian planes were shot down by Pakistani forces the previous day.

glorioussepday.jpg

Pakistani Account

President Ayub Khan while addressing the nation said, "Indian policy towards Pakistan and Kashmir had been set on a collision course from the very beginning. The present conflict in Kashmir is the inevitable outcome of that policy. India is warned to be responsible alone for the consequences that were bound to follow".

"Aggression will not go unchallenged", President Ayub Khan.

"Pakistan will fulfill pledge to Kashmiris", President Ayub Khan.

"Indian Army has stepped into its grave", Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan.

■ Foreign observers regret use of air force by India. ■ GHQ issued warning orders to all formations to occupy concentration areas by morning of 2nd September in case India escalated.


Force Comparison

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■ The Mujahids wiped out an entire platoon of Indian Army near Sonamarg and they continue attacking Indian positions, convoys and other installations. The Azad Kashmir Forces supported by Pakistan Army are continuing to press forward in the Chamb area. Their advance eastward remains unchecked. 15 Tanks and 150 POWs captured in Chamb area.

6th September 1965

■ India wages war across International Borders without declaration.

■ Violation of International Law.

■ War of Aggression against Pakistan by India.

"Full scale war with Pakistan"; announced in Congress meeting

PM L. B. Shastri

"We are at war. Our brave soldiers have gone forward to repel the enemy attack. The Armed Forces of Pakistan will prove their mettle. Armed with an invincible spirit and determination which has never faltered, they will give a crushing blow to the enemy".

Field Marshal Ayub Khan

British Prime Minister Harold Wilson noted Indian aggression for their invasion in West Pakistan and appealed India to halt fighting.


BATTLE ACCOUNT

India Crosses International Border: At 0400 hours Indian forces attacked Lahore. Pakistani Forces repulsed 3 pronged Indian invasion at Lahore, Sialkot from Jassar enclave and Kasur from Ferozpur.

■ Both at Wagah and Bedian front the Indian attacks were repulsed with heavy casualities. A number of Indian soldiers were made POW. Indian tanks, guns and other war equipment were also destroyed at Lahore front.

■ At Jassar, after fierce fighting, Indian troops were thrown back, recaptured southern river Ravi enclave which was held by Indian army in the morning.

Captured area was littered with knocked out tanks, vehicles, weapons and Indian soldiers' dead bodies. 200 Indian soldiers' dead bodies were physically counted, while actual count was reported to be around 800.

■ At Chamb, India suffered crushing defeat with her war equipment lying scattered for miles. 35 POWs and several tanks captured alongwith six 25 pounder field guns.

Kashmiri Mujahadeen destroyed road and two bridges near Srinagar besides disrupting Rajauri-Poonch line.

Naval Forces were ordered to occupy their pre-assigned war stations as they received information at 0630 hours about Indian attack at Lahore front.

PAF's airstrikes on the Pathankot Air Base had been the most successful air raid of contemporary history destroying 13 aircaft. Overall PAF annihilated 22 Indian jets including C-119s, Mysteres, GNATS and MiG-21s. One Mystere was shot down by air-to-air missile at Rahwali near Gujranwala.

National Morale

■ The live hearted people of Lahore watched the aerial combat between PAF and IAF with great enthusiasm. Thousands set off on the road towards the border in defence of Lahore side by side their soldiers. Many rushed towards the military hospitals for blood donation. Disregarding Indian air threat, nation flocked to cheer soldiers rushing to the borders.

7th September 1965

India threatened to extend war to East Wing

INDIAN ATTACK PUSHED BACK

■ "Indian offensive halted in Lahore, Sulemanki, Ferozpur sectors'; Indian Official Spokesperson.

■ India suffers heavy blow on all fronts. 31 aircraft destroyed today bringing the total to an embarrassing 53 and several rendered unserviceable.

President Ayub Khan applauds PAF for its brilliant performance.

■ "Only plebiscite in Kashmir can bring lasting peace'; President Ayub Khan.

■ "Kashmiris will frustrate Indian designs'; Spokesperson Revolutionary Counsel.

"Report for Duty", Orders General Musa C-in-C to all newly retired officers and soldiers.

"Victory will be ours", Malik Amir Muhammad, Governor West Pakistan.

"Pakistan will give befitting reply if India shows aggression in East Pakistan",

Abdul Monem Khan Governor East Pakistan.

"Justify Nation's Trust", Naval Chief Admiral A.R. Khan's Order of the Day to Pakistan Navy.

■ PNS Babur, Khaibar, Badr, Jahangir, Alamgir, Shahjahan and Tipu Sultan tasked to be in position 293 degrees, 120 miles from Dwarka Light House by 6 p.m. on September 7.

Major General Akhter Husain Malik conferred Hilal-e-Jurat for his extraordinary gallant actions in defence of Pakistan in Jaurian sector.

■ Fulfill pledge to Kashmiris, Ayub Khan asks U Thant, UN Secretary General.

■ "Sanctity of Holy places to be maintained", Pakistan's assurance to Sikh community.

■ China warns India of consequences.

■ Indonesia supports Pakistan's stance.

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3rd September  1965

Indian PM L.B. Shastri prepares his nation for hard days ahead, fearing more air raids

■ Fierce fighting in Chamb sector in last two days where over 500 Indian soldiers,15 tanks and other equipment were captured by Pakistan Army.

C-in-C General M. Musa visited wounded Indian soldiers at a field hospital.

Lt Col Naseerullah Babar (Later Major General) captured 30 Indian soldiers singlehandedly in Bhimber sector when he mistakenly landed his helicopter at an Indian position still not cleared by Pakistani troops. With exceptional presence of mind and resolute confidence he made Indian soldiers believe that they had been surrounded by a large number of troops when he only had a single pistol with him.

■ Three out of six Indian aircraft shot down. One aircraft flown by Squadron Leader Brij Pal Singh (later Air Marshal) made to force land at Pasrur airfield by Flight Lieutenant Hakimullah (later Chief of Air Staff) and Flying Officer Abbas Mirza and made POW, while the remaining two aircraft flew away in damaged condition.

4th September 1965

"India wants showdown this time. Wants to settle Kashmir issue with Pakistan once for all." Indira Gandhi, Indian Foreign Minister

■ "India is aggressor in Kashmir", Chinese Foreign Minister Marshal Chen Yi backs action by Pakistan.

■ INDIA IS THE AGGRESSOR — Tension caused by India alone. Pakistani troops were forced to hit back in self defence after Indian troops poured across the Ceasefire Line and pushed deep into the Pakistan controlled area': People's Daily (official newspaper of China)

■ GHQ directs formations to take necessary defensive measures against India. C-in-C General Musa visited frontline.

■ UN Chief Military Observer (UNMOGIP) Lt Gen Nimmo belies Indian claims, "Freedom fighters had ambushed an Indian military convoy at Sonamarg near Srinagar and inflicted heavy casualties. Guerilla actions all over the Indian occupied Kashmir inflicting heavy casualties".

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan ordered all naval units of the Navy to take up defensive positions off the coast. Pakistan Navy deployed its first long-range submarine PNS Ghazi for gathering intelligence and diverting threats posed by the aircraft carriers INS Vikrant, INS Mysore and INS Dehli.

■ Jaurian Sector: A platoon of FF Regiment commanded by Second Lieutenant Shabbir Sharif charged strongly held enemy position at Troti Feature. The attack met stiff resistance resulting in several casualties including 2nd Lt Shabbir Sharif. Notwithstanding reverses, 2nd Lt Shabbir Sharif took his troops out of the enemy fire. He reorganized his troops and charged again and retrieved bodies of six martyred and fifteen injured soldiers. He charged third time and drove back an Indian artillery gun with its gun-tower truck. For his outstanding leadership, chivalry and tactical brilliance, he was awarded Sitara-e-Jurat.

IAF attempt to violate Pakistani airspace foiled. 40 IAF planes chased off.

Liberation Front ambushed Indian military convoy in Rajauri sector killing 38 Indian soldiers while capturing large quantity of ammunition and making several soldiers POW.

8th September 1965

Desperate Indian Air Force targeting non-military installations

Wazirabad, Chiniot and Sargodha HOSPITAL and CIVIL COURTS attacked

■ India dropped para-troopers over Rawalpindi, Lahore, Shandara, Wazirabad, Jhelum, Sukkur, Badin and outskirts of Karachi.

■ Indian paratroopers and POWs were found to be unwilling to fight because of lack of conviction in the war.

Iran: "The people of Iran are deeply concerned otter Indian aggression against the homeland of their Pakistani brothers and are determined not to limit their reaction to mere expression of sentiment'.

Iranian Government Official announcement, (Radio Tehran)

Turkey: "If India did not immediately end its attacks against Pakistan then Turkey should break off diplomatic and economic relations with India and furnish effective support to our great ally Pakistan".

Turkish Senators Sitki Ulay and Mucip Atagi

UK: Suspends military shipment to India.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

■ Inflicting heavy losses Pakistan Army beats back enemy attack at Lahore, Sialkot and desert region.

■ 21 Indian tanks knocked out in Sialkot. Artillery guns and a number of Indian soldiers captured.

■ Public in thousands lined up to cheer Pakistani soldiers going to battlefield.

Mujahids inflict heavy losses to Indian Army. 3 miles road between Srinagar and Kargil destroyed.

Pakistan Navy takes the battle to Indian shores. Indian vital naval base and radar station at Dwarka burnt to ashes in a span of 12 hours long operation.

PAF bombers carried out accurate air attacks on IAF bases at Halwara near Ludhiana and Jodhpur. So far 70 Indian Air Force planes totaling 1/5th of IAF destroyed in last 36 hours.

glorioussepday3.jpg

5th September 1965

INDIAN WAR HYSTERIA

"INDIA WILL CONSIDER NEW STRATEGY IF PAKISTAN COMPELS THEM. WE HAVE TO BRING THIS MATTER TO AN END"

PM L.B. Shastri

President Ayub Khan highly appreciated the heroic performance of Army units operating in Jaurian.

General Musa Khan congratulated his men on Jaurian Victory. He said,

"You have got your teeth in him. Bite deeper and deeper till you destroy him".

Khwaja Shahabuddin, The Information Minister said, "Let me assure Shastri that he is deluding himself and his people if he thinks that anyone in Pakistan will hesitate to make supreme sacrifice in meeting the challenge".

■ After a whole night of fierce fighting the battle was drawn in the favour of 12 Division under Major General Akhtar Hussain Malik which captured Jaurian. It was one of the India's second vital strongholds that fell to Azad Forces and Pakistan Army. Indian Army was pushed back 18 miles inside the Ceasefire Line and own troops were three miles away from Akhnoor.

■ The Kashmiri freedom fighters engaged the Indian Army in Occupied Kashmir at a number of places and killed about 50 soldiers while many were injured.

SUBMARINE GHAZI was in position by morning to attack cruiser Mysore and her escorts which were proceeding up the west coast of India towards Bombay.

■ PAF remained alert and patrolled Bhimber Sector.

glorioussepday4.jpg

9th September 1965

India Panicks!

Serious rift between Indian PM L.B. Shastri and President Radhakrishnan over PM's act of violence against Pakistan

■ India orders arrest of 500 Pakistanis visiting their relatives on legal documents.

■ U.S. papers report Indian failure on Lahore sector due to stiff Pakistani resistance.

■ India has banned Met Office to publish weather forecast as it might favor PAF.

International Scenario

■ "Chinese government sternly condemns India for her criminal aggression and expresses firm support for Pakistan", Chinese PM Zhou Enlai.

■ "Prayer of Indonesian people for Pakistan fighting fiercely to maintain sovereignty and freedom", President Sukarno.

■ "Painful development concerns Pakistan and Turkey who are CENTO allies. Unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood exist between two nations", PM Suat Hayri Urguplu.

■ "Both sides are making many claims but when a personal chance occurs to check, Pakistanis are accurate", Peter Preston, Editor The Guardian.

Indian Defence Minister Y B. Chavan is trying to outdo Goebbels in propaganda war. Many politicians are disappointed by Chavan's account of military operations. Clare Hollingworth (The Guardian).

■ "Pakistanis have only 300 jet fighters of which according to Dehli Radio the gallant Indian Air Force has already shot down 472", Osbert Lancaster, (Daily Express).

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Pakistan Army pushed Indian troops beyond international boundary on all the three fronts with a decisive blow at Wagah and Kasur. It has tactical gains to its credit. Fighting now goes into enemy's territory.

■ On Sialkot and Gadro front all enemy attacks successfully beaten back inflicting heavy casualities on the Indians. Lt Kaleem embraced Shahadat in a hand to hand fight defending Jassar Bridge.

Mujahids ambushed Indian engineers bridge and road repair party northwest of Sonamarg.

Submarine Ghazi dominated the Bombay Naval base and did not allow Indian Navy to react at Dwarka.

PAF maintained full control of the air; Indian air bases at Pathankot and Jodhpur completely damaged as per AM Nur Khan, 28 Indian planes were destroyed in air combats, two shot down by AA guns, 26 destroyed in the air raids on Indian airfield and another 15 including 11 Canberras destroyed in the air raids and attacks on Kalaikunda airbase some 60 miles near the port town of Calcutta.

■ Song: "Mery Dhol Sipahiya Teenu Rab diyan rakhan" written by Sufi Tabassum, sung by Noor Jahan was broadcasted on this day.

glorioussepday5.jpg

10th September 1965

"Indian troops suffered considerable loss of armour in their thrust towards Sialkot from Jammu. In Kasur sector they have been forced to withdraw in the face of heavy counter attack by Pakistani forces."

Indian Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan.

Indian government divided into two groups, one led by President Radha krishnan favoring an early end to war and cooperation with UN Secretary General U Thant and the other led by PM Shastri opposing peaceful settlements.

Indian Navy is bitter about failure of IAF to prevent annihilation of the Naval and air bases in Dwarka and Jamnagar region by PAF and Pakistan Navy.

The danger of mass killing of Muslims in India is reported to be rising with the advance of Pakistan Army towards Ferozpur.

Panicked decision of Indian government to impose ban on listening Radio Pakistan and seizing of bank accounts of all Pakistani nationals, firms and companies in India.

Pakistani Account

■ "Pakistanis are steeled in their resolve not only to throw the intruder from their soil but to give a crushing blow to Indian aggression", FM Ayub Khan.

■ "Give crushing blow to enemy and those who are trying to undo Pakistan shall never succeed - Pakistan shall live forever", Miss Fatima Jinnah.

King Faisal reiterated Saudi Arabia's full support for Pakistan against Indian aggression over Kashmir conflict.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

■ Pakistan Army shot down two Indian fighter planes in Lahore sector with small arms fire.

■ Seven more Indian Centurion tanks destroyed in Sialkot sector raising the total number to 42 in this sector.

■ The Mujahideen raided heavily fortified Indian position at Maralabad in Dras sector and gave considerable damage to Indian army.

Pakistan Navy seized Indian Naval liberty of action in the Arabian Sea.

PAF fighters intercepted and shot down an Indian jet over Lahore which had come to give support to retreating Indian Army.

East Wing Lalmonirhat and Thakurgaon in Rangpur and Dinajpur Dacca districts respectively were subjected to heavy Indian bombing and strafing by IAF planes.

National Morale

■ 4 lac tribesmen declared to go to the front to fight Indian aggression.

■ 20,000 ex servicemen of Nowshera District offered their services.

■ 35 doctors from Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center left Karachi for operational areas.

■ Noor Jahan sang the evergreen song, "Ay Puttar Hattan te nai wekday"

glorioussepday6.jpg

11th September 1965

International Media Account

"India is looking for ways to end war due to heavy losses and unexpected results". There are some indications that PM Shastri's government is looking for a way to end the war on a basis that could be explained to an aroused nation."

■ Despite censorship the newspapers reported, "Initial momentum of the Indian attacks in Pakistan has begun to falter; Pakistanis regrouped and concentrating, are increasing the strength of their counter attacks".

■ The second factor operating to the disadvantage of the Indian army is that there are fairly widespread misgivings among the senior officers about the justification let alone the wisdom of going to war over Kashmir.

Quaid's Anniversary

■ Despite intense war the life in Pakistan flowed smooth and unruffled. Quaid's 17th death anniversary was observed in the usual manner.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

■ 4th Indian Mountain Division, 2nd Independent Armoured Brigade Group and an additional Tank Regiment had stood in Bhikiwind-Khem Karan area, poised for a frontal attack on Kasur. After fierce fighting Pakistan captured Khem Karan incurring heavy losses to Indian army in Kasur sector. Pakistani Forces undertook limited offensive to prevent enemy build-up towards Lahore. In a swift, short spurt, Pakistani troops captured Khem Karan. Indian command desperately ordered to push back Pakistani troops at any cost but failed.

Lahore Sector: Enemy launched as many as eight major attacks on Barki positions before the final attack on the night of 11-12 September. In the final attack, three enemy tanks started shooting Major Aziz Bhatti's position. Undeterred, Major Bhatti kept directing fire on the enemy. Two enemy tanks were shot. In the meantime, one of the shell directly hit him and he embraced Shahadat. However, none of these attacks could make any headway. Major Aziz Bhatti's troops held the ground firmly following his inspiring leadership.

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti was awarded Nishan-e-Haider for his action beyond the call of duty.

■ In Sialkot Sector enemy made a desperate bid to retrieve ground with heavy tank units. In the ensuing battle 36 Indian tanks were knocked down.

■ In Chamb-Akhnoor Sector Pakistani Forces captured another post north of Deva and consolidated their positions.

■ In Sindh-Rajasthan Sector Pakistani troops further advanced towards north and captured posts in the Gadro area.

Pakistan Navy ships maintained their supremacy at Arabian Sea after Operation Dwarka.

PAF destroyed entire fleet of MiG aircraft at Halwara. PAF also destroyed two Indian fighter-bombers (Hunter and Vampire) at Bagh Dogra Indian Air Force base in West Bengal.

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12th September 1965

"Security Council should guarantee the ceasefire line after all Pakistani troops are removed from Kashmir." Indian President

This move seen too clever by Independent Observers

■ Lieutenant Colonel Anant Singh, 7 officers and 350 soldiers of 4th Sikh Regiment surrendered in Khem Karan sector.

■ Nepal asked India not to deploy 50,000 Gurkha soldiers serving with Indian Army in the war against Pakistan.

■ His country would appreciate any advice by Turkey on how to halt the fighting and find a solution to Kashmir dispute around a conference table.

Mr. Lal Mehta, Indian Ambassador to Ankara

International Account

■ The victory now seems within Pakistan's grasp. Douglas Brown, The Sunday Telegraph

■ Indians have so far failed to make any impact on Pakistani positions in their attempt to push forward. Pakistan's smaller army but well armored and in high state of readiness is now fighting on Indian soil in two sectors of the 50 mile Lahore front. Reuters and BBC

■ PAF superior to IAF. UN Military Observer

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Lahore Sector: India made attempts to advance to Harike-Rurki road again but their attempt was foiled with heavy losses.

Sialkot Sector: Heaviest ever tank attack launched by India was repulsed and many posts were taken and POWs captured. 45 tanks and scores of heavy vehicles were destroyed taking the total tanks destroyed to 187.

■ Pakistani Forces captured a post well inside the Indian territory in the Ramgarh-Jaisalmir axis and in Chamb sector.

■ Freedom fighters killed one Lt Col, a JCO and three soldiers of the Indian Army when an encounter took place between them in the southwest of Jammu.

PAF continued to lend vigorous support to ground forces in various sectors. Destroyed 28 tanks and 123 heavy vehicles.

National Morale

■ Thousands of citizens of Dacca took out a procession to express their anger against Indian aggression. On the other hand, scores of valiant tribesmen joined the battlefield.

■ Ex servicemen from number of friendly countries made touching appeals to allow them to join Pakistan Army to fight against Indian aggression.

Jameel-ud-Din Aali wrote "Ay Watan k Sajeelay Jawano" which was sung by Noor Jahan.

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13th September 1965

East Punjab Home Minister Darbara Singh appealed to the Indian public to remain calm who are deeply panicked over Pakistani successes

■ Indian Government imposed strict reporting censorship and disallowed pressmen to visit battle areas.

■ U.S. and UK increase diplomatic pressure on Turkey and Iran to keep them from supporting Pakistan in war with India.

■ India seeks fighter jets from U.S. in the wake of heavy aircraft losses.

■ UK press reports that placing of more aircraft at tactical airfields of Pathankot, Halwara and Adampur and throwing in dozens of small scale ineffective air raids was IAF's blunder which resulted in heavy IAF losses.

■ UK newspaper 'Spectator' declares Indian war design as perfidious and ill-planned. International Scenario

■ Russia blamed America for Indo-Pakistan war.

■ Raza Shah Pehlvi, Shah of Iran announced solidarity with Pakistan and cancelled 25th year of rule celebrations besides announcing donation.

■ Indonesian Government condemns Indian aggression. Youth demands exclusion of India from next Afro-Asian conference, also set ablaze Air India office in Jakarta. Millions of Muslims took out anti-India rally.

Pakistan's Perspective

■ Pakistan's Ambassador to USA Ghulam Ahmed stated in media that"Pakistan is fully determined to crush Indian aggression".

BATTLE ACCOUNT

■ Army: Pakistani troops push back Indian advance and capture Munabao railway station.

■ In the eight days of battle, India has lost half of its total armoured strength, tank losses reached to 209 and aircraft losses to 140.

■ Pakistan Army dislodged several Indian Army attempts to advance on Khem Karan-Kasur and Jammu-Sialkot sector with heavy losses to Indian Army.

Mujahideen raided an Indian military base near Srinagar.

Navy: Submarine PNS Ghazi returned to Karachi Port for routine maintenance and necessary operational briefing.

PAF: Six Indian transport planes destroyed by PAF parked at Jammu airfield. One IAF GNAT shot down by PAF in Sialkot sector.

National Morale

■ Strong anti-India demonstrations held in East Pakistan.

■ Hindu and Christian communities of Pakistan condemn Indian aggression.

■ Govt of West Pakistan donates Rs. 2,000,000 to C-in-C's Shaheed Welfare Fund.

■ Large number of people turn up to donate blood for war victims.

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14th September 1965

The diary of Indian Maj Gen Niranjan Prasad found on Lahore front makes "sensational disclosures"

■ It revealed the existence of deep conflicts and tensions in the Indian Army, rifts among the Indian Air Chief, General Choudhry, his senior associates and bitter resentment over confused meddling by politicians. The diary bemoans the absence of any sense of purpose or direction in the orders given to Indian Army and regrets that Indian Armed Forces were being used as a pawn in the game of power politics.

U.S. President Johnson was trying to save Shastri Government from humiliation over Kashmir. He believed "extremism or some sort of anarchy" may overtake India "IF IT WERE TO FALL".

■ New Delhi diplomatic sources report deepening of crisis in Indian Government following Indian Army's poor performance against Pakistan. It says, "Every Indian knows that the government has led the country on the path of disaster".

■ Indian Air Force bombed and martyred 60 civilians in Peshawar and Kohat besides destroying mosques and hospitals.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Lahore Sector: Pakistani forces repulsed fresh enemy attempt in Maqboolpur. The enemy left behind 150 bodies and at least twice as many wounded. 5 more tanks smashed; another Indian Army officer made POW.

Gadro Sector: Forces captured yet another post. An officer with 35 soldiers made POW.

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Situation remained under control. Indian Forces'

concentration was severely neutralized by heavy artillery fire and PAF.

■ IAF lost 11 aircraft during last 24 hours. 3 were shot down by Pakistan ground forces while rest were bagged by PAF raising total IAF losses to 80.

National Morale

■ President Ayub Khan visited CMH to see wounded from the war front.

■ NA Deputy Speaker donates 25 % of his salary.

■ Arab students of Peshawar University offered to fight on the frontline.

■ People from all walks of life including 9 judges of West Pakistan High Court stationed in Lahore offered to donate blood for courageous Armed Forces.

Indian Attack Condemned: Dacca students take out big processions.

International Reports

The Observer, London: "Pakistan's success in the air means that she has been able to redeploy her relatively small army professionally among the best in Asia with impunity. Courage displayed by the PAF pilots is reminiscent of the bravery of the few young and dedicated pilots who saved this country from Nazi invaders in the critical battle of Britain during the last war." Patrick Seale.

The Guardian defense correspondent Clare Hollingworth reported from Jaurian near J&K, "Indians are short of Radar and by day Pakistani F-104 supersonic fighters can and do make reconnaissance flights with little fear of being hit".

Foreign Support

■ Medicines from students of Indonesia received.

■ Demonstrations in Turkey against Indian aggression

15th 1965 September

Stubborn Indian PM Shastri turned down ceasefire offer byUN Secretary General U Thant

Personal diary of General Niranjan Prasad revealed that India had started preparing for war in May 1965.

■ Indian Sikh community in- Birmingham UK contributed to Pakistan war fund stating that Pakistan's position is justified and moral.

■ Patrick Seale reported in London Observer that India doesn't want Great Powers to intervene in the hope to preserve status quo of her occupation of Kashmir.

ABC correspondent Roy Meloni confirmed that Indians are bombing civilian targets inside Pakistan.

■ Afghan Government shows deep concern over Indian bombings in Peshawar and Kohat. Pakistani Account

■ President Ayub Khan reiterated his resolve to defend every inch of territory.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Pakistan Army repulsed another enemy attack in Sialkot sector causing heavy losses to Indian Army. Indian 1 Corps planned to capture three pivotal positions at Badian, Chawinda and Zafarwal. After meeting tough resistance, India was forced to change plan only to fail again. Pakistani Wajahat Task Force held areas between Chawinda and eastern boundary. 22 Cavalry ex 15 Division contacted enemy at 1100 hours and knocked down three enemy tanks in half-hour long fire fight. After Chawinda, Lt Gen Harbakhsh Singh was silent on how to regroup and advance on these fronts.

■ At Pasrur, Hasri Nala (Indian) 16 Cavalry lost four tanks when came under accurate artillery and armour fire. Indians were forced to disengage and redeploy east of Hasri Nala where eight PAF Sabres strafed Indian positions.

■ Pakistan Army captured an Indian post in Gadro sector. Fleeing Indians left behind all their weapons and equipment.

Mujahideen killed 21 and injured many more Indian soldiers in Rajauri area.

■ Navy Submarine PNS Ghazi was declared 'ready' to return to sea after maintenance.

■ PAF continued heavy pounding on important targets at Srinagar, Adampur, Jodhpur, Halwara and Pathankot. PAF shot down an Indian Canberra bomber, destroyed 22 tanks and 51 vehicles in Sialkot-Jammu, Wagah-Attari and Gadro sectors.

National Morale

Rawalpindi: Women offered their services for looking after the war wounded in hospitals.

■ Pakistani community in Kuwait gave monetary donations to Pakistan embassy. Many ex-soldiers offered their services for Pakistan Army.

glorioussepday10.jpg

16th September 1965

"Plan to massacre Muslims in held Kashmir"

■ Indonesian news agency 'Antara' exposed Indian Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan's plan.

Indian body count touches 6,889 since 6th September. Losses in tanks, aircraft and armoured vehicles also increased. Most battlefields are littered with rotting Indian soldiers' corpses.

■ Once again Indian Air Force bombed civilian population in Sargodha and Peshawar causing loss of 30 innocent lives including three kids and five women.

■ "Secretary General U Thant is biased towards India. He is no longer independent and has virtually become prisoner to Indian officials at UN Secretariat", Pakistan's correspondent to UN, H.K Burki.

International Scenario

■ China, Indonesia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and New Zealand showed strong solidarity with Pakistan and denounced Indian aggression.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Indian troops launched strong attack from two directions. The attack was supported by armour and artillery which was halted by Pakistan Army with the support of PAF. Indian, Army suffered heavy losses including 36 tanks.

Wagah-Attari and Khem Karan Sector: Indian advance was repulsed by pushing them back 12 miles, seizing 6 miles of, Indian territory. PAF and artillery caused heavy damage to Indian forces.

Gadro Sector: Pakistani troops continued offensive well inside Indian territory.

Mujahideen took full control of Rajauri town an ambushed Indian military convoys.

Pakistan Navy fleet continued to patrol the Arabian Sea whereas SM Ghazi returned to hunt Indian Navy vessels off Indian coast and denied freedom of action to Indian Navy.

■ PAF Sabres shot down two IAF Hunters over Beas River.

■ PAF planes kept offensive momentum and destroyed twenty Indian tanks, military vehicles and gun in Sialkot-Jammu, Wagah-Attari, Khem Karan and Gadro sectors.

National Morale

■ Dawood Group of Industries, Burewala Textile Mills, National Shipping Lines, Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, WAPDA, Habib Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, Agriculture Development Bank, West Pakistan Cooperative Board, Ever new Film Studios, Colony Textile Mills and Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation made heavy donations to Defence Fund. The employees of these organizations also provided gift-packs to the soldiers and made blood donations.

■ Pakistani Tennis star Khawaja Saeed Hai vigorously pursued donation 

17th September 1965

IAF planes targeted Pakistani civilian train at Lahore-Narowal section near Shah Sultan, killing 20 passengers while injuring 48

Indian Foreign Office humiliated Muslim envoys of Turkey, Iran and UAE as they were called to hear a warning against their governments adopting a "partisan attitude" in Indo-Pak war.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Khem Karan sector: Pakistani Forces' accurate artillery shelling disorganized two Indian heavy concentrations for attack which resulted in destruction of 4 enemy tanks.

Sialkot Sector: Pakistan Army repulsed two-pronged enemy attack and inflicted heavy causalities on the enemy. The Indian Army lost 51 tanks and 14 guns in the fierce battle. So far Pakistan has destroyed 442 Indian tanks and captured another 17 in perfect working order.

Chamb Sector: Pakistani 4 Corps Artillery heavily bombarded Indian Forces at Butur Dograndi. Lt Gen BM Kaul stated, "One Armour Regiment which should have come to their rescue was halted by enemy firing enroute. On the other hand Indian Poona Horse and 8 Gharwal Rifles could not reach Butur Dograndi on account of close range enemy anti-tank fire". In the evening Indian Commander was left with no choice but to order 8 Garhwal to withdraw.

■ 25 Cavalry caused heavy damage to Indian Forces. Besides destroying 5 tanks, Captain Gurdial Singh ex Poona Horse, 2 soldiers ex 8 Garhwal Rifles were made POW. One Centurion tank brought in running condition by NCO ex 25 Cavalry. By sunset Indian neither 1st Armour Brigade nor 43 Lorried Brigade were capable of mounting even a limited attack anymore.

Mujahideen action in the North of Chhamb-Jaurian sector. Indians sitting in three layer concrete trenches were targeted by AK Forces and forced them to surrender.

PAF planes also bombed enemy concentrations in the Samba-Jammu sector at night as well as IAF bases at Halwara and Adampur. Diplomatic Front

President Ayub in response to UN Secretary General U. Thant's proposal, stated that Pakistan would agree to a ceasefire only if accompanied by, "effective machinery and procedure that would lead to a final settlement of Kashmir dispute."

■ General Musa paid visit to frontline troops and found them in high state of morale.

 International Support

King Faisal's brother and governor of Mecca, Amir Mishaal volunteered himself to fight for Pakistan.

■ Indonesian citizens in Arab countries asked Arab League to support Pakistan.

Foreign Media Reports

■ The British Press continues to denounce Indian aggression against Pakistan.

Evening Star of London editorial stated, "There can be little doubt this time that the responsibility for the latest outbreak of fighting in Asia lies with India".

Le Monde, an Independent newspaper said, "The Indo-Pakistan conflict, has in the first place brought to light India's extraordinary diplomatic isolation".

The Time Weekly: In the air, it was much the same story, Indian quantity and Pakistani quality.

11 Days' Battle Summary

■ Pakistan army controlled approximately 500 square miles of Indian territory in various sectors which includes 200 square miles in Akhnoor, 200 square miles in Khem Karan and 80 square miles in Rajasthan sector.

POWs: 20 officers, 19 JCOs and 530 other ranks.

PAF destroyed 41 enemy tanks, heavy guns and other vehicles.

18th September 1965

India is paying heavily for her aggression against Pakistan. So far 453 tanks destroyed, 18 captured, 106 aircraft destroyed

UN Secretary General U Thant reported on military situation to the Security Council, The ceasefire line has been crossed by Indian forces at Kargil, Tithwal, Uri, Poonch upto Haji Pir Pass. Indians crossed Jammu border in force towards Sialkot and from Amritsar and Ferozpur towards Lahore".

■ Indian Food Minster Mr. C. Subramaniam warns that India faces serious food shortage resulting in reduction in daily ration.

■ Indian Deputy Minister External Affairs, Mr. Dinesh Singh asked Rajya Sabha to break ties with Indonesia for continued anti-India demonstrations in Indonesia.

■ General Musa met troops at Lahore sector and found them in high spirit and confidence.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Pakistani Forces kept up pressure, gained more ground in enemy territory and caused heavy losses to the Indian troops.

Wagah-Attari Sector: India lost 7 tanks besides surrendering 10 Indian soldiers. Three enemy attacks were also foiled in the sector.

Khem Karan Sector: Four enemy attempts to gain ground foiled. Pakistani artillery kept on pounding Indian positions. 2 GNATs aircraft were shot down while four others were chased out by PAF.

Fazlika, Rajasthan and Akhnoor Sector: Pakistani forces consolidated gains. Rajput Fort of Kishangarh in Rajasthan was captured.

Mujahids raided Indian battalion at Rajauri sector and killed 63 Indian troops.

PAF struck deep into enemy territory at IAF Base Ambala. 4 Canberra bombers and installations in the technical area damaged.

Indian Air Force Losses

 glorioussepday11.jpg

National Morale

■ Lahoris with jubilation drove Indian Maj Gen Naranjan Parasad's jeep captured alongwith his diary followed by a procession through main streets of Lahore.

■ "Rang laye ga shaheedon ka laho" written by Tanveer Naqvi sung by Madam Noor Jahan went on air.

glorioussepday12.jpg

19th September 1965

"India had accepted the ceasefire unconditionally but we refuse to link Kashmir problem with the ceasefire"

Indian Education Minister Mr. Chagla stated in Security Council

■ Indians faced series of humiliating defeats on land and in the air by PAF.

Peter Mansfield, The Sunday Times

■ Indian POWs stated that the Indian caste system is disastrous in their Army. Officers above the rank of Major never appear on frontline. The soldiers were given orders and then left to get on with the fighting. No wonder they ran away.

Peter Mansfield, The Sunday Times  

■ "India is an out-and-out aggressor in this war". Mrs. Bandaranaike, Premier of Sri Lanka. Pakistani Account

■ The Commandant PMA while addressing the Passing Out Parade at Kakul said "with the Indian invasion on Pakistan borders, the Armed Forces have been given an opportunity to write a new chapter of the glorious history".

■ Within six hours Indians launched three air raids during visit of local and foreign journalists at Khem Karan sector which were repulsed successfully and Pakistani Commander stated, "Indian Airmen had been specially trained to miss their targets because of their lack of training and professionalism".

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector:40 enemy tanks were destroyed, 3 officers, 4 JCOs and 102 soldiers taken prisoners.

■ Despite overwhelming superiority in number and armament, Indian Army had been given a humiliating defeat and is being taught an unforgettable lesson. To avoid humiliation, Indian High Command desperately wanted to push back Pakistani forces from their territory and planned a series of attacks.

Wagah-Attari Sector: Indian forces launched two pronged full scale attacks but were beaten back aggressively. Pakistani Forces caused heavy causalities to them.

Khem Karan Sector: Two Indian counter attacks beaten back with heavy losses. In Kasur-Khem Karan sector they have been pushed back several miles inside their territory.

Chawinda: Pakistan Army has written a new chapter of glorious history. The bravery of Pakistani troops has thoroughly demoralized Indian army and they are hardly in any shape to face Pakistan Army.

Sindh-Rajasthan Sector: 150 Indians were killed and 21 taken prisoners.

Fazlika and Akhnoor Sector: Pakistani forces continue to maintain pressure on enemy.

Mujahids raided another Indian military base around six miles from Rajauri and destroyed an important bridge on the Srinagar-Bagram Road about 15 miles from Srinagar. The communication lines of the Indian troops based in Taso Maidan area have been completely cut off. In many areas of Srinagar, Indian control had been completely wiped out and they now resorted to harassing people by firing from helicopters.

PAF maintained air supremacy and continued giving support to our ground forces and also shot down an IAF Hunter plane over Sialkot Jammu sector.

National Morale

■ Writers, poets and thinkers all over Pakistan decided to donate 10 % of their income to National Defense Fund and resolved to send 5 men team of writers to each frontline to express admiration and gratitude to the Armed Forces.

 

20th September 1965

"Lahore Cantonment is our aim," Indian Army Chief

Times Magazine quoted ex-Indian Defense Minister Krishna Menon, "India was opposed to a plebiscite because she would lose it. Since 1949 India has violated four times the UN order for plebiscite".

American Time Magazine, "Pakistan's small highly-trained army is more than a match for the Indians. The PAF seems to have made a spectacular number of kills".

■ Britain's Independent TV from POW camp Kohat televised a film showing, "Indian Army is in shambles and its morale extremely low. Indian Army had shown little enthusiasm for the war against Pakistan".

Times Magazine correspondent quoted a POW Havildar of Indian 6th Light Infantry that "he had no idea he was going to be involved in open war with Pakistan when his battalion moved up to the frontier."

Pakistani Account

■ President Ayub strongly condemned the Security Council's resolution, "calling for a ceasefire without providing for a plebiscite in Kashmir"

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Pakistani Forces continue to maintain control over earlier Indian held territory in all sectors besides capturing two more Indian tanks.

glorioussepday13.jpg

Wagah-Attari sector: 12 enemy tanks destroyed raising the total to 494. Pakistani artillery guns forced Indian guns to remain silent at Fazilka, Rajasthan and Akhnoor sectors.

PAF: 4 IAF planes shot down. 110 enemy aircraft destroyed so far.

■ PAF bombers successfully carried out precision attacks on the IAF bases and installations at Ambala, Jodhpur, Jammu, Jamnagar and Halwara.

Pakistan Navy maintained dominance in Arabian Sea and ceased Indian liberty.

National Morale

■ Pakistanis cheered as one of the 4 Indian fighters burst into flames and spiraled earthwards from the clear blue sky, trailing smoke. Lahorites enjoy air combat as stated by John Chadwick from Reuters.

■ A delegation of Lebanese and Saudi ulema called on Pakistan's Ambassa-dor Hamid Nawaz and conveyed him sympathy and support of Muslims for Pakistan.

■ Government of Pakistan announced immediate monetary relief package for the families of central government servants reported missing or killed in enemy action.

glorioussepday14.jpg

2 1st September 1965

India informed UN her willingness to accept Security Council Resolution for ceasefire

PM Shastri

■ U. Thant's report to UN "It is dangerous to leave Kashmir issue unresolved".

Times Magazine special correspondent, "Pakistan's decisive victory in historical Sialkot tank battle is confirmed today".

■ 4000 Indonesian youth marched through the streets of Jakarta chanting slogans, "India is our enemy, crush India and go home India".

Pakistani Account

■ President Ayub Khan awarded 42 Jurat Awards including Hilal-e-Jurat, second highest gallantry award to Maj Gen Abrar Hussain, Brig Abdul All and Brig Amjad All Khan. Squadron Leader Khan Najeeb Ahmed also awarded Sitara-e-Jurat.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot Sector: Pakistani Forces dominated the battlefield in Sialkot sector and made more tactical gains in Khem Karan and Hussainiwala sector. In one of the encounters in the Sialkot area, 6 enemy tanks were knocked out. In Fazilka area most of the villages around the town have been evacuated by the Indians due to panic following an engagement.

11 Indian tanks and six machine guns were destroyed along with substantial quantity of ammunition were captured. Moreover, 3 enemy anti-tank guns were also destroyed.

Rajasthan Sector: Indians made an abortive bid to advance towards Dali but Pakistani forces gave them tough time and captured substantial amount of arms/equipment.

Pakistan Navy fleets remain vigilant while guarding against Indian aggression.

Vigilance of PAF remained high as their interceptors shot down an IAF Canberra bomber near Sargodha and a Hunter over Lahore. PAF damaged IAF installations at Adampur, Halwara and Jodhpur bases.

glorioussepday15.jpg

22nd September 1965

Announced ceasefire giving Indian forces sigh of relief

PM Shastri

■ 17 days wanton misadventure cost India too heavy. Pakistani forces destroyed 113 Indian aircraft, 500 tanks, 7200 soldiers killed and 1000 taken prisoners. Indian first Field Marshal Carriappa's son Flight Lieutenant K.C Carriappa's Hunter aircraft was hit over Kasur and he bailed out and made POW.

■ Indian Air Force bombed a small hospital in village Dali causing heavy losses to building, patients and innocents.

■ India jammed radio "Sada-e-Kashmir" which was broadcasting the news of Mujahideen.

Pakistani Account

■ President FM Muhammad Ayub Khan announced to accept UN ceasefire resolution, however, announced not to withdraw its troops from their present locations.

■ U.S. President Johnson assured President Ayub of his support in UN settling differences between India and Pakistan.

■ Iranian PM Amir Abbas Hoveyda announced oil supply to Pakistan.

■ Gen Musa Khan visited frontline and met the soldiers.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Khem Karan-Huseniwala Sector: Repeated Indian attempts foiled with heavy losses to both men and material, causing demoralizing effect on Indian soldiers.

Sialkot-Lahore, Fazilka-Akhnur Sectors: Pakistani forces maintained aggressive posture, destroyed 7 Indian Centurion tanks and captured one fully intact, breaking Indian soldiers' will to fight.

Wagah-Attari Sector: Pakistan Army ingress in Indian territory caused heavy damage to retaliating Indian troops.

Rajasthan Sector: Pakistani forces further penetrated and captured six more Indian posts namely, Gotaru, Bhutewala, Malesar, Rai Chandwala, Bulli Kallan and Kala Dhar Toba.

■ Attack on Dali Post: Indian radio made false claims that Pakistani Dali post had been captured whereas Indian troops were repulsed while suffering heavy losses including 5 officers, 2 JCOs and 90 soldiers as POWs to 18 Punjab Regiment. Fleeing Indian army also left 2 jeeps, 3 Dodges, 3 trucks and piles of weapons and ammunition.

Mujahideen cut off the Jammu-Srinagar road, attacked Indian convoy on/ Srinagar-Tangmurg road, blasting four out of 10 vehicles killing twenty one Indian soldiers.

Pakistan Navy fleet continued to patrol the Arabian Sea.

PAF maintained dominance in the air. In last 24 hours, PAF destroyed 11 tanks, 25 artillery guns, 39 vehicles and many ammunition dumps including Jodhpur airbase.

National Morale

■ PIA announced to resume Karachi-Dacca flights via Colombo.

■ President Ayub Khan paid rich tribute to the people of Lahore and Sialkot for their fearless response under the Indian aggression.

glorioussepday16.jpg

23rd September 1965

86 Indian Parliamentarians urged PM Shastri to order to start nuclear program to deal with China and Pakistan

■ Indian army resorted to brutal attacks on Kashmiri Muslims forcing over 2000 Muslims to cross over to AJK.

■ Indian leading newspapers urged the government to quit Commonwealth of Nations in view of inadequate British support to India during the war.

■ Indian forces launched last minute offensives to regain lost territories.

International Scenario

■ Mr. Arthur J. Goldberg, Chief U.S. delegate at UN stated at UN General Assembly that the solution of Kashmir issue will be reaffirmed with U.S. assistance.

BATTLE ACCOUNT

Sialkot-Jammu Sector: Pakistani forces maintained their aggressive posture with close air support and did not allow Indian army any freedom of action.

Wagah-Attari Sector: A last minute massive attack was launched by Indian army with two brigades in a desperate attempt to gain territory but failed.

Khem Karan Sector: Indian army while pretending to readjust for ceasefire tried to launch a whole division but remained unsuccessful.

Rajasthan Sector: Pakistani forces repulsed Indian army attempts to capture Dali. These attacks came after the main battalion level attack of September 22, in which Pakistani army took 97 Indian POWs including 5 officers, had failed.

Mujahideen killed more than 80 Indian soldiers during last 24 hours in various clashes. It was reported that Indian army employed ten ambulances and seven military trucks to remove the dead and wounded.

Pakistan Navy units were attacked by Indian warship in high seas. During the clash PN sank an attacking Indian Frigate.

■ PAF jets while providing close support to ground forces in Wagah-Attari sector attacked and destroyed a large Indian army convoy carrying huge quantity of supplies and ammunition.

Air Marshal Nur Khan congratulated PAF on outstanding performance in the war.

National Morale

■ People of Lahore hailed and welcomed President Ayub Khan's ceasefire announcement.

■ PIA resumed its intercity service which remained suspended during the war.

glorioussepday17.jpg


Indian Aggression Blunted

Pakistan Army Fights Back: Dawn of September 6, 1965 saw Indian forces crossing international border and attacking fronts at Lahore, Sialkot and Kasur which were 14, 6 and 3 miles away from the border, respectively. While India could not capture any significant area across international border, Pakistan Army captured 1200 square miles of area in Rajasthan, over 350 square miles in Akhnoor and 16 square miles in Kotli. In Lahore sector alone, India lost over 2,000 men and nearly 5,000 were wounded. Whatever ground Indians took within first 17 hours of the battle became their final achievement; they couldn't take an inch more in next seventeen days. Indian army mounted 13 major attacks on Lahore-Kasur front and 15 major attacks on Sialkot front, besides efforts in Rajasthan and other areas. Most of these attacks were repulsed.

 Pakistan Navy Takes the Battle to Indian Shores: Pakistan Navy dominated the sea and kept the sea lanes open. Ghazi submarine denied liberty of action to Indian Navy despite the latter being equipped with one aircraft carrier, two cruisers, nineteen destroyers/frigates. PN sailors' professionalism was endorsed after successful Dwarka Operation, 200 miles away from Karachi Port. Submarine Ghazi besieged Indian Aircraft Carrier and other war ships within their ports. They were so frightened that till the end of war they did not come in open sea.

Pakistan Air Force Dominates the Sky: PAF was pitched against IAF which was 3.6 times bigger. In deadly airstrikes on Pathankot airbase, PAF annihilated total 22 Indian jets. Squadron Leader M.M Alam performed outstanding in this war. India suffered through air action, resulting destruction of 110 aircraft, 149 tanks, 600 vehicles and 60 artillery guns and damage of 19 aircraft.

Indomitable National Resolve: Pakistani nation faced the most arduous challenge in her 18th year of independence. The enemy had come with clear intent of capturing Lahore, Sialkot and Kasur. September 1965 would never be forgotten in India and Pakistan for different reasons. India had been badly bruised by China in 1962 war. Her effort to undo her humiliation from China only got compounded after her forces got severely beaten against Pakistan in 1965. Pakistani nation displayed its indomitable resilience against foreign aggression. Undeterred and unshakable, the nation surprised the enemy by deciding the war in Pakistan's favor in mere 17 days.

Indian Numerical Superiority:

 

glorioussepday18.jpg

International Support for Pakistan

■ China,Turkey, Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Iran, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand showed solidarity with Pakistan and denounced Indian aggression. "Chinese government sternly condemns India for her criminal aggression and expresses firm support for Pakistan". Chinese PM Zhou Enlai

■ "Indonesia prays for Pakistan, who is fighting fiercely to maintain sovereignty and freedom". President of Indonesia Sukarno

■ Painful development concerns Pakistan and Turkey which are CENTO allies. Unbreakable bonds of friendship and brotherhood exist between two nations. PM Suat Hayri Urguplu

International Media Testimony of Pakistan's Victory

Time Magazine correspondent, Louis Kanar, September 22, 1965 stated, "Playing with fire by these men - from Jawan to the General Officer Commanding, as like children playing with marble in the streets. I asked the Pakistani General "How were you overpowering the Indians despite being in a small number. The officer looked at me, smiled and said, if courage, bravery and patriotism were purchasable commodities then India could have got them along with American

A journalist, Bintang Timur working with Jakarta said, "It was India who first committed military attack on Pakistan, and for this she must be condemned and Pakistan must be defended:' ■ Correspondent of The Guardian, Peter Preston, "Pakistan morally and physically had won the air-battle against the Indians. The Indians had no sense of purpose. The Pakistanis were defending their own country and willingly taking greater risks."

Daily Express, London, Donald Seaman, September 24, 1965, "Four Indian divisions and one armoured division fought non stop battle with two Pakistani divisions and one armoured division. Indian plan was to swing around Sialkot, take Lahore and cut west Pakistan in two and bring it on its knees for which India launched 30,000 troops against 9,000 Pakistani troops. Out numbered three to one, Pakistanis beat Indians to a standstill and were about to mount a counter attack in last six hours before the ceasefire when they were stopped on political grounds".

Times of India, Bombay, September 16, 1965,"It is clear from the fury with which the enemy (Pakistan) is fighting on all fronts that it has not been easy for the Indian army to advance into Pakistani territory".

Newsweek, Frank Melville, September 27, 1965,"Despite the bombings, the morale among the Pakistani jawans (which is the Hindustani for GIs and literally means' strong young men') remained extremely high. Their coolness and thoughtness under fire have paid dividends".

Top of the News, Washington, September 6-10, 1965,"The first Indian regiment that found itself face to face with the Pakistanis didn't get clobbered. They just turned and ran, leaving all their equipment, artillery supplies and even extra clothing and supplies behind".

The Indonesian Herald, September 15, 1965,"India brought up the bulk of its armoured forces in an effort to force a decision but the Pakistan Armed Forces stood like an impregnable wall and dealt a heavy punishment to the enemy columns. Who can defeat a nation which knows to play hide and seek with death? I may or may not remember the Indo-Pakistan war but I will never forget the smile full of nerve by a Pakistani military officer".

Al-Gamhoriya (Cairo) Mohammad Odah stated, "Indian military had wanted to avenge their defeat at the hands of China in 1962. It wanted to restore their prestige among Indian masses, settle the Kashmir problem with force, but Pakistan Army had frustrated all these designs.... neither Lahore nor any part of Pakistan surrendered to India."

ABC Correspondent, Roy Meloni wrote, "India was claiming all-out victory, but I have not been able to find any trace of it. Indian Air Force had been knocked from the skies by Pakistani planes".

 glorioussepday19.jpg

 
15
September

Written By: Mushaal Mullick


If anyone asks me what is Kashmir for me? I will seriously fall short of words to express my emotions. Respected readers, it is nothing but all soul for me. Today, for the very first time, I will give my most personal perspective and bond with the journey of freedom struggle of Kashmir.

 

Kashmir is a calling, a spiritual calling. Kashmir is passion, Kashmir is love, Kashmir is beauty, Kashmir is freedom.

Kashmir is my fairytale.

 

My own fairytale encounter harks back to June 2005, when I met my knight in shining armour Yasin Malik, the Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, for the very first time at a high-profile event at the Punjab House in Islamabad organized by the government in honour of the eminent Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders.

 

Yasin Malik was reciting Iqbal Bano’s ghazal ‘Hum dekhain gay’ when I entered the hall along with my mother. His rendition had a very powerful impact on me and I felt that this man was genuine and true to his cause while reciting these mesmerizing couplets of Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

 

We shall see

 ہم دیکھیں گے

Inevitably, we shall also see the day

that was promised to us, decreed

on the tablet of eternity.

 م ہے کہ ہم بھی دیکھیں گے
وہ دن کہ جس کا وعدہ ہے
جو لوحِ ازل پہ لکھا ہے

When dark peaks of torment and  tyranny

will be blown away like cotton fluff.

 جب ظلم و ستم کے کوہ گراں
روئی کی طرح اُڑ جائیں گے

When the earth's beating , beating heart

will pulsate beneath our broken feet;

 ہم محکوموں کے پاؤں تلے
جب دھرٹی دھڑ دھڑ دھڑکے گی

When crackling, crashing lightning

will smite the heads of our tormentors;

 اور اہلِ حکم کے سر اُوپر
جب بجلی کڑ کڑ کڑکے گی

We shall see…

 ہم دیکھیں گے

The man Muhammad Yasin Malik’s resolute but somber voice surely was a testimonial of Kashmiri sacrifices for freedom and it pierced through many a hearts and souls present in the audience that day, but the enchantment of his voice and flavor of words was destined to change my life for good and forever. His strong advocacy for the rights of Kashmiris that night made me his ardent fan.

 

He invited me and my mother to his signature campaign exhibition ‘Voices of Kashmir, Voices of Freedom’. This campaign went on to garner two hundred thousand signatures.

 

Before leaving for Srinagar, Yasin rang up my mother to formally bid adieu, and then he asked to speak to me.

 

I wished him all the best with his struggle and asked him if he had enjoyed his trip, Yasin said he had indeed enjoyed

 

his stay in Pakistan, and liked Pakistanis in particular for their unconditional support and love for the Kashmiris. I remember I thanked him for saying that. We were both very formal though, and then he suddenly blurted out ‘I am in love with you!’

 

Events started crystallizing rapidly over the course of the month and I realized that maybe this was my fate, my calling, that this was meant to be, as I mentioned in the beginning of this article.

 

After getting married to Yasin Malik on my journey to the Valley I finally embarked on September 6, 2009 when I witnessed the true heaven right before my very eyes. That precious moment is certainly the most unforgettable of my life. I was completely awestruck like any traveler who has caught the first glance of this magical heaven at the initial aerial view before the plane landed at Srinagar airport. My eyes were tirelessly admiring the lofty snow-capped Himalayas which seemed to reverberate the arrival of dreamland. There is a natural loveliness and serenity of the valley which is so picture-perfect, at times it feels quite dreamlike, almost touchable, yet I know that it haunts a deep melancholic inner cry. There’s a famous saying in Kashmiri that even a blind person cannot ignore the beauty of this saintly place called Kashmir.

 

It is not just in recent times that Kashmiris have suffered because of political struggle, for many centuries the inhabitants of this land have been fighting for freedom, they have reacted against the Sikhs, Dogras. Today in modern times, the occupation of India is being challenged. If you ask ordinary layman Kashmiris what they want, the reply will be loud and clear, 'We want freedom, we want azadi from India.'

 

 kashmircallingstraight.jpgIt is an echo which has resounded through centuries!

I was a bit nervous and scared when our plane landed at Srinagar airport, part of it was because of my being a newly wedded bride but mainly because I was landing at the most militarized zone in the world. But soon my fear turned into delight as I saw the whole city was out to receive us, the love was overwhelming – it was like a scene from a fairytale, thousands of young and old Kashmiris lined up in rows, with flowers and sheerni (Kashmiri traditional sweets) in their hands and some of them waving Kashmiri and Pakistani flags greeting us at the arrival gate of the airport. I was overwhelmed by the gesture of women who on my arrival at Maisuma locality sung Kashmiri folk songs (wanwun) for me.

 

Kashmiris have witnessed very few celebrations at such large scale. The usual scenes of Indian Occupied Kashmir are funeral processions, gun shots by Indian Army, blood bath of innocent Kashmiris on every street, and army curfews for Azadi rallies among other horrific scenes. This sight of happiness was indeed one of the rarest to witness in decades!

 

I still cannot forget those incredible moments when I entered Yasin Malik’s 200 year old mud house that day in the Maisuma locality in Lal Chowk Srinagar which is known as the Gaza Strip of Kashmir. It is an honour for me to live in Yasin’s house because it is the place where he was born and the same place from where the revolution of Kashmiri people started against the Dogra Raj, the house and locality has a history of revolutions to it and I breath an air of revolution through the chapters of history and feel very much attached to it.

 

It was in Srinagar that I actually realized that I was the wife of a living legend and what an honour it was to be spending my life with such a brave man. It is only in movies and novels that one comes across such heroes who are unheard of in real life and my heart was not only filled with love for him but immense respect.

 

At Yasin’s home I saw a photograph of him lying on a hospital bed. After enquiring I was told by my mother-in-law that in 1986, the police arrested him and tortured him at Red 16 Interrogation Center. Rigorous Indian torture succeeded in damaging his heart valve but could not break his will. Then came 1988, the spring of revolution in Kashmir, the rebellion pioneered by young Yasin Malik and his four friends of which two, Ishfaq Majeed and Sheikh Abdul Hamid were martyred. Yasin himself has never uttered a word about the hardships that he went through but his family, friends and close associates told me those painful stories he had to face throughout his journey. Many a times during his armed struggled they had to hide in dense forests as his life was always under threat and he along with his associates was forced to spend minus degree temperature cold nights in big sewerage pipes lying at mighty Eidgah grounds. Often, they faced hunger and thirst for several days. In 1990, Yasin was a household name in Kashmir and in one incident he had to jump from a high building to save himself from an Indian raid. He landed on high tension electricity wire shock that threw him further away. He lost hearing in one of his ears and was saved miraculously. The same year he got arrested by Indian border security forces, tortured severely and to inflict more punishment on him, he was shifted to a mental asylum in Agra, India. This continuous severe torture could have shaken anyone but Fidel Castro of Kashmir as he is popularly known in the masses, was not to get startled by oppression.

 

My father-in-law Ghulam Qadir Malik who had just retired from services shared his heart-wrenching and soul quivering experiences and was shocked to know that Yasin’s voyage for freedom had kept him in cold deserts of Ladakh and was not allowed by the Indian authorities to unite with his family for decades. Yasin, the only son of his parents was hugged by his father almost after two decades of separation that too after his retirement. Imagine a mother traveling thousands of kilometers away from her home to see her ailing son who was kept not in any jail but in a mental asylum for years. Visualize her mental, physical and emotional status when she had to see her chained son being ruthlessly beaten at Agra whose only crime was to stand against oppression, to raise voice for freedom, that too which is legitimate and recognized by the world, the UNSC.

 

And it is not that only her son was beaten, she too had to face the wrath of Indian soldiers during nocturnal and day raids. She had to protect her three daughters and their small kids from drunkard soldiers and still look firm. I have not come across such a gentle and humble lady in my whole life and I am absolutely astonished that how could she survive all these hardships for decades that too with such level of patience and fortitude. I am astounded to see my younger sister-in-law   who used to bear brunt of raids and searches and had to pass through severe torture many a times. The scars of that torture are still very much visible even after so many years.

 

There are many who have had to bear much more than that but then the story of distress and agony that a leader like Yasin Malik and his family has to bear for freedom is symbolically important as it reveals the ugly face of sham Indian democracy as well as gives us a small account of the miseries people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have to face for asking for their birth right of freedom.

 

At present, India is trying to change the demography of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370, that provides a special status to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as they are constitutionally not a part of India and demand the implementation of the UNSCRs. Besides that India is also conducting farcical elections in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir under the might of the Indian guns to essentially pass draconian laws through the puppet assemblies that provide complete impunity to Indian Occupation Forces. The abysmally low voter turnout of below 6%, the lowest in 30 years, is a tangible indication that the freedom leadership and the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have categorically rejected the sham elections, which cannot be an alternative to the right to self-determination promised to them under numerous UNSC resolutions. In this military exercise under the garb of democracy, the Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism have martyred 12 youth and injured over 200 during a violent military operation against peaceful protesters in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

 

Freedom of expression is reckoned as the basic right of every individual in today’s modern world. To vote or to boycott is the basic right of every person but to inflict torture of worst nature upon the people who boycott fraudulent elections and to restrict their movements is in itself the negation of democratic norms and rights that can only be termed as most undemocratic and uncivilized. Along with my husband the entire Kashmiri leadership has been arrested since July 8, 2016 including senior elderly Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani who has been placed in house arrest for several years; Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has been house arrested; and female Kashmiri leader Asiya Andrabi has also been arrested.  Let me add further that none of these leaders are terrorists as they are being treated and punished by the Indian State, in fact they are all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Every human life is precious and as per the Universal Human Rights Charter, every religion, every human being has right to self determination. This is an absolute truth. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This is stated in the 1st Article of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All faiths declare the unity of human beings and freedom for all.

 

The freedom movement post the brutal killing of Shaheed Burhan Wani, a poster boy and youth icon of the Kashmiri freedom struggle is gaining momentum on a daily basis. The uprising is not an incident based rebellion nor is it because of a sense of alienation, it is in fact a sentiment-based movement based on a decades long struggle. It is a bold expression of political aspiration that the Kashmiri demand is legitimate and is deliberately being criminalized by the Indian State. The home grown narrative of the Kashmiris is being hoodwinked by India’s hyper propagandistic and provocative stance that literally feeds on a daily diet of anti-Pakistan rhetoric.

 

Kashmiris are challenging India on every front. The indigenous narrative of Kashmir unnerves India the most. The struggle is a diehard romantic rebellion where every stone hurled at the Indian soldiers symbolizes a political expression of Kashmiris challenge to Indian State authorities. This is the battle between the young Kashmiris and the old doctrine of India.

 

They are killing, blinding, maiming and crippling Kashmir's young generation. In the already bleeding Kashmir, they open fire at the mourners as they don't allow men to lower bodies of their young sons into the grave. They don't allow prayers at Srinagar's historic Jamia Masjid. They don't make distinction between combatants and non-combatants. They fire at babies, kids, girls and boys. This is a war declared on unarmed people.

 

Indian forces are even attacking hospitals and ambulances. Peaceful protestors, bystanders, children and women are hit by pallets and loose their sight forever. Pellets penetrate the skin’s soft tissues, and eyes being a delicate structure are the most vulnerable to damage. Once a pallet goes inside the eye, it shatters tissues and causes multiple damages to all parts of the eye.

 

The fact is that in any conflict the first and worst victims are women and children and same is the case in Kashmir; where violence and abuse are used against women as a tool to subdue them by Indian forces to claim their authority and inflict war crimes. Women primarily have been the most terribly injured party in this decades-long conflict. She suffers as a daughter, mother, wife and sister, because most of the times she has to survive alone, after the loss of any support from her male counterpart.

 

The tales of agony of Kashmiri women do not end here. The unending conflict in Kashmir besides leaving behind widows has also left number of ‘half-widows’. The missing persons in Kashmir have left over thousands of half-widows whose husbands are missing or are in enforced disappearance.

 

Just imagine a woman who is a wife and a widow at the same time, she does not know where her spouse is: is he dead or alive? Would he ever return home or not? Now a mother, who continuously hopes to hear the footsteps of her son, is stuck in a life of a shuttle cock between hope and fear. A child who is unable to decide if he or she is not fatherless or an orphan, with curious eyes constantly glued to the door and a sister watching outside from her window with never-ending tears in search of her missing brother. These people sadly, have extraordinary titles as they face extraordinary challenges. These are the half-widows, half-mothers, half-orphans and half-siblings of the society. They have little left to say except to keep on searching for the traces of their loved ones who have entirely vanished from the face of earth.

 

The saying 'hope never dies' fits perfectly with Kashmir’s missing people's saga. In Kashmir people vanish and land in unmarked graves. There is every possible link of unidentified dead bodies being buried in various unmarked graves with the victims of enforced disappearances.

 

Our family is at the forefront of the freedom struggle. My daughter and I have personally faced Indian Forces' brutality, abuses, and attacks. I know living the life of a revolutionary means I and my family will have to endure this forced separation, torture and threats to represent the suffering people of our nation but I at times am not able to answer little Raziyah Sultana when she asks me about our failure to reach Srinagar and live with her father. During a marriage of more than 7 years, me and my husband have hardly spent 60 days together. How can I tell our little child and how can she understand that Indian democracy has confiscated the passports of her father and denied her visa to Srinagar. It is really hard to bear all this torture but then the conception of keeping ‘hope’ keeps me and my child running alive like the rest of the Kashmiris. I firmly believe that very soon that day will come when these hard times will come to an end; that one day this forced separation of hearts and souls will vanish. And people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir will walk in liberty and breathe the fresh air of freedom. And that day is not afar, that I promise you.

 

‘When dark peaks of torment and tyranny will be blown away like cotton fluff; When the earth's beating, beating heart will pulsate beneath our broken feet; When crackling, crashing lightning will smite the heads of our tormentors; We shall see…’

 

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Twitter: @MushaalMullick

 
15
September

Written By: Dr. Samar Mubarakmand


The safekeeping of nuclear and other strategic weapons has always been given enhanced attention over the storage of conventional weapons system. Since the first development of nuclear weapons more than 70 years ago, gradual development of the command and control of these very sensitive weapons has been the priority of the nuclear nations of the world. In spite of these efforts several kilograms of fissile material Uranium 233, enough to build three nuclear war heads, was stolen from the Los Alamos facilities of the United States and was never traced.

 

The United States of America being the foremost nuclear weapons state witnessed the accidental release of a hydrogen bomb from under the wings of its Strategic Air Command bomber off the coast of Spain. Fortunately this weapon fell into the Atlantic Ocean without exploding. The weapon could not be retrieved.

 

In recognition of Pakistan’s perfect track record of nuclear materials and weapons safety under the most tested and trying conditions spread over a period of almost forty eight years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna sponsored a seminar and workshop in Islamabad in 2016 to share its command and control experience with the more advanced and older nuclear weapon states of the world.

In early 1979, a meltdown occurred as a result of nuclear safety failure in Unit No. 2 of the nuclear power plant situated at Three Mile Island in the United States. This disaster was so serious that it was rated at 5 on the maximum scale of upto 7 in terms of nuclear accidents.

 

In April 1986, the world witnessed meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union when its safety system failed to shut it down after a malfunction. The radioactivity emanating from the nuclear reactor spread over large areas of thickly populated Europe bringing serious health damage to the population.

 

In the year 2011 another serious nuclear accident occurred in Fukushima power reactors in Japan destroying four power plants. These power plants were hit by a Tsunami and here again the safety systems failed to control a nuclear meltdown and heating of the reactors. The consequent release of radioactivity contaminated the Pacific Ocean making fish unsuitable for human consumption upto the western coasts of the United States and Canada.

 

A serious case of theft of highly radioactive nuclear material was reported from the Durgapur Steel Plant in India.  Several steel cylinders filled with radioactive material somehow found their way into the storage of the steel plant. Taking them as steel scrap these cylinders were stolen and when implications of a spread of lethal radioactivity were realized, a search was conducted. The cylinders containing highly radioactive liquid, possibly radioactive waste, were found dumped in a public community toilet. In India, incidences of theft of nuclear materials are wide and varied beginning in the 70s and spread over three decades. Eight kgs of Uranium was recovered from thieves in Tamil Nadu and another Six kgs were stolen by S. Murthy and associates in 1998. Two kgs of Uranium was also found with thieves who stole it from Madras Atomic Power Station. A very large amount of radioactive material weighing 25 kgs was stolen from Bibi Cancer Hospital in year 2000. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported fuel rods missing from nuclear power reactor facility in India containing 57 pounds of Uranium. The theft and illegal trading of Uranium and other radioactive materials from various nuclear facilities in India seems to be an unending phenomenon with very serious implications for nuclear safety.

The United States of America being the foremost nuclear weapon state witnessed the accidental release of a hydrogen bomb from under the wings of its Strategic Air Command bomber off the coast of Spain. Fortunately this weapon fell into the Atlantic Ocean without exploding. The weapon could not be retrieved.

In early 1979, a meltdown occurred as a result of nuclear safety failure in Unit No. 2 of the nuclear power plant situated at Three Mile Island in the United States. This disaster was so serious that it was rated at 5 on the maximum scale of upto 7 in terms of nuclear accidents.

Pakistan began its quest for fissile material with the establishment of an enrichment facility in the early 90s. It has now been twenty seven years that Pakistan is producing weapons grade fissile materials and storing the same safely. The first nuclear research reactor was established just outside Islamabad in 1965 and this reactor used highly enriched Uranium as fuel. Nearly fifteen nuclear medical centers and several more research facilities for industry and agriculture also have been using medium to high potency radioactive materials continuously for the last 60 years. Burnt fuel containing high radioactive waste products has been successful and safe storage and duly confirmed as such by the IAEA inspectors at Pakistan’s first nuclear power plant KANNUP since 1969.

 

Since the year 2004, terrorism has spilled over from Afghanistan into Pakistan. The incidences of use of explosive materials and devices against human, military and paramilitary targets increased rapidly. By the year 2013, Air Force bases, General Headquarters of ground forces, airports, international hotels, mosques, parks, railway stations and variety of police training schools and educational institutions had been attacked. Remote controlled explosive devices, suicide belts and assault attacks by heavily armed terrorists were used against targets in Pakistan. It is emphatically reiterated that under this unmatched terrorist onslaught on Pakistan, not a single gram of nuclear material, nor any small, medium or large sized nuclear weapon was either stolen, damaged or destroyed. Pakistan being the youngest nuclear weapons state incorporated the best features of command and control systems of the Western nuclear powers in its own command and control system. This resulted in so far the best Command Control Communications Computers Intelligence and Reconnaissance based system for safekeeping of nuclear weapons and materials and their deployment.

 

In recognition of Pakistan’s perfect track record of nuclear materials and weapons safety under the most tested and trying conditions spread over a period of almost 48 years, the IAEA in Vienna sponsored a seminar and workshop in Islamabad in 2016 to share its command and control experience with the more advanced and older nuclear weapons states of the world.

 

In the history of our country, it has been witnessed time and again that USA exerts pressure on Pakistan by raising the bogey of the possibility of its nuclear weapons and materials falling into terrorists hands. It has happened in the past and it is happening now. How ironic that aspersions are cast on Pakistan’s command and control system, which enjoys a perfect track record, by a country which has lost fissile material from “highly safeguarded facilities”, has had nuclear power reactor meltdown and lost hydrogen bombs into the Atlantic Ocean from its strategic bombers. It is about time that this so called advanced nuclear weapons custodian looks inward and tries to improve the security of its own arsenal especially in the face of increasing terrorist incidents rather than lecturing Pakistan on nuclear safety.

 

The writer is an eminent scientist who led the team of scientists and engineers to conduct Pakistan's Nuclear Tests at Chagai in May 1998. He did his masters in Physics with academic “roll of honour” from Government College Lahore in 1962 and later did his DPhil in Experimental Nuclear Physics from the University of Oxford in 1966. He was later appointed Chairman of NESCOM in 2000. On joining the Planning Commission of Pakistan he was responsible for conceiving and implementation of the Reko Diq Copper Gold Project and the Underground Coal Gasification Project at Thar Coal Fields.
 

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