Special Reports

Heroism Acknowledged

Major Qasim from 112 PMA Long Course was commissioned in 19 Lancers Regiment, Armoured Corps in October 2005. He was performing duties in Tirah Valley, Khyber Agency which was once a battleground of various militant groups. Pakistan Army entered the area in 2001; for the first time since 1947, to secure peace. The area, remote yet a strategic gateway links Afghanistan's northern corridor to Pakistan, had been a theatre of battles between Pakistan Army and the terrorists, after 2001.

In Tirah Valley, the Afghan Tekri (a topographical high point) was heavily guarded by Taliban. It was difficult to move in the area as the Taliban had covered the entire route by heavy fire. Major Qasim, then Captain, was known for his brave actions among own troops as well as Taliban were to taste the element of fear due to brave acts of Qasim. During Operation “Khwakh Ba De Sham”, Qasim played a crucial role in capturing this important height. Qasim and his small group of soldiers moved forward under intense fire. To secure every inch of the motherland from the menace of terrorism, the soldiers of Pakistan Army kept fighting for hours and captured the first peak. The fight for the second peak was more deadly when bullets were flying from every direction. However, the brave son of soil decided to complete his mission. He successfully surrounded the terrorists’ bunkers, killed a number of terrorists and recovered huge cache of ammunition. After completing his mission, the young officer was on his way back when his convoy was ambushed by the Taliban. With a bullet-ridden leg and a rocket hit on the jeep, he lost control of the vehicle and the jeep fell 300 feet down in a gorge. He received head injuries and his body got paralyzed. He was later shifted to a military hospital for treatment. 

Major Qasim’s next unending ordeal started when he had to push through life with an almost paralyzed body and lost limbs.  However, he didn’t give up and kept on fighting for the eight years he remained under treatment in Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM). Finally with the help of Almighty Allah and Pakistan Army, that makes all efforts to rehabilitate its war heroes, Qasim is back in uniform. Presently he is serving the same institution, AFIRM, Rawalpindi. 

To acknowledge the sacrifices and pay tribute to the war heroes of Pakistan Army like Major Qasim and others, Army Strategic Force Command (ASFC) has recently constructed two sports facilities and dedicated these to the war heroes. The first facility, Jarrar Sports Complex (54000 sq yards); a fenced facility comprising cricket ground, football field, baseball ground and five volleyball courts, besides a jogging track skirting the arena was inaugurated at Jarrar Garrison by eleven heroes from AFIRM led by Major Muhammad Qasim Abbas. Lt Gen Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, HI (M), Commander ASFC paid tribute to the supreme sacrifices of these heroes and applauded efforts of those involved in developing these facilities. Major Qasim Abbas along with other eleven war heroes thanked Commander ASFC for the warm welcome and establishing state-of-the-art facilities in Jarrar Sports Complex. The second sports facility, Malik Shaheed Training and Sports Complex, has been named after Havildar Muhammad Malik Shaheed.  It was inaugurated by Zeeshan Malik, son of the Shaheed.   

Later Major Qasim Abbas expressed his sentiments as: “I am so glad that war wounded soldiers are being treated as the real heroes of the nation. Jarrar Sports Complex speaks for itself. It is very well planned and constructed. All Ghazis have been touched by the act of dedicating the Sports Complex to war heroes.” Qasim’s only regret is that he could not join his coursemates who have embraced shahadat. Seeing the valor and courage of Ghazis one can proudly say that defence of our beloved country is in very safe hands, who like their ancestors keep alive the tradition of fighting for their motherland without any care for the number and types of weapons in the inventory of their adversary. It is rightly said in Urdu, “Shahadat hai matloob-o-maqsood-e-momin; Na maal-e-ghaneemat, na kishwar kushayi”, which translates as, “In their passion, in their zeal, in their love for thee, O Lord; They aim at martyrdom, not the rule of the earth.”  

There are countless similar acts of valor and sacrifice that our soldiers make every day which are yet to be put into words.

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