(A wife's tribute to her husband, Capt Asim Karim Khan Shaheed, TBt)
With a high grade fever, running nose and some hidden uneasiness, I waved for the one last time to Asim, who was going back to duty on 2 February 2010 after spending few days leave at Multan. He was posted at Multan, but was asked to fly mission in FATA. He was an aviation pilot, and in that role was employed in FATA. “This time I will return very early so please reduce my dresses in the baggage and keep it light,” said Asim while I was packing his luggage, a night before his departure to FATA.
So true was he; because he returned home on 10 February, but to leave forever, wrapped up in a Pakistani Flag, sleeping peacefully. “Why are you so possessive about your uniform,” I asked him through text message on 7 February, three days before his Shahadat. So expected was his reply that I received at 1423 hours on the same date, “because I am loyal to my country, army, aviation, group and squadron. And it is not organization but the people who make it." And he proved it. A true patriot laid his life for Pakistan; I am so proud to be his wife. I salute you Asim; each day I miss you more than the previous day, but being widow of a shaheed is a pedestal that you bestowed upon me, forever.
Capt Asim Karim Khan Shaheed, TBt was commissioned in 41 Signals Battalion. After initial few years of service he opted to join Army Aviation and after his basic training, he was selected to fly Cobra helicopter in a Combat Squadron of aviation. Flying was his passion, and he was never tired of flying. I don't remember any day when he left home without smiling; while moving out for flying. Every time he left for mission, would hold my face in his hands and would say, “ok dear, take care of yourself, eat well, dress gracefully and do not cry…,” with a special smile on his face, that I never understood every time he left… but now I can make out that he was preparing me for the future.
A short while after our marriage that took place on 12 August 2006, I was diagnosed with cancer. He looked after me in best possible way and was my biggest support during that difficult time. He would often tell me, “fight it like a soldier,” and I survived through the challenging treatment of Cameo Therapy. That illness brought us more closer.
On the fateful day of his Shahadat, he was assigned a mission to target the hideouts of terrorists in a dangerous area. The mission was difficult and so was the importance of its successful execution for further operations. Asim, I am told by his colleagues, as always accepted the challenge with a smiling face and flew into the heartland of miscreants; pounded them with bombardment before his helicopter was hit by a rocket launcher round taking him to the highest level of respect and honour.
Dear Asim, I never saw snowfall in mid February but once I did, was the day you were buried. It was like white flowers sprinkled over whole Malakand division from heavens. You always craved to be a Shaheed, and Allah fulfilled it as a reward for you.
“We soldiers take oath that we will fight for this motherland and we do so till our last breath,” used to be his word whenever I asked him about the War on Terror. Dear Asim, nobody has forgotten you. On every occasion, I am called and they talk to me about you and your sacrifice. Pakistan Army is looking after me and always honours me at each step. This is a treatment that your Army is giving to all Shuhada’s families. We all are proud of Pakistan Army, even that you no more wear khaki. Shaheeds are true pride of the Nation; they sacrificed as we live on.
I always felt proud when you were around. But I feel even more proud being widow of Capt Asim Karim Khan Shaheed, TBt. You were my husband, you are my pride.
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