The crowd was in an ecstasy to hear the first goal scored. Pakistan Zindabaad, Nara-e-Takbeer, Allah-o-Akbar, Nara-e-Risalat and Nara-e-Haideri were heard miles away which were raised with full strength of the lungs. Surely the Pakistani fans in a “Prisoner of War (POW)” camp in Bharat’s custody were exhilarated by the first goal scored by Pakistan hockey team against Bharat.
It was the field hockey semi-final of Summer Olympics 1972. India had disintegrated Pakistan hardly a year ago, and had started considering Pakistanis a defeated and demoralized nation. The superiority complex made them think they had sunk the “Two Nation Theory” in the Bay of Bengal. Bharati camp commander in his superficial pride gathered all the POWs in the counting ground of the POW camp. He placed a radio relaying live commentary right in between the two camps of jawans and officers, considering that the last time champion, Bharat will win and Pakistani soldiers will be further ridiculed by them. He was probably trying to carry out psychological warfare in the footsteps of Guru Chanakya. To the utter disappointment of these planners, Pakistan won the semi-final defeating Bharat 2-0.
During the half time interval of this hockey match, Asar prayers were offered by 100% strength of the camp, praying to Almighty for a win for Pakistan. The entire group was full of tears and spontaneous cries were heard throughout this unique silent prayer. It was a one-on-one message between Allah and this group of a few Pakistanis. Thousands of miles away, Pakistan hockey team in Germany and all the Pakistanis were unaware of the diligence and passion with which these pious prayers were submitted to the Almighty. The prayers came true and Pakistan shocked its adversaries by a 2-0 margin.
Back home, Pakistanis were expecting their dear ones to return soon. In their simplicity and misleading leadership, they were betrayed by the false assurance. Zameer Jafri puts it this way:
“Chivalric squad was not doomed to lose:
Character of leadership was dismay-ally loose:
Spirits and eyes were full of the dream:
The serpents within, destroyed the team:”
Committing and then not fulfilling is the hallmark of Bharatis. They portrayed to the international community that the POWs would be released very soon. Many festivals went by, Ramadan, Eid, New Year, 23rd March, 14th August and local functions, but the series of going back on words continued till the complete repatriation of POWs for another two years. Imagine the plight of families hoping to see their dear ones on every special occasion. Bharat had also not shared the full details of all POWs under their custody. Even today, there are families in Pakistan waiting for information about their dear ones who went missing in action during the various conflicts between Pakistan and India.
Who can forget the story of Sepoy Maqbool Hussain, a Kashmiri by birth. He was taken a POW in 1965 War and remained under brutal imprisonment for four decades till his release on September 17, 2005 during a prisoners’ exchange. This was for the first time Pakistan came to know that he was alive. During imprisonment he was tortured to shout Pakistan Murdabaad (Down with Pakistan). Maqbool always responded Pakistan Zindabaad (Long live Pakistan). His persistent refusal to oblige with his Bharati captors angered them, and they cut out Hussain's tongue and ripped his fingernails off. Hussain had no family left to go to, and his mental and physical state had been reduced to the point where he would only respond with his rank and service number. Hussain managed to find his way to a Pakistan Army garrison and repeatedly wrote down his rank and service number on a piece of paper. It took time in recognizing Hussain's service in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
Pakistan has to play its cards sensibly in the selection of grounds and options before any flag corner meeting or negotiations for peace. Prime Minister of India in his speech at the Bangladesh Parliament on December 23, 2015 openly admitted India’s role in the disintegration of Pakistan in 1971. The same leader said on India’s Republic Day Parade on January 26, 2018, “We have to support Balochistan and the people of Giglit-Baltistan in getting independence”.
Today’s generation mostly influenced by social media needs to understand that our enemies want to hurt our belief system through their attempts to make us believe that our ancestors made a mistake by creating Pakistan. Anti-Pakistan elements keep trying to falsely portray peace and “Aman Ki Aasha” but they wouldn’t spare any chance to damage Pakistan internationally. They declare Pakistan a failed state and are bombarding our thoughts through agenda setting. The hearts and souls are raided with psychological weapons forcing to surrender against them without even thinking to respond on any front. Our ancestors had warned us to stand fast and trust in ourselves. Mukhtar Masood in his book Aawaz-e-Dost says: “Both Minar-e-Pakistan and Alamgiri mosques’ minarets are closely located, but the period between them is three centuries apart. I was mourning the three centuries lost, when Minar-e-Pakistan bowed and whispered a secret in my ears, ‘When mosques are less attended and learning places are dislodged, fiction takes over the facts, personal interest precedes the national interest, and unity is overruled by compromises. When Muslims are afraid of death and desire for worldly luxuries, then centuries are lost like this’.”
It is heartening to note our youth is well aware that they are the inheritors of a proud history, culture and tradition and believe in themselves. They are also convinced that a bright future awaits them and can understand the rhetoric against Pakistan and its defence forces.
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