Mother of Capt Muhammad Bilal Tariq Shaheed Talks About Patriotism and Valour of Her Son
“I thought after my son embraced shahadat that if I had ten sons, I would send them all in the Army.”
— Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa, mother of Captain Muhammad Bilal Tariq Shaheed
We often take for granted many divine blessings Allah sends our way. There are times when we forget that the peace we have in our country, the stability that prevails and the borders that are still intact do not come for free. Thousands of men in uniform have sacrificed their lives to protect the safety and sanctity of this nation. Every breath we take in this free land is because of the blood and sweat of our Armed Forces protecting us on all fronts and the sacrifice their families make by dedicating their sons to the soil.
October 20, 2013, at around 0630 hours, another son of the soil, Capt Muhammad Bilal Tariq Shaheed embraced martyrdom in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Bhimber Sector after his jeep fell in a ditch. Capt Bilal Shaheed passed out with 119 PMA Long Course and belonged to 186 Field Regiment Artillery. He was known for his passion and love for Pakistan. He was an ideal officer who performed all his duties with devotion. He is remembered as someone who aimed to hold the honour of shahadat while serving his nation.
We spoke to his steadfast and kind-hearted mother, Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa, who shared many stories of her son and said that she still feels he is watching over her. ‘A woman of grace and poise’ are the words that come to my mind when I write about Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa. She has the voice of a woman who is proud of the son she brought up, one who proved to be a valuable asset for Pakistan. Her aura resonates strength and she holds the softness of a mother who is overflowing with affection for the nation and the nation’s children. She shares that Bilal dreamt of joining Pakistan Army since he was seven-years-old. He would come up to her and share his passion for fighting the nation’s enemies alongside other officers when he would grow up. “Bilal belonged to a landed family,” shared his mother, “his diet included organic ingredients and this allowed him to be strong and healthy. After his FSc. exam he went for his initial test for induction into Pakistan Army. There he was told that he was overweight and was asked to make a choice, either come back after six months with reduced weight or get the fat removed from his chest. Bilal, without informing us, went to CMH and asked the doctors to perform the surgery.” His mother says she was flabbergasted at the news of the sudden surgery but also knew that her son would go to any extreme to join Pakistan Army as soon as possible.
After passing out he was posted to Miran Shah for two-and-a-half-years before being posted to Azad Kashmir where he embraced shahadat. Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa says, “Bilal was the kind of officer who would tell his friends from Infantry how lucky they were for being in close proximity to the enemy and having a chance to embrace shahadat.” This was the level of passion and love he had for his country. His mother shared about her content heart while he served in the hard area. She said that she would recite the Holy Quran all day long and would never once have the fear of anything happening to her son. She believes this was strength given to her by Allah for what was to come later in life.
“When he was promoted to the rank of Capt, while serving in the Operational Area, a senior asked him why he was not wearing the new ranks. Bilal responded that he wanted his mother to decorate him with the new ranks,” told a proud Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa. His mother treasures Capt Bilal’s photos as if he speaks to her through them. Capt Bilal’s mother has spent her life as an educationist. She worked as an acting Principal in FC Cantt Garrison School Jhelum, then as the Vice Principal in 1982. She also worked as a teacher until she retired in 2015, two years after her son’s shahadat. She said that her love and hard work on other kids paid off when her own kids became prominent individuals in the society. She shares that she got very close to Allah after her son embracesd shahadat.
His mother recounted the story of Capt Bilal taking her to CMH to get her checked while he was a 2nd Lieutenant. “He hated the fact that I had to wait in a long queue and promised that I would never have to wait in lines, after he embraced shahadat,” shares a teary Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa. She said that she was taken to the hospital some time after his martyrdom for a checkup in the same OPD. As she looked over the long line, a doctor came out and said that the families of shuhada will be attended to before everyone else. As she walked inside the office, the doctor rose and saluted her. She saw her son standing in his place, reminding her that she would never have to wait in lines. This emotional recount gives us goose bumps of how alive shuhadas are among us and how they never leave us. Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa speaks highly of how much honour Pakistan Army gives to the families of shuhada, that they are never left alone: “Pakistan Army gives the families of shuhada tremendous respect and protocol wherever they go.”
Capt Bilal Shaheed left behind a young wife and a beautiful daughter. He has two sisters and a brother who is also serving in the Army as a Major. Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa has told her other son to dedicate his life to Pakistan Army and never look back, to never let an opportunity go where he has to prove his love for the country and make a choice between his family and his country. As I spoke to Capt Bilal’s mother, I saw how brave she is. She is blessed with a heart of not just gold but real courage too that does not falter or hesitate from giving away her kids to the soil.
She remembers the last call her son made to her where he sounded concerned and annoyed because of a file being delayed. She remembers the stress and firmness in his voice and his concern when he asked his mother to not shy away from calling him during the night, which she now links to the fact that maybe he knew that he would leave the world in the morning.
She recounted that she met another mother of a shaheed just a few months before the shahadat of her own son. She asked the mother if she ever saw her son in a dream and the mother replied that she indeed saw him in dreams. Now she too looks forward to dreams in which she meets her son and talks to him.
Mrs. Viqar Un Nisa is very passionate and vehement in her words about how important it is to safeguard the country and the soil and for parents not to be afraid of dedicating their sons to the soil. She urges mothers to send their children to join Pakistan Army despite her own loss. We wish her a life full of happiness and health and may we all get the strength to dedicate our lives and our children to the soil and sovereignty of the motherland. HH
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