Diary of Tooba Liaqat — Daughter of Nk Liaqat Ali Shaheed

“People who put themselves on the line and sacrifice their own safety for the greater good and for others, and anyone in any profession whose concern is the welfare for other people instead of the individual, are inspiring and important.” 

— Chris Hemsworth

I am going to tell you a story of perseverance, sacrifice and passion – that of my father to inspire you. Nk Liaqat Ali Shaheed, belonged to Army Medical Corps (AMC) and was attached with 640 MJD BTN posted in Azad Kashmir. On September 23, 2003, at 0800 hrs, he prepared for his routine checks. After his preparation was completed, he started to pen down a reply to a letter written by my mother. He had just written a few lines when Maj Zahoor came to see him. While he was attending to him, they were informed about the recent round of cross border firing. “I was taking medicine from Liaqat when we were informed that the enemy had started firing. I asked him to provide first aid to the injured soldiers. Without hesitation, he grabbed his medical kit and went on to evacuate the injured,” explained the letter written by Major Zahoor, who was present with my father at that time of his shahadat.
The letter further said: “Liaqat received a bullet on his right arm but this did not stop him. He continued walking towards the injured soldiers holding the first aid box in his left hand. As he approached the first solider, he received another bullet on his chest but continued to move forward to help his injured brother. When the firing stopped another group of soldiers arrived to evacuate them and took Liaqat and others to the barracks. They tried to stop the bleeding and called for an ambulance.”
According to Capt Dr. Bilal Raja: “I applied the dressing on his right arm and tried to stop the bleeding from his chest. Despite being seriously wounded Liaqat’s spirits were high and he asked for the health of other wounded soldiers. He recited kalma-e-shahadat and we all recited it with him after which he looked at the sky and touched his face with one hand since the other hand was injured and uttered his last words, which were Allah tera shukar.” 
Capt Dr. Bilal then informed the MI room about my father’s shahadat and preparations were made to transfer him to CMH Rawalpindi. “When we removed the blanket from his face, the light, the contentment, the smile, we saw was unexplainable. The fragrance he had was a strong indication of his high ranks in Jannah,” told Capt Dr. Bilal.
I was only seven years old when my father embraced shahadat. We are five siblings, three brothers and two sisters. I remember that there were two people dressed in civil attire who were roaming in our street but were not able to collect the courage to tell us about the news. When they saw us leaving for school, they informed our uncle about my father’s shahadat. My mother was unable to digest the news at first and kept saying that there must have been a misunderstanding. My father’s body arrived on September 24, 2003, at 1400 hrs. The scene when his coffin, wrapped in Pakistan’s flag, was taken out of the ambulance is inexplicable; seventeen years have passed since my father’s shahadat but I am still unable to describe that moment. My father was buried with the Pakistani flag to show the sacrifice he had made out of his love and devotion for his motherland. 
The real struggle of my whole family started after his shahadat. My mother was a housewife and the test of her patience had just begun. Despite all odds, she made sure that not only the memory of our father kept alive but also his dreams and aspirations for his children be transformed into a reality. With the continuous efforts of my courageous mother, we were able to stand firm in the society with our heads held high. 
My father had always dreamt of a better future for us. Alhamdulillah, we are all in a position to proudly say that we have fulfilled his dream. My elder brother is running a small business and my younger brother is serving in Pakistan Army as an officer. I am also working in a well-reputed organization and serving the country to the best of my abilities. My sister recently completed her MBBS and my youngest brother is studying software engineering from MCS, NUST. 
The only source of income for us at the time when my father left us was his pension and it was very difficult for us to make ends meet with that limited income. During this difficult time, the AMC Center supported us and always treated us like family. It was not an easy journey for us but with strong faith, determination and support of Pakistan Army, we were able to push through the difficult times and were able to stand on our own. 
When a soldier lays his life for his country, he leaves behind several lives associated with him, that were dependent on him and who, after his martyrdom, face countless hurdles, however, with faith and steadfastness these survivors set a shining example for their compatriots that the country comes above all else. My father’s story is an inspiration not just for his children but for all the children of Pakistan. His sacrifice teaches us that we need to be ready to defend our motherland and maintain its peace for future generations. HH

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