Memories to Last a Lifetime

Moneera Saadat Shares Memories of  Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed

I used to love writing poetry. I remember when I wrote this shair Qamar Abbas Shaheed was sitting next to me and asked what it meant. Upon explanation, he promised that one day he was also going to fly high beyond the serene mountains and the green valley.” 
Moneera Saadat, 

Sister of Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed

Someone once said that we are unable to express some nostalgias. After the shahadat of my dear brother Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed, I now understand what they meant by it,” says Moneera Saadat. According to her, Qamar Abbas was the glue that held the family together. He was born in Siadu Sharif, Swat District on May 30, 1981. He was the youngest brother and the apple of everyone’s eyes. He spent his adolescent years in Swat. The family moved to Rawalpindi in 1994, where Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed went to a local Madrassah and became a Hafiz-e-Quran. He then completed his Matriculation as a private candidate.
Qamar Abbas Shaheed was an exceptional human being. He was not only kind but he knew how to treat, think about, and speak to others. He understood that kindness was one of his strongest qualities and ensured that he never let go of it. Ms. Moneera recalls, “He left no stone unturned to bring happiness to all those around him, particularly his parents and siblings.” Qamar Abbas Shaheed loved looking after Ami and Abba Jaan’s wellbeing. Once our father left for tabligh and fell ill. No one was able to trace his exact whereabouts as he was residing somewhere in Thar Desert. When Qamar Abbas came home on leave and found out that Abba Jaan had fallen ill, he quickly traced out his location and went to see him. Qamar Abbas looked after Abba Jaan with full commitment and dedication and brought him back once he was fully recovered.” 
Qamar Abbas Shaheed was truly exceptional in dealing with people. Everyone who knew him depended on him because he was relationship oriented and believed that the truth is the only path to success. Ms. Moneera recalls, “Qamar Abbas was like no other, he was a bright light that lit up the room every time he walked in. He had a special spark about him from a very young age that mesmerized everyone he met.” Qamar Abbas Shaheed wanted to join Pakistan Army since childhood. After his mamu (uncle) Major Muhummad Sharif Paracha embraced shahadat, his desire to join the Armed Forces multiplied. Ms. Moneera shares, “He wanted to achieve glory as a Muslim and as an individual. Yes, I believe there is nothing greater than laying down your life for your country and my brother understood that.”
Qamar Abbas Shaheed went on to pursue BSc in Electrical Engineering at Peshawar University after successfully clearing Intermediate but the family knew that engineering was not something he was passionate about. Ms. Moneera shared details, “During semester break, I encouraged him to apply for Pakistan Army. Without hesitating, he went, and applied for 111 L/C and successfully cleared the test and interview at ISSB. We all wanted Qamar Abbas to join Pakistan Army because we knew in the heart of our hearts that being a part of Pakistan Army was his dream and to serve his country was his ambition. I still remember that we all (seven sisters) wanted to go and see him on his passing out parade. It gave us great joy to see him wearing Khaki because we all knew that Qamar Abbas was the definition of valour and devotion to the nation.”
Qamar Abbas Shaheed was then posted to Artillery Regiment. He performed his duties with great zeal and zest. He often spoke to his mother about embracing shahadat and always counseled her to be brave. He said, “Ami Ji, remember to never shed tears on my dead body, because that would not be the farewell a shaheed deserves.” Qamar Abbas Shaheed is remembered as a man who defended his country and completed given tasks with enthusiasm. He constantly craved to learn from his superiors. He was a gifted individual who strived to be the best in every way.
Ms. Moneera recalls that she still remembers the letters written by Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed during his training years at PMA, Kakul. She explains, “We all waited anxiously for Qamar Abbas to write to us and it gave us immense joy whenever we received letters from him. When I was looking for his pictures earlier, I found a letter written by him. Going through it brought back many cherished memories. It was also surprising to see how Qamar Abbas wrote with such promise, he provided every single detail of his daily routine and I can still imagine him saying those words as he penned them down on paper.”
Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed believed in consistent effort and that was what made him a great officer. He made sure that he achieved his goals with pure dedication and he wanted his family to adopt the same habit. Ms. Moneera recounts that in February of 2008, her daughter was preparing for her Matric exams and seemed worried. Qamar Abbas Shaheed went to her and said, “Sometimes clearing exams felt like an impossible task for me because I did not receive formal education in an English medium school. That did not stop me from working hard and achieving the results I desired. It was not easy but I did manage to get through the exams with competitive results through consistent effort. If I can do it, so can you.”
Like many shahuda Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed always displayed great zeal and enthusiasm. He always accomplished given tasks in a unique way. “He was not contented to live a life of a layman. Unlike many others, he craved thrill and motivation to do better,” explains Ms. Moneera. Qamar Abbas Shaheed’s greatest desire was to be an exemplary Muslim and to serve his country to the best of his abilities. Despite living in a challenging environment, he first memorized the Holy Quran and then Allah enlightened his heart and guided him to join Pakistan Army. He always faced challenges with high morale. It is without a doubt that Pakistan Army provided him the wings to fly and follow his passion to embrace shahadat.
Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed embraced shahadat during the operation Rah-e-Rast also known as the Second Battle of Swat. Ms. Moneera recalls, “Prior to embracing shahadat, Qamar Abbas looked remarkably handsome. His face glowed profoundly and everyone who met him yearned to meet him again. I remember him calling me and asking to pray for him. None of us can explain in words what we went through when we received the call of his shahadat. At first, we were unable to grasp the idea that our brother had left us. I remember that my mother prayed for him constantly, after my father received a call informing him that Qamar was shot. It was a surreal moment when his coffin first arrived. With the strength embedded in us by Allah we gathered ourselves together and remembered that we are Shaheed ki family.
It is devastating for parents to lose a child and siblings to lose a brother but Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed’s family wears his shahadat like a medal of honour and say that they are happy that he took his last breath doing what he loved — serving Pakistan. Ms. Moneera shares, “A few months before Qamar’s shahadat he mentioned that ISPR was working on a project and asked our mother to pray for his selection. He wanted the world to know that his ambition was to defend his homeland and this is why he chose to join Pakistan Army. Little did he know that his wish would soon come true and he would indeed become the hero he always wanted to be.”
Capt Qamar Abbas Shaheed’s exemplary courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten. He a source of inspiration and encouragement for all men and women of Pakistan Armed Forces. HH

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