By Erfan Sheikh

1. Raja Muhammad Sarwar was a captain in the newly formed Pakistani Army. During the Kashmir Operations, as Company Commander of the 2nd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment, Captain Sarwar launched an attack causing heavy casualties against a strongly fortified enemy position located in the Uri Sector. His battalion was subject to under heavy machine gun, grenade, and mortar fire. On 27 July 1948, as he moved forward with six of his men to cut their way through a barbed wire barrier, he was shot in the chest with heavy machine gun fire.

2. Major Tufail Muhammad was commanding a company of the East Pakistan Rifles near the town of Lakshmipur in 1958. The company encircled an illegal Indian post. During the enemy action, Major Tufail was mortally wounded, but did not stop fighting even at close quarters and continued to lead his troops till the Indians were driven out, leaving four dead and three prisoners. However, Major Tufail himself succumbed to his wounds and embraced shahadat on the 7th August 1958.

3. Major Raja Aziz Bhatti was commanding a company in general area Burki of the Lahore Sector during 1965 war. His defences on the famous BRB Link Canal was subjected to heavy Indian attacks coupled with incessant artillery and tank fire for five days and nights. But his men stood like a rock. In order to have a clear view of the assaulting enemy, Major Bhatti would often come out of his bunker and stand clear of the canal bank. On 10 September 1965, while he was directing the artillery fire, he was hit by an enemy tank shell.

4. Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas was under training in the Pakistan Air Force. On 20 August 1971, while he was taxing his aircraft towards to runway, an Instructor Pilot (IP) forced his way into the rear cockpit of the two-seat jet trainer and in the process hurt Rashid Minhas. The IP seized control of the aircraft and headed towards India. Minhas tried to regain control of the plane. But being injured, he was not able to take power, so he forced the aircraft to crash some thirty two miles short of the border.

5. Major Muhammad Akram was commanding a rifle company of the 4th FF Regiment in the forward localities of the Hilli district during 1971 war. His company had blocked enemy's route of advance and was under continuous and heavy air, artillery and tank attacks. But for almost two weeks, Major Akram and his men remained entrenched. The Indians many a time asked him to surrender but he refused. Finally, overpowered and fatigued, Major Akram embraced shahadat in the famous battle of "Battle of Hilli.”

6. Major Shabir Sharif was awarded with Sitara-e-Jurrat for his services in 1065 war. In 1971, Major Shabir and his men after crossing a minefield and massive obstacles and killing 43 soldiers, destroying 4 tanks, held 2 enemy battalions for days. However, on 6 December, the Indians mounted a fierce attack supported by tanks. Major Shabir himself took over an anti-tank gun and fired on the enemy tanks. While doing so, the enemy tank fired its main gun on Major Shabir's location and he embraced shahadat.

7. Sowar Muhammad Hussain spotted the enemy digging along a minefield near the village of Harar Khurd. He on his own initiative called and directed accurate fire at the enemy resulting in the destruction of 16 of their tanks. While he was still directing fire from a recoilless rifles, he was hit in the chest by a burst of machine gun fire and embraced shahadat on 10th December 1971.

8. Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfooz was serving in the 'A' Company when the enemy pinned down his company positions by unceasing frontal and cross fire from automatic weapons. In the process, his machine gun was destroyed. He was wounded in both legs by shell splinters but he stood up and pounced on the enemy. Although unarmed and amidst the enemy, he got hold of one of the enemy and was strangling him when another bayoneted him to death in 1971.

9. Captain Col. Sher Khan defended the five strategic posts, which he established at the height of some 17,000 ft at Gultari and repulsed many Indian attacks. Enemy's two battalions ringed the post of Captain Sher Khan and unleashed heavy mortar firing and managed to capture some part of the post. He lead a counter-attack and re-captured the lost parts. But during the course he was hit by the machine-gun fire and embraced Shahadat at the same post.

10. Havildar Lalak Jan repulsed many aggressive ventures by the enemy and imposed colossal losses on the enemy. On July7, Havildar Lalak Jan sustained serious injuries as enemy pounded the area with heavy mortar fire. But despite being injured, he retained his position and frustrated the Indian assault. He, however, succumbed to his injuries at the same post he was defending.

Published in Young Nation on 05-Sep-2015