In September patriotism and resolve to stand with our armed forces at every step is always invoked. Commercial sector, artists and even school children express their support in different ways.

Keeping up with its tradition of honouring Pakistan’s war heroes, CFx Comics will launch the latest installation in its Haider series with ‘Haider II – Defenders of the Sky,’ the gripping, action-packed tale of Hilal-e-Jurrat and Sitara-e-Jurrat awardee, Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Rafiqui Shaheed.

CFx Comicsbelieves in addressing social issues and disseminating civic values to the youth through captivating illustrations and riveting storytelling. This is one of the best forms of communication and putting your message across to the youth.

‘Paasban- the Guardian’ was their debut graphic novel, focusing on developing and amplifying counter-extremist narratives.

The Haider series ingrains in the reader nationalistic and social values by using the exemplary tales of valiance left behind by some of the bravest defenders of our homeland. The graphic novel primarily focuses on the exemplary tale of sacrifice, leadership, and courage that is found in the story of Sarfaraz Rafiqui Shaheed. Adding to the goodness, the comic book takes the reader back to the 1965 Indo-Pak war and features other historical personalities like Air Marshall Noor Khan, M.M. Alam, Yunus Hussain, Imtiaz Bhatti, and Cecil Chaudhry.

The tale is encapsulated in a powerful script starting from the aerial battle fought over the Chambh sector in Kashmir on the 1st of September. The comic gives insight into the personal side of these well-known war heroes and culminates in the action seen on the Halwara Airfield on the 6th of September, 1965, where Sarfaraz Rafiqui remained engaged in battle even after his guns jammed and despite the fact that the PAF fighters were outnumbered. It was the day when they embraced martyrdom and set an example of unparalleled courage and leadership for generations to follow.

Haider II is divided into two issues. The first issue will be released on the 6th of September, 2016 and will feature the aerial battle of 1st September, 1965. The second issue, capturing the raid on Halwara Airfield and Sarfaraz Rafiqui’s martyrdom on the 6th of September, 1965, will be released in October. Both issues would be available to be downloaded in both English and Urdu, for free, from the free CFx Comics App – where you may enjoy the graphic novel in an immersive guided-view experience, supplemented with ambient sounds in the background.

Gauher Aftab, Director at CFx Comics, spoke to The Nation about the intended message behind Haider, “Instead of merely commemorating wars and martyrs, we wish to show the human side of these heroes whose tales we grew up listening to. After all, heroes are ordinary humans who perform exceptionally in extraordinary situations.”

Commenting on the stories that can be developed into entertaining media, he added “we have inherited such a rich and vast sea of exemplary tales, just waiting to resurface and lecture us on the historical lessons we can take directions from even today!”

Speaking on using the story of Sarfaraz Rafiqui Shaheed for the second issue of Haider, he said “Sarfaraz Rafiqui’s tale not only features extraordinary courage, but he was a unique character who instead of demonizing the enemy, felt remorse over the lives he had to take and empathized with his counterparts whom he had to go head to head against. The message of nationalism found in his story is very much in line with our brand of nationalism, which is rooted in respect and room for reconciliation, instead of demonizing or hating a belligerent.”

The first volume, Haider: 5 Days of Glory, narrated the courageous tale of Major Aziz Bhatti Shaheed, who led the 17th Punjab Regiment to become Lahore’s last wall of defence against an Indian invasion. Now, Haider II – Defenders of the Sky captures the aerial thrills of Pak Air Force, and the superhuman feats their fighter pilots pulled off while flying and fighting outnumbered, thousands of feet up in the air.

CFx Comics is coming up with various projects on the same lines. Aim is to inculcate morals, along with history and serious messages which are illustrated in an interesting way to keep everyone’s attention.