LAHORE - The 18th martyrdom anniversary of Captain Karnal Sher Khan, who received Pakistan’s highest military gallantry award, was observed on Wednesday.

The ‘Lion of Kargil’ embraced martyrdom on July 5, 1999 while successfully defending five strategic posts at the height of 17000 feet on Line of Control.

Eight times Indian Army tried to attack the strategic posts of Gultry at Kargil and every time Karnal Sher Khan was there to defend the snow hidden peaks. He defended the snowy peaks during Kargil Operation and got his name written in golden words in the history. He was awarded ‘Nishan-i-Haider’ posthumously.

Captain Karnal Sher Khan’s grandfather also took part in Kashmir Jihad in 1948 and valiantly liberated a large area of Kashmir valley which is now Azad Kashmir. His grandfather had wished someone from his family would accomplish the liberation of Kashmir. His grandfather gave Sher Khan title of ‘Karnal’ (a localised version of colonel).

Sher Khan was born on 1 January 1970. He was commissioned in the Army on 14 October 1994.

He defended the five strategic posts, which he established with his jawans at the height of 17,000 feet at Gultary, and repulsed many Indian attacks.

After many abortive attempts, the Indians on 5 July 1999 ringed the posts of Captain Karnal Sher Khan with the help of two battalions and unleashed heavy mortar fire and managed to capture some part of one of his posts.

Despite facing all odds, he led a counter-attack and re-captured the lost parts of his post. But during the course, he was hit by the machine-gun fire and embraced martydorm at the same post. According to Pakistan Army Museum, Colonel Sher Khan received training at Pakistan Military Academy Kakul, he was posted to 27 Sindh Regiment. During his deputation to Northern Light Infantry (NLI) he volunteered himself for the defence of his motherland; there he was posted to the Line of Control for two years.

Before Kargil Operation, he established military posts on the snow hidden peaks of Gultry, some 15,000-17,000 feet above sea level. On July 5, 1999 Indian Army launched a two pronged attack on his post and fired some approximately 12,500 rounds. He was not only a valiant soldier but also a wise commander. He created an impression of a whole birgade’s presence by making use of small contingent of soldiers. He himself took an active part in the battle when enemy captured a part of his post.

Despite sheer shortage of ammunition and men, Captain Karnal Sher Khan repulsed the enemy back to their territory.

In 2016, Indian Lieutenant General Mohinder Puri, who led the Indian army during the Kargil war 15 years ago, praised Colonel Sher Khan during a TV interview.