My brother rang up from Rawalpindi (in January 1990) to inform about death of my 1965 war comrade, Maj Farook Nawaz Janjua SJ. That night my brother took me to Farook Nawaz brother’s home (Col retired Asmat Nawaz Janjua) we offered fatiha, there, in a family & friends gathering I narrated our 1965 war battle account;
A day after war, enemy challenged our 4 Punjab Battalion to vacate Chananwala village otherwise…. Bn commander Lt Col Jehanzeb Arbab (later Lt Gen) replied “do whatever you want we have captured this village & it will not be abandoned”. Enemy had prepared for 2 days for this battle, renowned 3/9 Gorkha Battalion, a world war veteran battalion, was specially called up for this attack. When this Bn dismounted at Fazilka Railway station they, on a drum beat, announced all over the city, for people to gather tomorrow afternoon for looting Pakistani villages, about 4000 people responded. On the station, waiving their Kukris,the Battalion officers had taken an oath, “Tomorrow we will hang Pakistani officer’s heads on the fence of this station, sit on their dead bodies and then eat our lunch”.
That night they fixed the front with 2 companies, one came around left flank of 4 Pb & dug-in, another coy pinned down the right flank. Rest of the 3/8 Gorkha companies came to Matianwala, a village close to Chananwala & attacked. Their attack was so fierce that company of 4 Pb had to fall back. My Stuart tank troop was in supporting role with 4 Punjab at Chananwala. At 2 am, comd Maj Khalid Yaseen (later Brig) requested for ammunition replacement. Subedar Sultan was dispatched with ammunition along with 2nd Lt Farook Nawaz & his commando platoon as reinforcement. During the battle Farook came to my tank & said "Capt Saeed Sir, a company of enemy has cut us of in area tube-well, let’s go & beat up the bastards" Hearing this I said "Dil khush kar dia" & repeated Farook words. Farook was on ground & I was in my Tk, I thought this boy had earned sword of honour from PMA & within few days of his commission he is in war &could become a Shaheed, he is from a martial clan and want to prove his worth, his valor demand, he should get a taste of real battle. I put him up in the Tank cupola, gave him a bag of grenades told him to gun down anyone coming near the tank with the .30 Browning MG on the cupola.
I got into tank driving seat, told my gunner to load only canister shells, keep the main gun parallel to the ground and fire only when I tell him. I switched on tank's head lights and sped up towards area tube-well, on a wide circle. As we came near the tube-well, Farook saw some enemy soldiers, he shouted for me to turn in that direction, as I turned the Tank, I also saw them at about 20 metres, they were stunned, indecisive and blinded by tank’s light, while I shouted for my gunner to fire main gun, I fired my driver’s machine gun and Farook sprayed them with cupola mounted Machine Gun as well as threw hand grenade. I kept them in tank lights for half a minute, but that group didn’t get up again. We repeated same action wherever we saw Indians again" Chesham e Falak ne dekha, two Pakistani officers dushman ka Teeteron (Partridges) ke tarra Shikar kar rehi thay "By day light we had killed most of the 3/9 Gorkha battalion, disarmed & captured 75 officers & soldiers. We lined them up and brought them a thousand metre back to Bn HQ.
When this was reported to Gen Musa, he wouldn’t believe it, Brigade Commander, Brig Akbar told him to come and see them by himself. Gen Musa had said, “so many Gorkhas were not captured even in world wars”.
Back at the time of capturing those 75 Gorkhas, I had ordered all to throw down their weapons, only officers will keep their Kukri, but it must be tucked-in their pants. Capt Chaudhary inquired as to why I say so, I replied, “because You Are Officers & kukri is status symbol of Gorkha officer”!
At Bn HQ, when they were given tea and sandwiches, Capt Suria said, he was feeling ashamed, because we had pledged to cut off your heads, hang them at Fazilka Station and only then Eat, here you are treating us graciously. I replied, “we are Muslims, & we are obliged to treat well our prisoners of war”.