Lahore - In a very honourable manner on Saturday, homage was paid to Major Shabbir Sharif, the most decorated officer of Pakistan Army and a valiant warrior who displayed unparalleled courage while defending the motherland and embraced martyrdom during 1971 war.

A battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment, in which Major Shabbir Sharif was commissioned, celebrates “SHABBIR DAY” annually with great solemnity and gratitude. A contingent of the Regiment performed guard of honour duties at his grave in Miani Sahib Graveyard.

Major General Sajjad Ali Khan who is Colonel of Battalion and Major General Fida Hussain Malik General Officer Commanding laid floral wreath and offered prayers for the brave officer of Pakistan Army. Senior officers of the Piffers Group, sister and son of the Shaheed were also present on the occasion.

Maj Gen (retd) Zahoor Malik and Maj Gen (ret) Ghaziuddin Rana laid floral wreath on behalf of the Piffers, while wreaths were also laid on behalf of the Commanding Officer and all ranks of the unit.

Major Shabbir Sharif enjoys the unique honour of being the proud recipient of Sword of Honour, Sitar-e-Jurrat and Nishan-e-Haider: the three most coveted awards of Pakistan Army.

In 1971 war between Pakistan and India, our Army decided to launch an offensive on the Western front against the enemy. Major Shabbir, as commander of a company of 6 Frontier Force Regiment, was ordered to capture high ground overlooking Grumukhi Khera and village Beri at Sulemanki Sector. The objective was defended by more than a company of the Assam Regiment supported by a squadron of tanks.

On 3rd Dec 1971, in a well-organised superhuman action, he along with his men fought valiantly and held two Indian battalions at bay by killing 43 soldiers and destroying four enemy tanks. He cleared the Jhangar post with utmost courage by fearlessly passing through the minefield laid by enemy and swimming across ‘Sabuna distributary’, under intense enemy fire and led his company on high bund.

On the bund, hand to hand fight ensued and he succeeded in clearing the enemy from their fortified trenches. The enemy launched several counter attacks to take back their position but he proudly stood the ground and repulsed more than 15 attacks and inflicted heavy losses to the enemy.

During one of the attacks on the night 5/6 Dec, Major Shabbir jumped out of his trench on the call of an Indian Company Commander, Major Narain Singh of 4 Jat Regiment, and killed him in a hand-to-hand fight. Valuable information was also obtained from the documents recovered from the pockets of Indian officer.

On the afternoon of 6th Dec, the enemy launched another counter attack preceded by air strikes and heavy artillery shelling. Shabbir Sharif took over the duty of a gunner from his crew and started firing on the enemy tanks. While this fight was on, one of the enemy tanks fired at him which proved fatal and resulted in his death at the good age of 28.

His last words were quoted as: “Don’t lose the bridge.” It was the same bridge he died defending from the enemy’s attack.

The Pakistan Army lost one of its outstanding young officers, who fondly came to be known as ‘Superman’ by his colleagues and superiors alike. He was posthumously awarded ‘Nishan-e-Haider’.