ISLAMABAD              -          Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday paid rich tributes Kargil War heroes on the eve of their 21st martyrdom anniversary observed on Monday.

“There is nothing more honourable than laying one’s life for defence of the motherland. Nation is proud of its gallant sons for valour & unwavering allegiance to defend the country, regardless of the cost,” the Pakistan Army’s media wing, Inter Services Public Relations, quoted the COAS as having said.

“Glowing tribute to indomitable courage, devotion & exemplary leadership of Captain Karnal Sher Khan shaheed, Nishan-e-Haider & Havaldar Lalak Jan shaheed, Nishan-e-Haider, the war heroes from Sawabi, KPK and Ghizer, GB, who wrote history with their blood against all odds,” DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar tweeted on Monday.

The twenty first Shahdat anniversary of Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed and Havaldar Lalak Jan Shaheed, Nishan-e-Haider, was observed on Monday at their native villages, former’s Nawan kili and latter’s Ghizar, Gilgit Baltistan respectively.

During the Kargil War, Shaheed Captain Karnal Sher Khan was deployed at the Gultari region. He along with his fellow soldiers established five strategic posts at the height of 17,000 feet at Gultari. Indian Army launched eight attacks on their position to capture the strategic posts. However, Khan and his men were able to defend those strategic posts.

On July 5, 1999, the Indian army launched another attack and surrounded his posts with two battalions. With heavy mortar fire, the Indian Army captured one of his posts. Khan

re-capture the lost post. Despite shortage of ammunition and men, Khan was successful in forcing the enemy to retreat.

During the battle he was hit by machine gun fire but still continued ferociously fighting along with his soldiers and achieving his objectives. Later during the battle, Sher Khan succumbed to his injuries and embraced martyrdom.Wreath laying ceremonies would be held to pay respect and homage to recall the pledge to safeguard Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Indian Army’s Brigadier (R) M P S Bajwa who was commanding the Indian Army 192 Mountain Brigade at that time in an interview to Indian media also praised Captain Sher Khan for his valour, courage and gallantry expressed while fighting the enemy troops.

Before dispatching the body to Delhi, he informed his General Officer Commanding of Khan’s bravery and expressed the desire to write a small letter of appreciation and citation — that Captain Khan had fought very bravely and must be given his due recognition, reported The Print of India.

Havaldar Lalak Jan Shaheed was serving in Northern Light Infantry Regiment when skirmishes broke out in Kargil in 1999. He fought from the forefront to thwart heavy Indian attacks. He volunteered himself to be deployed on the front positions located at the jagged peak in May 1999.

Havildar Lalak Jan repulsed back many aggressive ventures by the enemy and imposed colossal losses on them. On July 7, 1999, he sustained serious injuries as enemies pounded the area with heavy mortar shells. But despite being injured, he retained his position and frustrated the Indian assault.

Due to severe injuries he embraced martyrdom and was graciously awarded The Nishan-e-Haider for his bravery and his will to attack and defeat the enemy at all costs

It is pertinent to mention here that Captain Karnal Sher Khan and Havaldar Lalak Jan embraced martyrdom at Gultari Sector at Line of Control in 1999 during  Kargil conflict.

The war heroes rendered the most chivalrous and heroic acts of valour while defending the territorial sovereignty  of the country that are quoted as a symbol of great character and personality to motivate the masses particularly youth for sacrificing everything for the sanctity and honour of the motherland.