Not many in Pakistan knew that 33 miners were trapped for more than two months deep beneath a Chilean gold and copper mine and were rescued on Wednesday 13 October 2010. A marvel of engineering and precision, first in drilling down a 2,041-foot shaft through the rock to reach the miners and then raising them up one by one in a rescue capsule called Phoenix. In the flawless operation, Chileans gave a message of nationalism and leadership at each level to the entire world. At the lowest level was the undaunted shift foreman named Luis Urzua, a man who held the group together when they were feared lost, who enforced tight rations of their limited food and supplies before help could arrive. He was also the last man to come out after ensuring complete safety of his men. At the top was the President Sebastian Pinera himself, who remained at the rescue operation site for the entire 22 hours and 37 minutes at a stretch without a wink or rest, till the last man was out to safety. He personally greeted every miner coming out affectionately and smilingly. The entire nation beamed with pride and rose as one. Crowds in the streets set off confetti, released balloons, and chanting victory slogans in the miners honour. We have done what the entire world was waiting for, the miners said. We had strength, we had spirit, we wanted to fight, we wanted to fight for our families, and that was the greatest thing. President Sebastian Pinera told them, You are not the same, and the country is not the same after this. You were an inspiration. The crowd was joyously singing the national anthem. Catastrophes change the nation. So - they say, I wonder COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD), Rawalpindi, October 15.