The commemoration of sacrifices offered by our Shuhdas/Heroes particularly on the day of their Shahadat and death anniversaries are unavoidably required on the part of all Pakistanis. But it is an irony of fate that this is not adhered to. Thanks to Pakistan Army, Hilal Magazine and a few TV channels and newspapers of Pakistan who provide laudable inputs in this context. The details regarding the dynamic and extraordinary sacrifice rendered by Major Wasif Hussain Shah Shaheed SBt and others during operation Zarb-e-Azb is not known to most of our general public. The regiments at the forefront are bound to render supreme sacrifices for motherland by our Shuhdas/Heroes for the purpose of their identity, recognition, tribute, honour and respect and motivation for armed forces personnel and others.

In 2008, the Zarm Sar ridge area of Datta Khel North Waziristan came under the possession of terrorists. In order to capture this area, different strategies were prepared but they did not materialise due to a number of reasons best known to those concerned.

Major Wasif Hussain Shah Shaheed, on his arrival to Pakistan, after serving in Congo under the umbrella of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission, was posted on an attachment for the period of two years at A.K Center Mansar Camp Attock. As per normal practice, he was supposed to serve for the period of two years at this post. But after serving for a period of about nine months, he was prematurely posted to North Waziristan. Regardless of this premature transfer, Major Wasif Shah reported for duty at North Waziristan on July 20, 2014 under operation Zarb-e-Azb.

Spera Ghar and Zarm Sar are two important hilly areas dominating Datta Khel and have been under the control of terrorists since 2008. This area was a safe haven for terrorists. It was being used by terrorists to fire rockets at Datta Khel and for other anti-state activities. The border of Afghanistan is 9 kilometres away from these hills. The credit goes to Major Wasif Shah who voluntarily offered his services to liberate the occupied area by terrorists. As such, as the commander of a company on the night October 24-25, 2014 he climbed up Zarm Sar with limited manpower and arms, ammunition and occupied Zarm Sar. Major Wasif deserves to be called the conqueror of the Zarm Sar area. During this operation Major Wasif Shah displayed extraordinary bravery, courage, leadership, physical endurance and extreme sense of professionalism.

After occupation of the area, Major Wasif Shah set the defences of his company in the worst weather conditions and adverse topography, with an acute shortage of manpower, arms, ammunition, water and expected constant threat of attack by terrorists. He worked day and night without any shelter under the open sky to construct bunkers and new positions. On November 15, 2014 at 17:15 hours about 400 well-trained and well-equipped terrorists including foreign terrorists suddenly fired rockets and mortars at one of the posts under the command of Major Wasif Shah. A few soldiers were injured and some of them moved away from their assigned line/positions. The company headquarters of Major Wasif Shah was about 3 kilometres away from the post under attack and unit Headquarters and the Commanding Officer’s Office was at Datta Khel at 8 kilometres distance. Major Wasif Shah, disregarding his personal safety and intense fire, moved forward with only four jawans to control the position in no time. Major Wasif Shah very bravely contested the terrorists at the forefront and repulsed the attack and moved closer to the terrorists. The presence of Major Wasif on the frontline raised the morale of his troops. It is pertinent to mention here that when Major Wasif had no bullets left, he took the gun of an injured soldier and continued firing at the terrorists. He was hit by two bullets, one in the shoulder and the other in the clavicle but he continued attacking the terrorists. At about 19:00 hrs, due to a few soldiers, nominal arms and ammunition and without any reinforcement, the bunker of Major Wasif was engaged from three directions. Major Wasif moved out of his bunker and started direct fire at the terrorists as they had come very close to the bunker. At this moment, a rocket fired from close range fell near Major Wasif and a mortar splinter pierced his upper lip and passed the neck. Major Wasif was lying on the ground. He recited the Kalma-e-Shahadat and closed his eyes. Major Wasif could have saved his life by surrendering, but he preferred Shahadat. After the Shahadat of Major Wasif Shah, Subedar Muhammad Jahangir Ahmed took over the battle. At about 20:00 hours about a hundred terrorists attacked the commanding post. Subedar Janagir fought very bravely in a hand-to-hand battle. Due to intense artillery fire and the arrival of NLI, terrorists fled away from the post. In this battle Major Wasif Hussain Shah, Subedar Muhammad Jahangir, Naik Rafaqat, Sepoy Ejaz Ahmed and Sepoy Nazeer Ahmed embraced Shahadat, whereas 11 soldiers were injured.

The above facts clearly speak that this is a saga of bravery, courage, gallantry, heroism and ultimate sacrifice. Major Wasif Shah embraced shahadat with bravery, courage, extraordinary leadership and sound professionalism for the motherland. Due to the supreme sacrifice of Major Wasif, Subedar Jahangir and three other soldiers, Zarm Sar area is still in the hands of Pak Army.

All the above proved contributions of Major Wasif Shah for the motherland should lead to the award of Nishan-e-Haider but due to rules and regulations, he was awarded the Sitara-e-Basalat.

Let us pray for higher ranks in Jannah to our all Shuhdas, for the integrity and solidarity, progress and prosperity of Pakistan and undefeatable might and strength to our armed forces.