Another valiant son of Pakistan, Col Sohail Abid recorded his unflinching loyalty to the land and its people, with ultimate sacrifice. As reported in the press, his last act was also predicted through his poem, written a few days before his sacrifice. The first Ramazan brought tears and pain to his family and it may not be possible for other Pakistanis to understand the sufferings and pain endured by kins of martyrs, who are left in their struggle for life without a loving father or brother, who also happen to be the sole bread earners for the family. Unfortunately Col Abid left us when Pakistan was ripe with heated debate on what’s wrong with the military as espoused by the Khalai Makhlook campaign from one political party to tarnish the image of defenders of Pakistan.

Pakistan is passing through testing times and the military and her intelligence agencies are wrapping up the scourge of terror through an almost daily fight. Col Abid was also part of that intelligence based operation conducted to take out the most wanted killer of Hazara community, despite the fact that he could have sent a junior officer to lead the operation, he chose to lead it and was successful in taking down the head of a dreaded terrorist organization, by scarifying his own life.

Col Abid had a soft heart of a poet, yet an iron will and clarity of mind for mission accomplishment. In his last poem before the operation we find himself talking:

Loyalty to motherland demands

the ultimate sacrifice

O My country, I need to love you

without a price

With my blood, your spring

may be nurtured

If I can do it repeatedly, I will

be honored

I will love to be part of the brave band

Who shed their blood for the Mother-land

I pray that I am also martyred

And become a testimony for

remembrance, forever

Pakistan has paid a heavy price for this war against terror; there is no town and no street which has not shared the burden of this war through sacrifice of civilians and military personnel. As Pakistan moves into post conflict stage, it is being subjected to selective campaigns of plight of devastated areas, like FATA. Unfortunately some sub nationalist parties and groups and even some mainstream parties have found an opportune moment to target the defenders of Pakistan due to convergence of their interests.

The slogans against the Army are being hurled a t a time when the institution is dismantling the hubs of terror networks throughout the width and breadth of Pakistan. I was reading comments from wives and children of the martyrs on social media, they are raising some pertinent questions:-

Was FATA better off when TTP terrorists played football with heads of the innocents?

Was Karachi better off when we received corpses of innocent people in Jute Bags and when the entire city was made hostage to the desires of one man terrorizing it from London?

If Pakistan is fighting a war, have you ever seen the people from other countries launching smear campaigns against their soldiers and officers in times of war, if the anti- Army narrative helps the enemies of Pakistan, what do you call it? If you have another definition of treason, let us know.

One text from an affected family reads like this: take away our houses and plots, and give me the price of all the kid’s birthdays my martyred husband missed, give me the price of all the days, weeks and years my kids spent without their dad, give me the price of waiting for return of my husband from operations and the specter of that dreaded phone call that the news is not good and that your husband laid his life for the motherland. Come and see the body of my husband wrapped in the Green Flag and stand with me in this hour of grief, if you cannot, then don’t abuse his blood by saying that this uniform is responsible for terror.

My advice to the Pakistani public would be to find answers to these questions and try justifying the abusive campaign against the defenders of Pakistan; the affected families of martyrs get seriously hurt when they find their countrymen showing apathy to the blood of martyrs. Having lost my own brother, a fighter pilot, in the line of duty, I can share the feelings of the families of martyrs. Col Abid’s poem has a strong message for entire Pakistan; despite all odds the morale of forces officers and soldiers is extremely high. The officer cadre has maintained the tradition of leading from the front, and consider it as an honor to sacrifice their lives for the motherland. The Army, police and intelligence agencies and law enforcement departments are working day and night to win the final round against terrorists and their domestic and foreign sponsors and sympathizers, they need solid backup from whole Pakistani nation and we should have no doubts that this war will be won.

I will end the piece with a quote circulating on social media, “there will always be an Army in your country, if it’s not yours then it will be of your enemy’s.”

 

The writer is a freelance journalist.

adeelanaureen@gmail.com