PIFFERS: CHARGE OF THE BULLS 35 FF AND SHAHADAT OF COL AKRAM RAJA – 17 DECEMBER 1971

 

CHARGE OF THE BULLS 35 FF AND SHAHADAT OF COL AKRAM RAJA- 17 DECEMBER 1971
 
       Dear Editor  
 
       Pakistan Army Surrendered on 16 Dec 1971 at Dacca. But the war in West Pakistan continued for another Day, Some of the Senior Officers in West Pakistan for face saving and to earn some personal gain, committed the blunder of launching units in counter attacks ill prepared in various sectors. Two glaring Examples are 8 Armed Brigade Counter Attack in BARA PIND and 35 FF Attack in the same sector. In both the cases Unit Commanders/ junior commanders were sacrificed by the incompetent Brigade/ Division and Corps Commander in Sialkot Sectors.
 
           An excellent Book has been written by Col Imtiaz Ul Haque about this battle, published by Asim welfare Society, Model Town Lahore. Col Imtiaz participated in

the attack as company commander and was wounded.  The officer has given a very detailed account of the Battle. The unit sacrificed their lives due to failure in Command and staff Planning at all levels. This is evident from the unit’s move from Chaman/ Baluchistan on 29 September 1971 to the desert in Sind. Thereafter on 4 December 1971 to Fort Abbas, then to Sialkot Sector under 1 Corps on 14 December,  on the evening of 16 December to Pindi Purbian  for counter attack on the morning of 17 Dec 1971 in Jarpal area in 1 Corps. The unit kept Shuttling between three different brigade areas from 14 December to 17 December, with no clear orders. The Commanding Officer was denied any Reconnaissanc of the objective, in Day light Hours.  Poor Staff Planning at the GHQ and Command failure at Corps/Division and Brigade level. It also raises a important question; Was this Attack really needed after Surrender at DACCA on 16 December and ceasefire between INDIA AND PAKISTAN in the Afternoon of 17 Dec 1971? Perhaps all our Generals should read and keep by their bed side “Psychology of Military Incompetence, by Norman Dixon”

 
      Col Akram Raja the Commanding officer embraced Shahdat along with  three officers, a JCO and 56 NCOs and JAWANS. The Bengali officers of the unit fought Gallantly along side their West Pakistani brethren, Lt Shahid Ullah from East Pakistan Embraced Shahdat. 
 
          The Humood Rahman Commission had recommended action against all the COMMANDERS from Corps Commander down to Brigade level but no action was taken against any one.
 
     I wish this Book had been published by the author sometime in late seventies or at least when the Author had finalized the draft and got the approval of GHQ for its publication in 1987.
 
Regards
 
Lt Col Muhammad Shahbaz Thuthaal (Retd)
17 Punjab Regt.
 
DHA- EME sector, Multan road, LAHORE.

 
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