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Posts Tagged Northern Light Infantry Bravery

The Snow Leopards-Pakistan Army’s Northern Light Infantry Regiment & Leo, the Pakistani Snow Leopard’s Offspring Thrives in the Bronx Zoo




Pakistan’s Northern Light Infantry Regiment-The Snow Leopards, who mauled the Indian Army Gurkhas in Kargil


When Gilgit scouts were raised, its strength was 582. The recruitment in the Gilgit Scouts was based on the recommendation of Mirs and Rajas of the area. Close relatives of Mirs and Rajas were used to be given direct viceroy commission in corps of Gilgit Scouts.

Northern Scouts

In 1947 Gilgit Scouts reverted to their original duties of internal security under Pakistani Political agent of Northern Areas. 582 men of Gilgit scouts were placed under the command of Major Muhammad Tufail Shaheed (Nishan-e-Haider). The remaining personnel of the expanded Corps were designated as the Corps of Northern Scouts in November 1949.

Capture of Kargil and Batalik and the Victor Motto

Gilgit scouts were the first battalion in 1948 to capture Kargil and Batalik. Were then warded the motto of Victors.

Karakoram Scouts

The northern scouts were bifurcated on 1st January 1964, and Karakoram scouts were raised with its Head Quarters at Skardu.

Northern Light Infantry Regiment

War Performance

Liberation War 1947

Honorary Captain Muhammad Baber Khan took part in liberation war 1947/48. On partition, Gilgit agency was handed over to Maharaja of Kashmir by the British government. Brigadier Ghansara Singh arrived at Gilgit to take over the charge as Governor. Later on Major General H L Scott the chief of military staff of Kashmir also joined. The troops of Gilgit Scouts being 100% Muslim were in favour of accession to Pakistan. On 31 October 1947, in the afternoon, Honorary Captain Muhammad Baber Khan called the meeting of the Junior Commissioned Officers of Gilgit scouts in the Junior Commissioned Officers’ mess, where it was unanimously decided to over throw the dogra rule.

The governor surrendered on 1st November 1947. The Muslim company of 6 Jammu Kahmir infantry battalion coming to Gilgit from Bunji under command Captain Hassan Khan also joined the scouts. The scouts attacked and destroyed dogra check post and burnt Partab Bridge. The Sikh and dogra elements deserted and were later captured. 27000 sq miles were thus liberated from Dogra Raj. The force was then placed under command Major Muhammad Tufail Shaheed (Nishan-i-Haider), Honorary Captain Muhammad Baber Khan of 1st Northern Light Infantry Regiment who played the most vital role in the war of liberation (from Dogra Raj) in 1947.

Fighting at the Highest Battle Field in the World

Siachen border is the world’s highest battlefield. 1 Northern Light Infantry Battalion has the unique honour of being the first unit to defend Gyong and Gyari sectors. Battalion was ordered to move to Siachen in the first week of April 1984 from Gilgit under command Lieutenant Colonel Shuja Ullah Tarrar Tamgha-i- Basalat. The unit was involved in a successful combat with weather, terrain and the real enemy. 1 Northern Light Infantry Battalion did dumping of ammonition and ration and complete defence construction.

Action in Azad Kashmir

1st Northern Light Infantry Regiment remained involved in acts of gallantry while its tenure in Azad Kashmir. A number of successful fire raids were carried out on enemy.

Honours and Awards

Gilgit scouts and Northern scouts

War of Liberation and 1965 War

* Sitara-i-Jurat – 5
* Tamgha-i-Jurat – 8
* Imtiazi Sanad – 25
* C-In-C’s Commendation Card – 2

1971 War – Northern Scouts

* Sitara-i-Jurat – 2
* Tamgha-i-Jurat – 2
* Imtiazi Sanad – 1

Karakoram Scouts

1965 War

* Sitara-i-Jurat – 1
* Tamgha-i-Jurat – 1
* Tamgha-i-Basalat – 2
* Imtiazi Sanad – 4

1971 War

* Sitara-i-Jurat – 2
* Tamgha-i-Jurat – 8
* Imtiazi Sanad – 2

Nishan i Haider and Kargil war

Captain Karnal Sher Khan (1970–1999)

Pakistan Army’s official statement is as follows;

“Captain Karnal Sher Khan emerged as the symbol of mettle and courage during the Kargil conflict on the Line of Control (LoC). He set personal examples of bravery and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. He defended the five strategic posts, which he established with his Jawan’s at the height of some 17,000 feet at Gultary, and repulsed many Indian attacks.After many abortive attempts, the enemy on July 5 ringed the post of Capt. Sher Khan with the help of two battalion and unleashed heavy Mortar firing and managed to capture some part of the post. Despite facing all odds, he lead a counter-attack and re- captured the lost parts.But during the course he was hit by the machine-gun fire and embraced Shahadat or martyrdom at the same post. He is the first officer from the NWFP province to be awarded with Nishan-e-Haider.”

Lalak Jan Shaheed (1967 – 7 July 1999)

“He emerged as the symbol of mettle and courage during the Kargil conflict on the Line of Control (LoC). He set personal examples of bravery and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. He defended the strategic posts. During the conflict he embraced Shahadat or martyrdom. He is the first Army man from the Northern Areas now Gilgit Baltistan to be awarded with Nishan-e-Haider.”

Courtesy: http://www.defence.pk/forums/general-images-multimedia/51112-northern-light-infantry-regiment-nli-gilgit-baltistan.html#ixzz2h5mJGHTV


 Leo, the Pakistani Snow Leopard’s Offspring Thrives in the Bronx Zoo 

  • Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Male snow leopard at the Bronx Zoo is the offspring of Leo, who was orphaned in 2005 in Pakistan.
The cub, still unnamed, is the offspring of Leo, who was brought to the zoo after his mother and siblings were killed in 2005 in Pakistan. Snow leopards are tricky to breed in captivity since there is a brief window of fertility each year. Leo’s first attempt was not successful. But earlier this year, zoo officials paired him with Maya, a proven breeder, and the match took.

The new cub was born on April 9; officials at the zoo wanted to make sure that he was healthy and well adjusted before officially putting him on display. Until now, the cub and Maya have been kept out of public view. (In the wild, snow leopard fathers leave the scene after mating and play no role in rearing their young; so Leo, who weighs 83 pounds, is in a separate enclosure in the same exhibit, Himalayan Highlands.)

On Friday, ignoring a reporter, the cub tumbled over a rocky outcropping, playfully stalked his 66-pound mother and rubbed his face against a log. The cub is still nursing, but he has started eating solid food, primarily raw chicken.

“We let the mother do all the work,” said Lacy Martin, a senior wild animal keeper. “She’s doing an excellent job, so there’s no reason to interfere. He’s gotten much more brave and has a lot of spunk.”

Nadeem Hotiana, the press attaché at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, said in a telephone interview that the country had decided to send Leo to the Bronx Zoo because Pakistan lacked an “appropriate facility” to care for the orphaned cub.

The Bronx Zoo is the acknowledged leader in snow leopard care and husbandry. In 1903, it was the first zoo in North America to exhibit snow leopards. Since then the zoo has bred more than 70 of them. They are among the planet’s most endangered large cats, with a range limited to the remote mountains of Central Asia and parts of Bhutan, China, India, Mongolia and Russia. The Bronx Zoo now has 10 snow leopards in its collection, a sizable fraction of the total of 137 snow leopards in accredited zoos in North America.

The cub’s birth is part of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program meant to maintain genetic diversity and demographic stability in zoo populations of threatened and endangered animals. Patrick Thomas, the zoo’s general curator and associate director, said the birth represented a “significant boost to the genetics” of the snow leopard program.

In the wild, snow leopard cubs stay with their mothers for about two years. “Right now that cub’s whole world revolves around its mother,” said Dr. Thomas, who was part of the team that traveled to retrieve Leo from the Naltar Valley in Pakistan in 2006. “He relies on her for food and companionship.”

In Pakistan, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the zoo, has worked with local officials on a number of conservation efforts, training more than 100 rangers to monitor snow leopards and other wildlife and to stop deforestation and poaching.

“While Leo is on loan to the Bronx Zoo, we hope that his presence in the United States and ongoing bilateral cooperation on conservation efforts will help deepen the links between the people of Pakistan and the United States,” Richard G. Olson, the United States ambassador to Pakistan, said in a statement.

Dr. Asad M. Khan, Pakistan’s chargé d’affaires in Washington, also issued a statement: “It’s heartening to learn that Leo had his own cub, a male, this summer. Leo has served as a symbol of deep friendship and abiding good will between our two countries.”




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COWARD OF KARGIL NAWAZ SHARIF: Kargil War was a victory for Pakistan

Kargil was a big success for Pakistan: Musharraf

Nawaz Sharif is mainly responsible for spreading the rumour, that FCNA was losing at Kargil. He keeps harping the same tune, even, though some Indian generals have reluctantly accepted it as a defeat of Indian Army. But, this coward leaves no opportunity to bad mouth Kargil victory.  Nawaz Sharif is an enemy of Pakistan. He puts his own interests above national interests. He felt threatened by Pakistan Army’s spectacular victory in Kargil War.

Cowardly, Kashmiri turncoat Nawaz Sharif was shocked by success of Pakistan;s Mujahedin of FCNA, who caused 3000 Indian Army Casualties, including the loss of two planes, death of one IAF Pilot and capture of Indian Pilot Lt.Nachikita by Pak Army. Being a US CIA Agent Nwaz was afraid that Musharraf and the Army would get all the glory, he ran to his patron President Clinton.

Islamabad: Claiming that his 1999 Kargil operation was a “big success militarily”, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has said that if the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had not visited the US, the Pakistani Army would have “conquered” 300 square miles of India. 

He defended his action to launch the operation in Kargil in the wake of fresh allegations that he masterminded the intrusions. 

Referring to Lt Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz’s allegations that he had kept other military commanders in the dark about the operation, Musharraf said, “Telling everyone about it was not necessary at all”. 

He claimed Aziz had an “imbalanced personality” and had resorted to character assassination by making these accusations. 


“We lost the Kargil war, which was a big success militarily, because of (then premier) Nawaz Sharif…If he had not visited the US, we would have conquered 300 square miles of India,” Musharraf said in an interview with Express News channel. 

Though Pakistan had initially claimed mujahideen were responsible for occupying strategic heights along the Line of Control in early 1999, Musharraf later revealed in his autobiography ‘In The Line Of Fire’ that regular Army troops had participated in the operation. 

But Musharraf claimed the action in Kargil was a “localised” operation and not a major operation. 

“Kargil was just one of many sectors under a Major General stationed in Gilgit, (who was) in charge of the area. Exchange of fire was routine there,” he claimed. Musharraf said he would not go so far as to accuse former premier Nawaz Sharif of betrayal but his decision to withdraw from Kargil was a mistake. 


Unknown-2“Nawaz lost a political front which we had won militarily,” he claimed. 

The former general, who has been living in self-exile outside Pakistan since 2009, said the “prime consideration” for actions like the Kargil operation is security and secrecy. 

“So the Army leadership decides who is to be informed and when. As the operation progressed and the proper time arrived, a briefing of the corps commanders was held,” he said. 

Musharraf said he was “really astonished” that Aziz was writing about the events 10 years later. 

Blaming the nation at this juncture, as Aziz had done, seems to be “part of a conspiracy”, he claimed. 

“It was a tactical action that had a strategic importance in which no more than a few hundred persons were involved, but which engaged thousands on the Indian side and was of tremendous importance,” he claimed. 

Musharraf justified Pakistani casualties in the conflict, claiming the country lost only 270 men against India’s 1,600 soldiers. 

Press Trust of India

Eyeball to eyeball   July 1999

India has to mask its initial intelligence failure by regaining the peaks regardless of heavy casualties. Both sides need a face-saving way out. Since early May there has been a see-saw military, political and diplomatic struggle between the two Subcontinental protagonists, Pakistan and India. Islamabad’s position has been that the guerrillas who have captured the heights overlooking the Drass-Kargil-Leh road, are Kashmiri freedom fighters struggling for their long-denied right of self-determination. 

India eventually decided, after examining the pros and cons of widening the conflict across the Line of Control (LoC) or even across the international border, on a strategy of containment within the narrower objective of regaining the Kargil heights. This narrower framework meant higher casualties on the Indian side because of the difficulty of traversing slopes against dug-in defenders where the terrain offers no cover.

New Delhi calculated that it does have the political will and military morale, despite the heavy casualties, and can sustain the cost in human and material terms. A near-consensus domestically and the willingness of the Indian military command to accept constraints allowed India to continue with an operation in which it suffered disproportionately heavy casualties.

With regard to Pakistan, the intriguing question is whether the Kargil heights seizure was part of the normal stepping up of guerrilla activity during summer, or whether it had more ambitious objectives. If it were the former, little can be added, except to mention in passing a failure of Indian intelligence. The guerrillas’ presence was only discovered by accident when two Indian army patrols happened to spot them. The true extent of the guerrilla presence did not sink in until the Indian army had carried out an aerial survey of the area, which revealed that between 400 to 700 guerrillas had seized the heights. This could have put them in a position in any future war to threaten the sole overland logistics link with the Indian forces deployed in Siachen, i.e. the Srinagar-Drass-Kargil-Leh road.

But the Kargil seizure could have other strategic objectives with military, political and diplomatic dimensions. Militarily, if the seizure could be maintained for a reasonable period of time and at least until winter sets in, it could open up possibilities of forcing either an Indian withdrawal from Siachen, or a trade-off between the Kargil heights and the Siachen Glacier.

Politically, it could reflect the impatience in Islamabad with lack of progress in bilateral discussions on Kashmir under the Lahore Declaration process after the fall of the BJP government in end-April. Despite the fact that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee of India heads a caretaker government until elections are held in September-October, the hope may have been to force New Delhi back to the negotiating table in a serious mode. Diplomatically, since the bilateral process had not yielded results, an internationalisa-tion of the Kashmir issue may have been sought to bring it back onto the frontburner.

If we assume for the sake of argument that all or some of these objectives formed part of the Pakistani thrust into Kargil, or at least were taken on board once things hotted up on the Line of Control, we can examine the results achieved or likely to be achieved in the foreseeable future and then draw up a balance sheet of gains and losses.

Missing Kashmir for Kargil

Militarily, the inherent difficulty of holding on to the Kargil heights in the face of overwhelming firepower and numbers has become a key question as the battle drags on. India has weighed the costs of heavy casualties against the bigger costs of potentially adverse international intervention if the conflict is widened. It has relied on the political consensus to hold on to Kashmir no matter what the cost, which informs its domestic political spectrum (the weak and scattered chinks of rationality represented by liberal opinion notwithstanding). India’s slow but definite gains against the guerrillas have produced collateral pressures for a withdrawal of the guerrillas from what is turning into a suicidal mission.

The political timing of the Kargil seizure, if the idea was indeed to force New Delhi back to serious negotiations, could not have been worse. A caretaker government heading into an election was hardly likely to be in a position to negotiate, let alone offer any flexibility or concession on such a major issue. There has been speculation in the Indian press after the visit to Pakistan by the US emissary General Anthony Zinni regarding proposals purportedly from Islamabad for India to allow safe passage to the guerrillas, quoting the precedent of the Hazrat Bal shrine siege. Whether these reports hold any water or not is not known.

However, Western diplomatic pressure on Islamabad is mounting, especially after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington DC and London, and these could take various forms, economic, political, diplomatic. The dependence of the Pakistani economy on the goodwill of the West, and particularly the US, to keep foreign fund flows going makes Pakistan that much more vulnerable to ‘persuasion’.

It goes without saying that such ‘persuasion’ seeks to maintain the status quo on Kashmir, while advocating peaceful negotiations. Pakistan’s experience indicates that retaining the status quo has always proved favourable to India. Any disturbance of New Delhi’s hold on Kashmir, even if partial or temporary, serves to refocus the attention of the global community on a long-neglected, festering wound. But in trying to disturb the status quo in its favour, the manner in which Pakistan pursues this tactical goal is crucial. This cannot happen by ignoring the ground reality.

The Pakistani army chief, General Pervez Musharraf, put his finger on the problem by describing Kargil as “a tactical, military issue”, while Kashmir as such was “a strategic, political” one. In other words, to see only the Kargil part of the picture represented by the Kashmir problem, is to miss the forest for the trees. However, in the present instance, Islamabad appears to have failed to persuade the global powers-that-be of the justness of this linkage. On the contrary, opinion seems to have hardened in the West that the status quo must be restored before diplomatic “business as usual” can be resumed.

Most thinking people in Pakistan are by now convinced that there is no (regular) military option to obtain a solution to Kashmir, particularly after both India and Pakistan have demonstrated their nuclear capability. The irregular military option (guerrilla war) faces considerable political and ideological disabilities, especially since the Kashmir guerrilla movement has acquired a fundamentalist hue over time. This does not appear to be sufficiently inspiring for large numbers of the Kashmiri people who are well known for their traditional religious tolerance. This despite continuing repression by the Indian military in Kashmir.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been castigated by the right-wing, religious, fundamentalist opinion for stating an obvious truth that without both India and Pakistan going beyond their “stated positions”, no solution to the Kashmir problem is possible. The hue and cry against him for saying that, particularly in the Urdu press, reflects the limitations which restrict the country’s political leadership. No flexibility, political or diplomatic, is allowed to any Pakistani leader to even explore some middle ground. Any such suggestion is treated as treason, betrayal, the worst kind of skullduggery. For such ideologically ‘pure’ elements, it is either all or nothing as far as Kashmir is concerned.

Before it is too late, sober heads must begin to ponder how much cloth we have remaining and how to cut it. Passion cannot replace cool calculation required for a strategic plan for peace. The Pakistani leadership must take into account a heavily dependent economic structure, an inability to rouse the world’s conscience beyond rhetoric, and the lack of a solid consensus across the

domestic political divide. The risk is that any attempt to work out a strategy based on the art of the possible would fall foul of Pakistan’s ideological hawks.



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