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Another Kashmiri Leader Martyred By Sajjad Shaukat

In Loving Memory of Young Kashmiri Martyr

Burhan Wani, Shaheed

A Hero



















Another Kashmiri Leader Martyred

By Sajjad Shaukat

Protests erupted after Indian security forces martyred 22-year- yound Kashmir leader Burhan

Wani on July 8, 2016. A new wave of Indian brutalities has set in with the martyr of an eminent


Despite a curfew in the Indian-held Kashmir and brutal tactics of Indian police and other security

forces, demonstrations have continued. To suppress the protestors, devilish Indian Occupational

Forces started playing havoc with the protestors resulting into martyring of more than 50

innocent and armless Kashmiris so far. The bloodshed is still on and God knows how many more

Kashmiris will lose their lives at the hands of Indian forces.

The recent genocide in the Indian-controlled Kashmir has received wide coverage in

International as well domestic Indian media.

Wani, in his early 20s, had become the face of the struggle in Kashmir and over the last five

years was using social media like Facebook to reach out to young Kashmiri men to continue their

movement for the independence of Kashmir. He became voice of the Kashmiri youth and his

popularity irritated New Delhi.

Undoubtedly, Burhan Wani was a great voice for freedom of the Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Hence, the planned killing of Burhan Wani triggered protest throughout the valley.

The terrible and heinous massacre of Muslim populace of the Indian-occupied Kashmir is

continuing since seven decades without any break. The catastrophe is big enough to move any

conscious human being. Unfortunately, the callous insensitivity of international community is

encouraging India to cross all limits of gross human rights violations. It is not that international

community is unaware of atrocities, being unleashed on people of Indian-held Kashmir—it is

rather the vested interest of Western governments to remain mute just to please India.

Instead of accepting the existing reality, New Delhi resorts to implicating Pakistan for Kashmiri

uprising. Indian allegations against Pakistan are ploy to hoodwink the International Community

on Kashmir issue and a blanket to hide state sponsored atrocities on innocent people of Kashmir.

International community must realize the plight of the Indian-occupied Kashmir and their

people. Kashmir has been under unlawful Indian occupation since October 1947. The people of

Jammu and Kashmir have been granted the right of self-determination under the UN Charter, and

under several UN Security Council resolutions, more specifically under UN (UNCIP) resolution

of August 13, 1948, and January 5, 1949. These along with subsequent UN resolutions have

affirmed that the question of accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan

will be decided through the political democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite.

Unfortunately, stalwart supporter of Human equality and advocates of preservation of human

rights have done little to resolve decades long Kashmir dispute. It is sad to admit that death of

few animals aired by international media can bring tears in the eyes of people, but no heart

moves on genocide of innocent Kashmiris. These double standards are drag to international

efforts on global peace.




In this regard, Leonardo Boff has rightly said, “The eternal destiny of human beings will be

measured by how much or how little solidarity we have displayed with the hungry, the thirsty,

the naked and the oppressed. In the end, we will be judged in terms of love.”

However, a peaceful, negotiated settlement of Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN

resolutions should rank top on UN’s agenda. In order to find a swift and legal solution of

Kashmir issue, international community must stand with people of the Indian-held Kashmir.

New Delhi should also realize that no freedom movement has ever been suppressed with force

and Kashmir is no exception.

Balochistan is showing solidarity with Kashmiris on 14 th July. Huge rallies in all parts of

Balochistan are being planned to demonstrate unity with Kashmiris against crimes committed by

India in the Indian-occupied Kashmir. Youth including universities, colleges and schools would

be mobilized with civil society. Local leaders will address the rallies to give a clear message of

support to the Kashmiris.

Nevertheless, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the

Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has

been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted

killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation

of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

In fact, Indian forces have employed various draconian and controversial laws like Armed Forces

Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA) etc. in killing the Kashmiri

people, and arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out

grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim

majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security

forces. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and

Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have

extraordinary powers to shoot suspected persons.”

It is mentionable that under the cover of draconian laws, most of the times, majority of the

popular pro-movement leadership is detained or house-arrested by the Indian security forces, and

mostly, without prior orders from the higher authorities. As per a Kashmiri human rights group,

Voice of Victim (VOV), a total of 1 471 torture centers are operating in the Indian-occupied

Kashmir where arrested Kashmiri leaders and the youth are subjected to severe torture.

Nonetheless, martyrdom of the Kashmir leader Burhan Wani has given a new impetus to the

Kashmiris to continue their struggle against the occupying forces of India.

Email: [email protected]


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Ammi Jee (mother) remembers: Shabbir Sharif died as he lived

Ammi Jee (mother) remembers: Shabbir Sharif died as he lived
This is the story of the most decorated war hero of Pakistan recounted through the prism of the fond memories of an equally heroic mother. Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed Nishan-e-Haider and Sitara-e-Jurat is a metaphor of courage that needs to be celebrated not only to honour his memory but also to inspire a new generation of heroes. A recent meeting with the mother of the legendary Shabbir Sharif was a unique honour that yielded a treasure trove of memories about the temperament and personality of the shaheed. 
“Beta our young generation needs heroes to emulate and Shabbir was one such shining example that can inspire them to think and act like heroes”, spoke the ailing mother of the most decorated soldier produced by this country half reclining on a bed in CMH Malir. The toll that the old age and illness had taken on her could not affect her stately mien that was evident in the energetic movement of her calloused hands and bright eyes that twinkled with palpable passion each time that the name of Shabbir Sharif was mentioned.
Ammi Jee, as everybody calls her in the family, is a truly remarkable lady whose memories of her son do not bear the usual tinge of sorrow but a pride that imparts a whole new meaning and purpose to her personal loss. “Beta, tell them that the blood of martyrs is the protective halo that guards the frontiers of a nation”. She spoke slowly but clearly weaving a skein of her memories out of a still razor sharp mind. This dialogue with a mother who bore with remarkable stoicism the loss of her eldest son not only is a tribute to the Shaheed but the entire family that symbolised those pristine values of altruism, courage and self abnegation that define the character of a nation.
A lot has been written about Major Shabbir Sharif who won a Sitara-e-Jurat for his gallant action in the battle of Chamb-Jaurian in 1965 and a Nishan-e-Haider for his exploits in the Sulaimanki Sector in the 1971 war but few are aware of the human aspects lying lovingly in the stout heart of Ammi Jee. Shabbir Sharif came from a martial stock belonging to village Ladian of District Gujrat with the patriarch Sharif being an army officer of the old order holding firmly to soldierly virtues like honesty, frugality, and courage with Ammi Jee being his devoted companion. Major Sharif’s soldierly deportment and gruff exterior contrasted beautifully with the mellow nature and austere ways of an indefatigable house maker. The couple begot five children, three sons and two daughters, Khalida being the eldest and Shabbir number two followed by Mumtaz, Najmi and Raheel. 
It was a well knit family, steeped in martial traditions and socio culture ethos of middle class. The military subculture and ambulatory life style had further cemented the bond between family members with the father playing as a friendly martinet as opposed to the soft punctiliousness of a house keeping focused mother. In those days of pre cable entertainment the family had regular nightly pow vows in front of fire place to share the news, reading lists and anecdotes. It was in the smithy of that value laden crucible that the character traits of the children were forged. The quest for excellence through honest endeavour was the family credo imparted to the kids by their parents hammered home not too infrequently in the words of Hafiz Shirazii. “Kasb-e-Kamal Kun Ke Aziz-e-Jahan Shawi” – Attain excellence in order to be the darling of this world.
Shabbir being the first son was accorded special status right from the birth. The family celebrated his birth with three instead of one customary “Aqiqas” (Thanks giving functions). He started displaying some special qualities right from the early childhood. As a child he appeared to possess an unusual joie de vivre and determination. Nobody could make him do a thing he was dead set against. Ammi Jee remembers the naughty visage of a four-year old Shabbir running away from his bathtub to the safety of an obscure nook, laughing uncontrollably, much to the chagrin of an exasperated mother. No entreaties could wheedle him back into the bathtub unless he wanted to. Nature perhaps was planting the first seeds of an iron will in a future hero.
When Shabbir grew up as a teenager he displayed some unique traits. Though he was sprightly, effervescent and outgoing by nature, still he retained a strong streak of sensitivity and emotionalism. It was perhaps the effect of the moral values of duty, honour and compassion nurtured in the motivational bonhomie of the daily family conclaves that he developed a sense of “noblesse oblige” especially towards the under privileged. He had a quick temper and no patience for transgressors. Quite often during his travels to the college on a bus he picked up fights with the mannerless louts who refused to vacate their seat for ladies. He was a veritable hater of the bully and defender of the honour of women. In Government College Lahore as a college student he was the saviour the girls turned to whenever accosted uncivilly by the loutish students. Such ungentlemanly conduct towards girls was an anathema to him and he readily took the offenders to task for their indiscretions.
Being an extremely venturesome kid Shabbir was always up to some prank involving physical risk and courage. The sisters remember the bated breath suspense of boxing bouts between Mumtaz, the younger sibling later on Captain Mumtaz, and Shabbir where the father acted as the referee. With Shabbir having the clear edge during such bouts the doughty Mumtaz also landed one odd lusty jab resulting in a free style type wrestling melee on the big lawns of their British era Quetta bungalow. In the ensuing mayhem their father used to be heard shouting “Come on Sajj, Mumtaz’s nickname, catch him”. Shabbir of course was always the provoker who needled a staid Mumtaz into such contests, aimed at having fun and “physical conditioning” of the younger brother. The sisters also were not spared this privilege albeit in different activities; Najmi the younger sister remembers being pushed down a sloping track after being coaxed to sit on a bicycle. Such pranks according to Shabbir’s philosophy were a way to steel the nerves of his younger siblings!
There was something in his make up that just could not countenance injustice. Always on the side of the underdog he threw caution to the wind while tackling oppression. Ammi Jee remembers her first born as an extremely well dressed young man fond of the latest faction fads in apparel. She however recalls a sensitive and caring side to her fashion loving son. Once on the eve of Eid as he was viewing his new dress he came across the son of his domestic helper whom he asked about his choice of Eid clothes. Since the poor boy could not afford a new dress, he kept quiet. Shabbir felt it deeply and refused to wear his new dress unless the boy got a similar suit. This was the first palpable sign of his altruistic nature noticed by a caring mother. On another occasion while in PMA as a cadet he got an elegantly tailored suit only to be gifted to a friend who could not afford such an expensive suit.
He was a generous soul with a big munificent heart and infectious laughter. He was especially close to his sisters and the younger brother Raheel. His suave and literary sister Khalida was a grace personified while recalling her brother’s memories while sitting besides the Ammi Jee’s bed in the hospital and had a hard time choosing snippets out of a rich montage of memories. She recalled how once on holidays at home as a young officer, Shabbir requested his younger sister Najmi to gift him her radio transistor. 
Since she had taken fancy to her prized possession, she naturally refused to part with it. Shabbir teased her by saying, “why such parsimony for a small radio, I would not hesitate giving anything that you ever asked for”. Knowing well the generous proclivities of her brother the loving sister promptly asked him for a gold chain. He readily relented in deference to her request and when reminded in jest that his wife might object he burst into his signature guffaw. Najmi rues to this day why she spurned the request of a brother who gave the greatest gift a living mortal could ever manage to his loving family. 
Shabbir Sharif blossomed into a fine specimen of manhood as a young army officer being an excellent athlete and a brilliant professional. He won the coveted sword of honour on passing out from PMA in April 1964. He joined 6 Frontier Force Regiment and soon endeared himself to all ranks in his unit as a living embodiment of Longfellow’s immortal verses, “In the world’s broad field of battle, in the bivouc of life, be not like dumb driven cattle, be a hero in the strife”. As a young officer he was blunt, forthright and charismatic. His leadership style was Patton like as he lived out his famous saying, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of the way”. 
He personified the Clausewitzean definition of the ideal leadership, “if a leader has high ambition and he pursues his aims with audacity and strength of will he will reach them in spite of all obstacles”. Due to his caring nature nothing pained him more than a realisation that somebody had not shared his worries with him. He felt greatly upset if someone he knew had suffered silently without sharing his or her grief with him. One of his greatest regrets was the suicide of his friend Tanvir who did not share his anguish with him. He was a giving soul who longed to sacrifice everything for those in trouble, a trail that ultimately manifested itself in his martyrdom.
His proud mother remembers with a hint of wistfulness in her bright eyes the crisp September evening when they sat with the family of her cousin Major Raja Aziz Bhatti in their Royal Artillery Bazar residence at Lahore. She recalls the image of a jeep that came to collect Raja Aziz Bhatti for his frontline duty and remembers the premonitory words spoken in a lighter vein by the future recipient of Nishan-e-Haider, “Lagta hai mere farishtay aa gaye hain” (it seems my guardian angels have come to collect me). This was the last that everybody saw of Raja Aziz Bhatti. As the war raged on, Ammi Jee got the disturbing news of Shabbir Sharif’s injury and admission in CMH Kharian. 
She travelled all the way to Kharian during war to see her son but upon reaching Kharian was told that the irrepressible Shabbir Sharif had bolted off towards the front against the instructions of doctors, with an arm still in plaster! While still ruminating over the whereabouts of her son she learnt about the martyrdom of her cousin Major Raja Aziz Bhatti. She straightaway made her way to her village Ladian where she accosted the mother of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti for a word of condolence. It was a very unique moment when the inscrutable designs of providence brought two mothers of Nishan-e-Haiders face to face. When Ammi Jee tried to condole with the brave mother of Raja Aziz Bhatti, she reassured her, “Don’t worry behen, Mera Aziz aakhir Wapas aa Raha hai”. The family was blessed with a Nishan-e-Haider (Aziz Bhatti and a Sitara-e-Jurat (Shabbir Sharif) in 1965 war, a truly proud moment for everyone.
Ammi Jee’s memory veers towards 1971. When the war broke out Major Shabbir Sharif was commanding his company as part of 6 Frontier Force Regiment in Sulaimanki sector. She remembers herself humming a popular patriotic song of the times, “Aai mard-e-mujahid jag zara ab waqt-e-shahdat hai aya” while packing her husband’s belongings for his tour of duty as an army reservist. A neighbour overheard her and asked cheekily, “Are you singing because you are getting rid of your husband?” A visibly flustered Major Sharif glowered at the impertinent lady. The song however had perfectly captured the mood of a household where a son had gone to face the enemy fire on the frontlines and the father was about to leave for his reservist training.
Major Shabbir Sharif, an obedient son, a doting father and a loving husband, was finally where he loved being the most, at the frontlines, commanding the troops. His company held a superior enemy force of two infantry regiments and a T 54 tank squadron at bay opposite Sabuna bund in Sulaimanki sector. Under his daring leadership the company attacked and occupied a portion of the bund through Gur Mukhera bridge. His troops came under withering fusillade of entire divisional artillery of Indian Army. A less resolute body of men would have vacated the captured area but not the valiant “Piffers” who fought hand to hand on the bund evicting the Indians from their vantage point. 
The prodigies of valour displayed by intrepid Shabbir Sharif that had enthused his complete battalion ended in a climactic gladiatorial contest with a bully i.e. the boisterous Indian company commander Major Narayan Singh of 4 Jat Regiment who had dared him for a personal combat. Here was a quintessential bully challenging the martial honour of Pakistan Army about to achieve his comeuppance at the hands of the redoubtable Shabbir Sharif who was ready to fight despite suffering a grenade injury. He came out to fight the Indian major in hand to hand combat with his much too familiar panache, a spectacle watched by troops on both sides. He soon snatched the sten gun out of the Indian major’s hand and pumped its bullets in his chest. The gallant act so demoralised the Indians that they lost all appetite for combat allowing Shabbir’s men to consolidate their hard earned gains in the captured area.
He kept fighting indefatigably like a man possessed along with his men till the fateful day of 6 December 1971 when at 11am Indian armour tried to retake the positions held by his company. He was then manning a recoilless rifle and personally engaged the leading Indian T54 tank knocking it off in first shot. Now after the first shot instead of relocating to a safer place he started reloading the weapon to engage the second tank. As he took the shot an Indian tank shell exploded close to him ending his gallant quest for martyrdom. After Shabbir Sharif’s death his troops attacked the enemy with renewed vengeance and pushed them back at the cost of heavy losses. The superhuman courage and exceptional achievements as a true leader of men were acknowledged by a grateful nation in the shape of the highest gallantry award i.e. Nishan-e-Haider.
His mother remembers vividly the blacked out dark night of 6 December when the police came calling on their gates. The messenger asked Major Sharif, “Do you know Major Shabbir Sharif? Major Sharif retorted,” know him? He is everything to me”. The news of Shabbir Sharif’s martyrdom was received with characteristic stoicism by his parents. The family members including his elder sister Khalida whose husband was also in 6 FF fighting in Sulaimanki sector and his young wife who accompanied by his youngest brother Raheel Sharif had gone to her home town rushed back to receive the Shaheed’s body. Thus ended the Shabbir saga in a blaze of glory. He had died as he had lived; fighting for the underdogs and making the bullies bite the dust.
Ammi Jee’s eyes mist up as she thinks of her charismatic son who had a strange penchant for martyrdom despite being so full of life. A fine specimen of manhood, a connoisseurs of arts, lover of music and fun who found his true calling in the killing fields of combat. “Sometimes I wonder what motivated him to approach death with such alacrity”, she slowly lisps. And I get the answer in an epiphany that tells me that such individuals are beloved of providence that programs them to live and die fighting against the injustice. “My son always had a premonition where he was headed and he wanted to meet his creator in his best uniform. It was not for nothing that he daily pestered his batman to lay out four fully starched uniforms to choose for wearing”, she chuckled lovingly. “I have a picture of him in my home where I visit him daily after my morning prayers. Sometimes when I pine too deeply for him, he comes in my dream gesturing that he has acknowledged my feelings. 
This is the story of your nation’s most decorated war hero plainly told by a simple mother. If his sense of patriotism, courage hatred of the bullies, sense of fair play and love for the underdog inspire our future generations to similar deeds of valour, I think his sacrifice would have attained its maximum requital”. Thus spoke a brave mother of our most decorated Shaheed, Major Shabbir Sharif Nishan-e-Haider and Sitara_e-Jurat. May his soul rest in eternal repose.
Raashid Wali Janjua is closely associated with the Shabbir Sharif Shaheed family

Lt Gen Raheel Sharif Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood.jpg

By Raashid Wali Janjua
September 06, 2013  

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Maj Gen ® Syed Ali Hamid: A NATION NEEDS HEROES

Salute to them – They gave their life for us..

              A NATION NEEDS  HEROES
This morning as I opened my emails I became aware for the first time that a young SSG officer of the Pakistan Army Capt Bilal Zafar had embraced shahadat in Lower Dir on 17 May 2009.  Some caring soul had opened a website in his honor (www.captainbilalshaheed.com ) with a lovely picture of Capt Zafar in uniform with the badges of a UN Peacekeeper.  For many minutes I sat riveted staring at his face, at his eyes and his smile, and trying to look into his soul to find where does a young man of 25 find the courage and motivation to give the ultimate sacrifice. And Capt Bilal was not alone. I opened Youtube and more names of shaheeds appeared : Capt Asim Iqbal, Capt Najam Riaz, Maj Adil, Capt Salman Farooq, Capt Abid Majeed, and Lt Atif. God be praised.
Through the day I kept returning to the picture of Capt Bilal and each time it took me back in time 38 years to the 1971 Pakistan India War when my friend and comrade Capt Hassan Zaheer SJ embraced shahadat in Chammb (now Iftikharabad) fighting for his country, for the Army and for his regiment 26 Cavalry. Like Capt Bilal, Hassan Zaheer also had  a strong premonition that death was stalking him and  embraced it willingly. “Ali my friend” he wrote, “This is the last letter I am writing to you”. Like Capt Bilal, my friend Zaheer too was a hero in another time and another place.
PhotoCredit: www.pakistandefence.com

By the time evening came I had a strong urge to honor this young brave man for making us proud. I wish I could write a whole book  about him but I didn’t know him nor his friends or his family. What I do know (and I saw it very closely 38 years ago in Hassan Zaheer), is that to be a hero he must have had at the foremost,  like those other brave officers, a purity of soul that emerges from  upbringing and family values. Equally important is an inner strength to do what the situation demanded; an inner strength that is a product of training, esprit-de-corps, faith, self respect, honor, dignity. The inner strength that the Pakistan Armed Forces inculcate in leadership at all levels. That is why the Pakistan Armed Forces have been able to give the nations its heroes throughout our history from the Kashmir Operations of 1948-49, the wars of 1965, 1971, Siachen, Kashmir, Kargil and now the operations against the militants.
For those who profess that the Pakistan Army has  changed over the years,  I say “yes”; change is inevitable but the Army still retains its core values and competencies.  The Army still knows how to fight, to adapt to different forms of warfare, to plan and successfully execute complex operations, to defeat the enemy at their own game, to lead soldiers into combat, and to sacrifice their today so that the nation can have its tomorrow. Its officers still lead from the front and the ratio of casualties of officers compared to the soldiers has and as proved recently continues to be high.

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