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Archive for November, 2009

When the world was only “I”
Every bond was hard to bind;
But when I left myself
A stranger was hard to find
 
In every rose I saw a thorn
But when reality uncovered;
The rose grew from concrete
And true beauty discovered
 
Life didn’t have a meaning
And the soul had ceased to dance;
But then unity surpassed duality
And every hurdle became a chance
 
Day and night I used to moan
Like a child for mothers breast
But the body stopped to moan
When the soul found its quest
 
When Israel comes to visit
And money won’t buy breath
Every moment will find escape
But Zaidi shall crave for death
 
– Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi
A mad man. A wanderer
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The Facebook Revolution

The Pakistan Youth Alliance’s (PYA) logo is striking. Placed on the right-hand side of their Facebook page as the display picture, it features a young man yelling, his face painted a patriotic green and white. It’s supposed to exhibit the anger and frustration the youth of Pakistan feel. This is exactly the kind of emotion that the PYA wants to channel into a potent force for the betterment of society.

While it is certainly true that only a small percentage of the country’s youth has access to Facebook, this small percentage seems ready to make a change. For example, after the March 3 attacks on the Sri-Lankan cricket team, the PYA organised a walk and vigil in Islamabad to show solidarity with the victims of the attack. Crowds of people gathered in the streets with candles and placards expressing their sentiments for the innocent and defenseless who are often the real victims of terror. In Karachi, PYA organised a seminar on Swat, entitled, “Swat, heaven on earth or haven for extremism?” which was held at the National Law University on April 26. More recently, they organised a massive fund-raising effort for the rehabilitation of the IDPs

Many youth-based organisations are organised through Facebook, the PYA was created in the aftermath of the Emergency Rule of 2007. Founder Syed Ali Abbas envisioned it as a socio-political awareness campaign that was meant to awaken the youth of Pakistan from their apathy. “Our focus was to create street activists rather than sit-at-home activists,” Abbas explains. Street activists, it would seem, is indeed what they have created. The PYA has organised dozens of events across the country, be it a peace rally after an air space violation by India in Islamabad, or a car and bike rally participation in Lahore for the restoration of an independent judiciary.

Their methodology was simple: use Facebook to recruit and coordinate members, and thus spread their message quickly and effectively. Today, they have a decentralised structure in which area heads are nominated from within their particular domains and each must seek approval from a central executive body. With approximately 2,700 members, the red tape is not unwarranted.

It comes as no surprise that the ever-evolving Facebook has taken Pakistan by storm. Today, there are 714,600 people over the age of 18 who have registered Facebook accounts. Fourteen thousand of them are in college, mostly between the ages of 18 and 25. While most use Facebook as a way to display their photographs, inform their friends about their lives, and to stalk people’s daily activities, the web phenomenon has become part of a greater internet revolution – one that uses organisations such as the PYA to instigate activism.

“We have to revive and redefine patriotism to get actual output from it,” Abbas explains. “We keep debating on what the system should be, but trust me, it’s the people running it who’re wrong. No angels will descend from heavens to take Pakistan out of this chaos in which we are presently.”

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Mr. Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi is a 22 year old man, who lives in Islamabad, Pakistan. Very recently, he, along with his friends, started a youth movement, that by the looks of it is all set to change the course of our country. With planned and organized rallies being held throughout the country, the Pakistan Youth Alliance is serving its purpose well by providing a platform for the youth of today.

The PYA, although only initiated a few months back, has already shown its potential, and will hopefully lead Pakistan forward! I got a chance to talk to Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi about the PYA, the difficulties he had to face, and his achievements and the future of Pakistan, and his commitment to his cause is a force to reckon with.

VP- Tell me about your movement, the Pakistan Youth Alliance. What is it about?

PYA- Its not my movement. Its a movement of every patiotic Pakistani youngster who is sick and tired of watching TV screens and cursing the thieves running the country. PYA is silent revolution; it is by no means a rebellious initiative. We don’t like to point, we aim to change! We don’t mean to burn, we aim to spark! PYA is a youth motivated, youth run, and youth centered non-political/ indigenous movement which aims to wake the youth of Pakistan from the sleep of apathy. We have had it with the flaws, we have had it with injustice and we have had it being quiet. The anger in us all boils our inside so much that we wish to scream, but if we come out on streets in an unorganized manner, no one would listen.

We are educated, we are enlightened and we wish to change the mindsets! We start from self-accountability and self realization (Khudi – Iqbal) and then wish to spread the vibes in our schools, universities and neighborhoods. We want to realize the dream of Iqbal and make it Quaid’s Pakistan. We want to change the attitude “this is Pakistan, everything works!”. We want to make the kids realize that they would have to lead this country, in whatever capacity they would be, so they must be mentally prepared to put their country’s interest before personal gains and lusts. We wish to nourish their souls, so that 160 million souls coincide to form such a strong bond, that it won’t be broken and no one would dare challenge our sovereignty and eye our land!

We started as three people, we are getting hundreds of e-mails and calls every day of youth wanting to join us. From Bajaur (non-Talibanized youth) to Toronto, Pakistan, the youth yearns to be noticed and we will provide a stable platform for them, so that they are heard! And they have the courage to challenge what is wrong, even if it is a small matter in their vicinities. From individual to a collective level – that is how we aim to live the change we want to see in this country

VP- What motivated or inspired you to start this?

PYA- I was like everyone else. I was sitting at Hotspot with some friends, who were here from Harvard and some who were just angry at what drama had unfolded in the country, I am talking about the time of emergency, when the only emergency seemed to be in President’s House. The moment emergency was announced, we started roaming around in the capital to see where the emergency was at, but we couldn’t find it anywhere.

When some people thought that keeping us in the dark and blocking media and outside world contact might help us absorb what they were doing, we had this sudden revelation that we have to stand up. If we won’t, who will? This anger in us, when channelized properly, gave us the strength and courage to stand up and make ourselves heard, and by the grace of God, we are at least trying.

VP- What difficulties have you had to/still face with regard to the development of the PYA?

 PYA- Difficulties! The more precious the thing is, the harder it is to get. Nature teaches us that. The more the struggle, the greater the rift and the in the end, the greater the prize! We are facing pressures from everyone, families to intelligence to big shot political parties, this has never happened in the history of this country. We are being stopped in every step. They try to malign what is so needed, you can’t ignore it! You have to fight and remain true, like a soldier in war, we won’t give up, even if it takes everything away from us.

VP- What would you call your success milestones over the years?

PYA- I got a call from Bajaur agency, a young passionate Pakistani who loved Pakistan to the core, his village was bombed, 42 members of his family died and he still had the purity to love his country! He called and wanted to join us, I met him and he melted my heart.

I did an event that got postponed to another date due to weather conditions, a woman in green Vitz with a Pakistan flag souring high from her window came with her little kids, I stood there and it melted my heart.

I get e-mails and calls daily from America to Japan, passionate Pakistani youth wanting to join us. That is my milestone, and that is what gives me hope and instills in me, greater faith! We are good people, Pakistanis, we just need to learn from our past and wake up. Like Iqbal says, “God hasn’t changed the state of that nation, that which in itself does not want to change!” We need to understand Iqbal; his words are enough to guide us and show us light.

VP- What reaction did you get from your family and peers when you told them your plans regarding the PYA?  

PYA- Initially, my family didn’t support me. They had issues with me being a “kid” and “trying to be a hero” but with time they realized that a person has to do what he has to do. They realized that if they, the educated lot would stop me from trying to wake people up, imagine what would happen to the rest 70 % of the uneducated?

I request every parent/guardian/teacher reading this, that it is your responsibility more than mine to try and change the mind sets of the strayed youth of this country. We are 60% of the total population. We are the future of this country, you did a terrible job and brought us here, at least realize it now and prepare little soldiers in your houses. If you would discourage them, we would cease to be. The whole world is after us!

VP- To what extent is the media influential in enhancing the mental development of the youth?

PYA- Media can play the role of the catalyst to reform our society, it needs to be more responsible and create the right “hype “. All this negativity won’t help! How many programs have you seen on these 30 odd TV channels with good looking women being the newscasters and reporting that Shahrukh Khan’s new movie has been released? They need to set their priorities straight and play the role of a catalyst rather than making fuss all the time! 

VP-Can the PYA ever serve as a foundation for a political career in the future for you?

PYA- I am already being contacted by big shot political personalities asking to join them. But the seeds that I have sown will take time to grow, let it grow and if this dream transforms into reality, you will see us running this country.

VP- What does the youth of today mean to you?

PYA- Youth of today is a dark house. Youth of today is the light at the end of the tunnel. Youth of today would define who we would be in 2020. Youth of today can lead us. They are the ONLY HOPE!

 Very few people at such a young age actually take the initiative to work towards such causes, and I, like many other people my age, was thoroughly impressed with what the PYA has planned in the near future. Such movements have potential, and will hopefully, go a long way!

Link: http://theviewspaper.net/an-interview-with-syed-ali-abbas-zaidi/

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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Youth Alliance (PYA), a youngsters’ initiative for political awareness amongst new generation, is all set to arrange vigil prayer on Sunday in memory of students killed in two blasts of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI).

On November 9, 2007, as emergency imposed a group of three youngsters including Samad Khurram, Maryam Kanwer and Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi joined hands for creating mass socio-political awareness amongst the youth as well as enhancing their energies in an organised manner to yield actual and practical output that could help in development sector of the country. Primarily the team participated in lawyers-led movement for the independence of judiciary and latter they set their targets and invite youngsters from all over the country for joining their alliance.
Following the announcement, so far, around 3,500 youth from all over the country had joined the movement. These youngsters mostly belong to well-off families and are successfully arranging diverse awareness activities across the country besides delivery of material goods for the deserving people on their own.
During an interview with TheNation Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi, pioneer of PYA, who is also associated with Siemens Company as an Aeronautical Engineer, said that the source of inspiration for PYA team are the volunteers, who instead of watching the TV screens doing something for Pakistan in practical form. He said that, so for, they had organised about 50 activities including massive protests, vigils and walks for creating political awareness amongst the youth.

Link: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/23-Oct-2009/Vigil-prayer-for-IIUI-deceased-students

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First of all please tell us what is the AIM OF PYA?

PYA is basically a platform for the youth of Pakistan in its broader form, The most neutral, the most common, the most transparent platform that has a space and place for every pakistani in or out the country. the basic purpose of PYA is to provide a neutral platform to every pakistani whether they are seculars, religious minded or belong to different religions. It is a political platform but completely non affiliated with any of the NGOs or political parties, however the people from different political or ideological backgrounds are most welcome to join until they follow the agenda of PYA which is a completely nation-oriented agenda. 

2. What is your take on the students getting involved in the Politics? Don’t you think that involvement of the students in the politics could affect their career.

Before I answer the question, first of all we have to understand what exactly the word ‘politics’ stands for? According to dictionary it means ‘ public life and affairs’. Another meaning is ‘art and science of Govt’. So one way or other politics is what a person deals with all his life. PYA’s take of getting students involved into politics is just to give them a neutral and balanced platform as they are already involved into politics as dictionary declares the meaning of the politics. As far as career comes, Politics itself does not demand any such thing that destroys the career, its the means one gets involved into by. So PYA understands the meaning of the politics and gives a platform where one can be able to play his/her role in a balanced way.

3. You wrote in your prefatorial that PYA AIMS TO CREATE AWARENESS AMONGST THE YOUTH OF PAKISTAN. My question is that awareness of what?

PYA aims to create awareness. Awareness of the values, awareness of the politics, awareness of one’s basic rights. Unfortunately we as a nation are not being taught what are our rights and duties to other. We are not even aware what our laws are, what our constitution says, what is our history and what is the history of the other countries that are now known as a developed countries. PYA intends to start educational circles where we can be able to learn more about ourselves, our duties to our country cause we are the future of our country now.

4. Furthermore you wrote that PYA DESIRES TO………..THAT THEIR VOICES ARE HEARD, ENERGIES CHANNELIZED AND EMOTIONS FOCUSED ON THE NOBLE GOAL OF MAKING THE IDEOLOGY OF PAKISTAN A TANGIBLE REALITY FOR EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL. Well there are a lot of opinions about the ideology of Pakistan. Aitzaz Ahsan says that Quaid-e-Azam wanted Pakistan to be a secular state and Dr. Israr Ahmed says that Allama Iqbal gave the idea of State, which will only be governed through Islam. So whose opinion does PYA follow?

PYA ia very neutral organization so the term secular and religion does not really matter to PYA as long as it makes sure the focus would not be disturbed. PYA focuses on to basic human rights for all, equality and justice to all either Muslims or belong to other religions.

5. IT STRIVES TO BUILD UP THE CHARACTER OF OUR FUTURE GENERATION THROUGH EDUCATIONAL POLICY? How? I mean what is your policy and how will sell it to the youth?

The educational policy is included in PYA’s agenda and that is to strengthen and stabilize the educational system by providing one standard curriculum for all in one medium. It also includes a teachers training programme that would help implementing the values to our education.

6. PYA WORKS IN AN UNPRECEDENTED MANNER, WITH MANY NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LIAISONS? What is the role of an international liaison and how will it effect the activities in Pakistan?

PYA is a global forum and it is working with a collaboration of Pakistani overseas. It has its chapters not only within Pakistan but in UK, US, Toronto, Geneva aswel. It would affect the activities in Pakistan in a way that whenever there is some common cause, we all stand beside and united.

7. How do you see the future of Pakistan?

Future is always hope and so are we. We are striving our best to get united, and to learn to respect, trust and tolerate others. This is what that is in our hands and we are hopeful.

8. Your Message to the youth of Pakistan?

Since you are the youth, the future, the power. Its your duty to put your energies an efforts to a cause that is to make ourselves a better human being, our country, the best country and to make sure that our lives not to be wasted.

. First of all please tell us what is the AIM OF PYA?

PYA is basically a platform for the youth of Pakistan in its broader form, The most neutral, the most common, the most transparent platform that has a space and place for every pakistani in or out the country. the basic purpose of PYA is to provide a neutral platform to every pakistani whether they are seculars, religious minded or belong to different religions. It is a political platform but completely non affiliated with any of the NGOs or political parties, however the people from different political or ideological backgrounds are most welcome to join until they follow the agenda of PYA which is a completely nation-oriented agenda. 

2. What is your take on the students getting involved in the Politics? Don’t you think that involvement of the students in the politics could affect their career.

Before I answer the question, first of all we have to understand what exactly the word ‘politics’ stands for? According to dictionary it means ‘ public life and affairs’. Another meaning is ‘art and science of Govt’. So one way or other politics is what a person deals with all his life. PYA’s take of getting students involved into politics is just to give them a neutral and balanced platform as they are already involved into politics as dictionary declares the meaning of the politics. As far as career comes, Politics itself does not demand any such thing that destroys the career, its the means one gets involved into by. So PYA understands the meaning of the politics and gives a platform where one can be able to play his/her role in a balanced way.

 

 

3. You wrote in your prefatorial that PYA AIMS TO CREATE AWARENESS AMONGST THE YOUTH OF PAKISTAN. My question is that awareness of what?

PYA aims to create awareness. Awareness of the values, awareness of the politics, awareness of one’s basic rights. Unfortunately we as a nation are not being taught what are our rights and duties to other. We are not even aware what our laws are, what our constitution says, what is our history and what is the history of the other countries that are now known as a developed countries. PYA intends to start educational circles where we can be able to learn more about ourselves, our duties to our country cause we are the future of our country now.

4. Furthermore you wrote that PYA DESIRES TO………..THAT THEIR VOICES ARE HEARD, ENERGIES CHANNELIZED AND EMOTIONS FOCUSED ON THE NOBLE GOAL OF MAKING THE IDEOLOGY OF PAKISTAN A TANGIBLE REALITY FOR EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL. Well there are a lot of opinions about the ideology of Pakistan. Aitzaz Ahsan says that Quaid-e-Azam wanted Pakistan to be a secular state and Dr. Israr Ahmed says that Allama Iqbal gave the idea of State, which will only be governed through Islam. So whose opinion does PYA follow?

PYA ia very neutral organization so the term secular and religion does not really matter to PYA as long as it makes sure the focus would not be disturbed. PYA focuses on to basic human rights for all, equality and justice to all either Muslims or belong to other religions.

5. IT STRIVES TO BUILD UP THE CHARACTER OF OUR FUTURE GENERATION THROUGH EDUCATIONAL POLICY? How? I mean what is your policy and how will sell it to the youth?

The educational policy is included in PYA’s agenda and that is to strengthen and stabilize the educational system by providing one standard curriculum for all in one medium. It also includes a teachers training programme that would help implementing the values to our education.

6. PYA WORKS IN AN UNPRECEDENTED MANNER, WITH MANY NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LIAISONS? What is the role of an international liaison and how will it effect the activities in Pakistan?

PYA is a global forum and it is working with a collaboration of Pakistani overseas. It has its chapters not only within Pakistan but in UK, US, Toronto, Geneva aswel. It would affect the activities in Pakistan in a way that whenever there is some common cause, we all stand beside and united.

7. How do you see the future of Pakistan?

Future is always hope and so are we. We are striving our best to get united, and to learn to respect, trust and tolerate others. This is what that is in our hands and we are hopeful.

8. Your Message to the youth of Pakistan?

Since you are the youth, the future, the power. Its your duty to put your energies an efforts to a cause that is to make ourselves a better human being, our country, the best country and to make sure that our lives not to be wasted.

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O lord, who is worthy to hear this subtle secret,
She’s witnessed everywhere, but she has never shown her face!

Words of Hafez, the famous Persian poet who is also given the title “tongue of the unseen”

The veil is meant to protect something from “seeing”. The veil can be thought of as a barrier that limits your sight. What is intended to be seen is hidden. Something prized and something worth waiting for is usually hidden behind the veil and when the time is ripe, it is lifted. Just like a startling stage performance, first the anchor announces and gives a signal to lift the veil, and when proper hype is created, audience see what they came to see. All cannot be “staged” at once, for time is important, but isn’t time itself a veil? Good question! I would say. (lol)

This universe is a veil, and so is everything in it. Just like God’s beauty infuses in every form, His face is hidden behind every veil. The paradox of mercy and wrath would vanish if we start to peep behind the veil, there is no driving force but mercy and there is no beloved, but Him.

“There is nothing real, but the Real!” – Every veil displays His presence; every veil unfolds His signs according to its faculty.

All Veils are He, but no veil is Him. There is no way to see God, but through the veil, and veil always conceals.

In simpler words, He is present in everyone and everything, but no one is Him and nothing can glorify to the level where it can match even a single divine attribute.

He is one, and of every other creation He has created pairs, “Who has created all the pairs of that which the earth produces, as well as their own, male and female, and of that which they know not “– 36:36.

Right and wrong, day and night, cold and warmth, pain and pleasure, happiness and grief, yes and no, ME and HIM, face and the veil, body and soul, brain and heart…and there would be other countless pairs in different forms and interpretations, mercy and wrath, love and hate, peace and war, 0 and 1 (this concept of 0’s and 1’s gave birth to computers, try to find out the story behind its discovery yourself), life and death, this life and hereafter…. And the list goes on.

All of these pairs arouse this paradoxical mentality. They are inseparable to an extent that the other extreme wouldn’t exist or hold a meaning if it weren’t for the other half. What would be days if there weren’t any nights, what pleasure joy would bring if we hadn’t tasted woe. And just like that, self and Lord are intertwined like veil and the face.

Veil is translated as “hijaab” or “ghita”. And in the Holy Book, unveiling “kashf” is mentioned 14 times. 2 times the Almighty used “veil” to separate human beings from Him (42:51, 83:15). The most commonly cited Hadeeth that refers to the veil is “God has 70 veils of light and darkness”. Another occasion, a more reliable Hadeeth says “God’s veil is light”. Here, the paradox is born again. Isn’t light something that enables us to see, e.g you are sitting in a dark room, you wont even be able to see an elephant if it were present there, unless some “light” would illumine your sight.

Paradox is disturbing. It yearns to be discovered, you flip pages of books and try to find what you seek, and here it is. “God is the light of heavens and earth” – 24:35.

If God is the light of heavens and earth, and this light is a veil. Then God makes himself noticed through this light, or the veil. This proves what I said above, He is present in everything and everyone, but nothing and no one is Him.

Mustamli classifies the types of veils as being four: This world, its people, the self and the Satan. This world is a veil to the next, its people are a veil to obedience, self is veil to the Real, and Satan is veil to the religion. As long as these four veils are not lifted, the light of Gnosis will not find a way in.

Bastami cries out “Even if in paradise, something veils me from the vision of Him, I will scream and moan so much that the denizens of hell would feel compassion for me!”

Ali Hajveri, the famous Sufi whose shrine is in Lahore, in his “kashf al-mahjub” – “Unveiling of the veiled” classifies veils as two. One is essential and will be not be lifted, because it is servant’s fundamental inadequacy. Second, is the one that can be lifted. When the prophet says “Die before you die” he refers to the veil which will be lifted “on death” which is mentioned in the Quran.

Seeking to lift the veil, itself is a veil. Niffari points out “O my servant, what are you seeking from me? If you seek what you know, then you are satisfied with the veil. But if you seek what you don’t know, you are seeking the veil!”

And the most compassionate says in the Quran “Where ever you turn is the face of God” – 2:115. Everything that veils Him is in fact His face. All are He, and there is only God’s revelation of Himself, so nothing really exists but Him.

And when the Prophet himself, asks us to pray “ Lord, show us things are they are “ He refers to the veil and the veil that ought to lifted, so that Divine light illumines our existence and things/creations/cosmos micro or macro, start unveiling as His face.

When Lord speaks through Muhammad’s (pbhu) tongue and says “ I was hidden treasure and I LOVE to be known, therefore, I created the universe “. It means the reason for which this universe was designed, the stage set and the veil drawn was to find the hidden treasure.

– Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

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Lieutenant Omer Tirmizi, a young and dynamic individual and a brave solider was posted to Bajaur Agency to counter Taliban insurgency in 2008. He comes from a family of soldiers, who devoted their entire lives to protecting our motherland. Most of the young officers of his age and experience are hesitant to face these highly trained and well equiped barbarians in their home ground, but the day he received his orders of being posted to the war-struck area of Bajaur, he knew he his dream had come true and the reason he was made for will be tested to the core.

I still remember his words when he was about to leave for Bajaur: ” I will be lucky to come back alive, but I dont wish for that luck, I just pray that He gives me the courage and faith to live upto my name, this uniform I wear and the flag that is pasted on my forearm ”

Having known him for years, as a friend and as a brother, I knew he was special and made for “war”. Since the day he left for Bajaur, I started waiting for the “good” news

And the news came, Omer had been critically injured and from fighting the so-called talibs, he was now battling for life. The news got to me when he was being flown in a helicopter to CMH Peshawar, and doctors had informed his retired father and loving mother about his critical condition. ” We would lose him, WE WOULD LOSE HIM ” were the words of the doctor in the air urging the pilot to fly as quickly as possible.

The mother who used to worry about his son’s habit of not taking breakfast and running after him around the house, had lost her senses. Her loved one was battling for life!

The moment of truth had actually passed few hours ago, when he was ordered to lead a team of a few jawans into a talib-controlled stronghold. He being the only officer had to coordinate with his superior as to when to send the Cobras after his team’s mission was accomplished

He lead his brave jawans into the compound, knowing that his enemy were veterans in the field of guerilla warfare, an art of war neither he or his team was trained to counter. They had to adapt to this way of war, in areas their hostiles knew like their own backyards. And so did they! They fought bravely for hours and though overnumbered significantly, with limited ammunition and supply. They managed to distract over 200 talibans and as per their plan, called for backup support of helicopters and artillery shelling but to their surprize were told not to wait for the back-up as the promised support had to be diverted somewhere else.

Moments like these, test the faith of a soldier. Surrounded by enemy, with bullets and rockets hurling past their ears, they could not retrieve. Omer ordered his men to lay down and hide in the fields initially, thinking it would be madness to try and fight in such a situation where death was inevitable. He assembled his men, head to head, laying down in the fields and informed them of the situation.

” This is the moment we were made for, this is the day we were trained for, this is the day our mothers fed us for and this is the moment our fathers prayed for glory! I cannot force you to embrace death, which seems inevitable in this situation, so I beg for your advice. We all have to die, if somehow He wishes to give us some more time, we might end up dying on beds, but we all used to shout back in our training days – that we will not retreat no matter how big the enemy is and live upto the vow of sacrifise we made whilst wearing this uniform.

Listening to these words of their commander, the jawaans without even slightest of utters stood up together and pointed their guns towards the trees their enemies were firing from. Omer had lost his senses, the Nasha of shahadah and the will to defeat these ignorants who had defamed Islam and Pakistan overwhelmed his ability to think. He jumped out of the fields, came in the open ground where there was not even a single inch of earth that was not hit by bullets and rockets.

7 men were now face to face with enemy 20 times more. ” Nayar-e-Haidri ” – was heard amongst the sound of bullets. ” Himmat-e-Marda’n – Madad-e-Khuda ” saw its real interpretation and they saw their enemy falling down from the trees hit by their shots. Some who managed to jump down and moved towards this little army of only a few men, got hit before reaching 10 feet closer and died near their boots damped with blood. Omer saw one of his jawaans leg flying towards him, blood and human flesh plagued his uniform but he still stood strong and kept on reciting the praises to His lord.

Omer was drunk in the wine of martyrdom, he didnot realize he was hit by a sharpnel until he found himself lying in the fields, he felt something in left leg and when he looked, a shower of blood was flowing out. He couldnot see his jawaans, as some of them had been martyred and some had retrieved. He lay alone, in the fields, wounded but still wanting to stand up and fight. Having tried two or three times, he realized that he couldnot move his leg. He heard his enemies coming closer and talking in the local language that they have an officer injured, which meant a lot of money! He had heard stories of them peeling off officer’s skins and disgracing their uniform. He could not let that happen! His hands pierced in his pockets, grabbing a grenade, and waiting for them to come closer so that he could blow himself up. Each second seemed like an hour, the time was moving in slow-mo. They were near now, his grenade’s pin was in his mouth, ready to take it out and kill them, so what if he had died with them! But then “khota” – his favorite jawaan of relatively chubby stature came running towards him alongwith some jawaans who had retrieved, forcing the enemy backwards. “Khota” managed to pick omer and started running towards their base, bullets and rockets passed them by but khota ran like leopard then, and omer still found an element of humor in it .

He was brought to the base, given first aid and was boarded on a helicopter for immediate surgery in CMH Peshawar. He could hear the words of the doctor narrated above ” We would lose him, WE WOULD LOSE HIM ” but now having felt death so closely, his fear of it had vanished.

Omer had undergone several surgeries since then, he is on wheelchair with one leg disabled. And he still says with vigour, ” It was just net practise, the real moment of truth will come again”

His team had managed to kill over 50 insurgents that day, his Commanding Officer had a leg amputated and then lost his life afterwards. Many of his close friends and coursemates have embraced shahadah’

In midst of all the negativity that one witnesses in the country, brave men and women like Omer give us hope. If they are ready to blow themselves them, we have an army of 16 Crore willing to die for the green flag!

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

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