Posts Tagged ‘Swat Martyrs’

Story of a brave FC soldier who died fighting in Swat

“I am dying, take my gun and deliver it to General sahib,” were the last words of Sepoy Gul Farosh as he lay critically injured near Manglawar village in Swat on October 28, 2007.

His surviving colleagues from the Frontier Corps conveyed his words and delivered his gun to their officers. Maj General Mohammad Alam Khattak, Inspector General of the Frontier Corps, was subsequently informed about Sepoy Gul Farosh’s dying words. In his meetings with FC soldiers and visitors, the general often mentions the brave Jawan as someone who fought till the end and didn’t lose control of his gun even after being fatally wounded.

There was a background as to why Gul Farosh uttered those memorable last words. He had heard Maj General Alam Khattak, himself a Pashtun from Nowshera, telling a darbar, or soldiersí meeting, that losing one’s gun amounted to abandoning oneís wife. There cannot be a greater insult to a Pashtun than to lose his wife. And it is common to hear the Pashtuns telling each other that abandoning one’s gun was just as dishonourable as losing a wife.

Gul Farosh, a typical Pashto name meaning flower seller, later succumbed to his injuries. It took time to retrieve his body and transport it to his village, Shamozai, in Mardan district for burial. Three days after his death, the young bearded soldier was buried in his ancestral graveyard.

His death shocked his old father, Dervesh Khan. The tragedy made him ill and one could see that life was slowly ebbing away from this frail and poor farmer. He had spent almost all his life tilling other people’s land as tenant and fetching firewood from the mountains to sell to villagers. Like his name, he was a Dervesh in the real life. Simple and honest, he couldn’t even properly count the currency notes. And even though he was desperately poor, Dervesh Khan always carried sweets in his pocket to give to children. One does come across sweet persons in life and he definitely was amongst them.

About two and a half months after Gul Farosh’s death, Dervesh Khan quietly bid farewell to the world. On January 10, 2008 he was buried close to the grave of his dear son. It was a double tragedy, which deprived the family of its breadwinners.

Gul Farosh’s mother and wife would have coped better with the grief of his death if he had children. The couple remained issueless during the seven years of marriage. In August 2007, Gul Farosh was injured in action in Thall. But he recovered and continued to serve the FC with distinction. He had also qualified an anti-terrorism course at the FC training centre at Mir Ali in North Waziristan.

After his recruitment in FC Khyber Rifles wing on April 1, 1997, he served at a number of places, including Ali Masjid in Khyber Agency, Ghallanai in Mohmand Agency, Thall, Regi Lalma, Peshawar and Torkham. He also took part in rescue and rehabilitation activities for the earthquake-affected communities at Battagram in Hazara. That was the kind of work in which the deeply religious and kind-hearted Gul Farosh found satisfaction.

‘Take my gun and deliver it to General Sahib’

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Captain Bilal Zafar Shaheed

“Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah. And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyr’s) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.”
Al-Quran (3: 169-170)

Captain Bilal Zafar, a commando of the Pakistan army SSG (the world’s best elite force), embraced martyrdom on the 17th of May, 2009 – fighting terrorists and militants in the embattled valley of Swat.

He always used to say “Bullets can’t harm me”, and thus it proved true. He was hit on the arm by a bullet but he carried on until he was hit by an RPG (Rocket propelled grenade) where he embraced martyrdom on the spot.

His last message has been circulated widely on print and electronic media. This is what he had to say:
“In the volleys of fire.in the thunder of bombs, there are a few who just do not stop.knowing that they are surrounded by death.knowing that they could leave their wives widows and children orphans.but they just keep on moving because something is pumping in their hearts.and flowing through their veins known as honour, devotion and motivation.death over surrender.that is why they say death before disgrace.Pakistan Army Zindabad”.

We Salute your courage, Sir! This sacrifice of your’s for this nation will never be forgotten. At least not by us: the people of Pakistan. Let this martyrdom also dispel the notion that the army lacks any motivation to defeat these extremist militants, it is obvious that their spirits are very high.

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Captain Omerzeb Shaheed
Written by his brother in law

” Since the operation against militants began in April last month, over 1,100 militants had been killed and over 60 soldiers had been martyred so far. Yet I never felt the pain of those dying in the name of their countrys sovereignty against terrorism so excruciating as the martyrdom of my sisters fiancé.

He was only 24 years old, a month older to me and he was very smart and handsome boy. He loved my sister and she loved him and we all loved him just as much as his own family loved him. He was engaged to my younger sister and they were looking forward to getting married by next year.

On 11th of May, 2009, he was deployed to Lower Dir as part of the Operation Rah-e-Rast’ against Militants in Swat and near-by areas. He left from Rawalpindi and we all prayed for him. We never knew he was leaving forever. Let me narrate to you what happened just 10 hours before he embraced martyrdom we Muslims call Shahadat.’

It was mid-night the beginning of the painful 21st May, 2009. He called up my sister and wished her a very happy birthday. The 21st of May was the day when 23 years ago my younger sister came into this world. He sang to her birthday song in 6 different languages, he gave her his prayers and told her how bad he feels for not being there with her on her birthday.

He was in Lower Dir and she was here with us in Rawalpindi. She said to him, I wish you were here on my birthday. I wish I could have celebrated my birthday with you. And he replied, Do you want me to come over? Should I come over to Rawalpindi in the morning and we celebrate your birthday together? She said, yes, please, please do.

He did come over on her birthday but not the way we wanted him to come over. He didnt come to her walking on his feet, holding a bouquet in his hands just the way he promised to her last night. Instead, he came on the shoulders of sad soldiers in a box we call a martyrs coffin!

He had been martyred on the 21st of May, 2009.

The very day my sister came into this world, he left this world forever On my sisters birthday!

I received a call at around 11:30 in the morning, I was in Islamabad. It was my ill-fated sister and she was crying like a mad woman. She was literally screaming in the phone so I couldnt understand what she was trying to tell me. I heard something like a blast in Lower Dir, a strip running on a TV channel showing my sisters fiancés name among the martyred. She was hysterical. She wanted me home right away.

I left in panic, I kept praying the news I just heard was false. It took me an hour to reach home from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. I was met with screams of my sister who was out of control of almost everyone. She wasnt accepting the fact that her love has left her on her birthday. She kept screaming, You guys are lying to me. He is not dead. He cannot leave me. He promised me to celebrate 93 birthdays with me. This was our first. He cant leave me on our (her) first birthday, he promised me 93 birthdays together.

I couldnt see her like this; I had broken down into tears. My mother was half-living half-dead. We all left for his house. What I saw there, I cannot narrate in words. His mother was still, tears in her eyes, she hugged me and the first thing she said was, Hold on to your sister, she will die. Take care of her. I was looking at her. This was the mother of a brave soldier, a soldier who was our loved one, but a soldier who came home on his loves birthday but not the way any member of his family or mine would have ever imagined or wanted him back.

Even if I want to tell you what my family on the whole and specifically my younger sister is going through, I wont be able to because there are no words to put down my pain, my familys loss, his familys sufferings and most of all my sisters desolation. Two families were destroyed when one soldier died. 14 hearts wept dry of blood when one heart stopped beating on the 21st of May. All sacrifices in the name of a peaceful, safe, terrorism-free country.

Capt. Omerzeb, like many soldiers sacrificed his life for the greater good of his nation but is the nation even thankful to those families who have been left scarred for life. When sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers die every other day while fighting the militants, how many people in our nation pray for their safety, their long lives, their safe return? They know that when they are sitting in the comforts of their homes, it is these brave men fighting on the borders for them to have that sense of security and comfort.

My heart breaks every time I see my younger sister who has not regained herself so far. Who wakes up in the middle of the night and weeps like a child, who hasnt eaten in 24 hours, and whose eyes have swollen dry of tears that have drained her off completely. I wish this fight against the militants come to an end soon. Till now every time a soldier died, we thought we felt the pain but no, we couldnt. Nobody can until your loved one goes away when you are least expecting. Now, I can truly say I know what a martyrs family goes through when their beloved leaves them forever.

May his soul rest in peace, may all those soldiers who have given their lives for this noble cause, for their country rest in peace. Most of all, the families who have lost their sons, their brothers, their husbands and their fathers, may God give them strength, patience, and peace of heart “

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