Thursday, September 6, 2012

Defence Day,6 September 1965

On the 6th of September in 1965 our country which was but 18 yrs old found itself face to face with an extremely chalenging situation when war broke out with India. for the people of the country it was a huge shock, they werent exactly expecting this, atleast not by 6 Sep 65. Whether it really was the surprise attack as we have heard and read or not is another issue and we arent discussing that strategic history now, this thread is meant to refresh the memories of those 17 days, the days when perhaps for the first and so far last time the nation was actually ONE! the days when countless young men in uniform wrote blood warming, pulse racing tales of valor and mad bravery and obsessive devotion and love for the motherland and nation. when countless young men laid down their lives for their land, making the enemy sure that this young nation may be poor on resources but is fully able and mature to defend its boundaries thanks to the brave breed of Pakistani warriors. during these days pakistan found out what great potential our armed forces had, the whole world found out. and it was amazing. ghazis, shaheeds are worshiped in our culture and even almost anyone in a military uniform. why? because these men we all know are ready to lay their lives for us anytime. they are ready to sacrifice their limbs and body parts for this land.
the War took place in the light of tensions and occasional battles in the Runn of Kuchh desert in Sindh area which was apparently wrapped up by early 1965 but right after that tensions erupted in the ever contentious, ever turbulent Kashmir areas. Both countries were in dialogue over the tense situation and both armed forces were almost ready for all out war. But still the whole world including leaders in both countries were against it and in-spite of fierce battles in various areas throughout the border particularly in Kashmir, ruled out all out war. but all out war nevertheless broke out!
At the time it seemed the country and countrymen were taken by surprise and the Indian army had been expecting a walk through in Lahore area, but it wasn't exactly so. the public indeed was surprised but the forces, not quite. inside sources confirm they were prepared but there were certain irregularities leaving loops in serious strategic planning at higher level. that remains beyond the scope of this thread. People confirm that in can't areas all houses had trenches dug out a month in advance, that means there was preparation.

Indian army had to face very strong resistance in the Lahore area during the firs few hours and today it seems if they had managed to cross over that day, the outcome of the war may have been much diff. So huge credit goes to the regiments, units, and above all men who were deployed in the Lahore areas of wahgah, Burki etc. among them all one name stands above the rest, that of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed, whose supernatural skills and devotion played a huge role in the outcome of the Lahore battles. he was martyred directing artillery fire. even if he hadn't been martyred he would have definitely received the Hilal-e-Jurat or Sitara-e-Jurat (bar).
throughout the country, during the ar lasted extraordinary tales of heroism were written. a great tank battle; the biggest after WWII was fought at Chawinda in Sialkot sector. the Navy took an offensive and silenced the Indian navy by an attack on their port at Dwarka. The PAF was exceptionally prompt and of exemplary help to the ground forces.
there was cease fire on 23 Sep,but our nation had had quite an experience by then. civilians were readyto head to borders armed with sticks and knives. would shout slogans to our aircraft chasing IAF planes.
The air was full of radio waves carrying patriotic tunes in Noor jehan's voice which prompted every soldier to fight harder.
there were a lot of heroes, most recognized, many unsung, we remember them always and particular in Sept, marking the defense day. they died so we may live, if it hadn't been for them, we may not have been here.
i would wish if i could pay tribute to each and every shaheed and ghazi here, but thats not possible. a few famous faces from the 1965 war whom we salute to symbolize our love for those men in uniform, along with their tales, are being posted here. I'd request everyone to post here names and tales, personal, heard from a friend, of a relative, acquainatnce, pictures memories etc whatever, to freshen up the blood drops of those brave men. thats what this thread is all about.

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed, Nishan-i-Haider
Born 1928 in Hong Kong. Commissioned into the Punjab Regiment, 1950. On 6 September 1965, as Company Commander in the Burki area of the Lahore sector, Major Bhatti chose to move with his forward platoon under incessant artillery and tank attacks for five days and nights in the defence of the strategic BRB canal. Throughout, undaunted by constant fire from enemy shell arms, tanks and artillery, he organized the defence of the canal, directing his men to answer the fire until he was hit by an enemy tank shell which killed him on 10 September 1965. He was 37 years old.

Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Ahmed Rafiqui Shaheed, Sitara-e-Jurat,Hilal-i-Jurat

On 6 September, 1965, Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Ahmad Rafiqui led a formation of 3 F-86 aircraft on a strike against Halwara airfield. The formation was intercepted by about 10 Hunter aircraft out of which Squadron Leader Rafiqui accounted for one in the first few seconds. But then his guns jammed due to a defect and stopped firing. However, Rafiqui refused to leave the battle area which he would have been perfectly justified to do; instead he ordered his No. 2 to take over as leader and continue the engagement while he tried to give the formation as much protection as was possible with an unarmed aircraft. This called on the part of Squadron Leader Rafiqui. The end for him was never in doubt but he chose to disregard it and, in the process, his aircraft was shot down and he was killed but not before enabling his formation to shoot down 3 more Hunter aircraft. Rafiqui’s conduct was clearly beyond the call of duty and conformed to the highest traditions of leadership and bravery in battle against overwhelming odds. For this and his earlier exploits, he is awarded Hilal-i-Jurat and Sitara-i-Jurat.

Flt Lt Yunus Hussain Shaheed, Sitara-e-Jurat

Flight Lieutenant Yunus Hussain fought in air battles aggressively, fearlessly and with great professional skill. During one such engagement he fought singly against 6 enemy aircraft and shot down 2 Hunters. Though his own aircraft was damaged in this encounter, he managed to bring it back to base safely. On 6 September, while attacking Halwara airfield, his small formation was intercepted by a large number of enemy and, although his aircraft was hit, he refused to break off the engagement, in complete disregard of personal safety, and was reported missing from this mission. He became a symbol of courage and professional ability for other pilots. For his gallantry, valour, professional skill and devotion to duty he is awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.

Squadron Leader (Now Air Cdr. retd.) M. M. Alam, Sitara-e-Jurat (Bar)

On 6th September, 1965, during an aerial combat over enemy territory, Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam flying as pilot of an F-86 Sabre Jet, shoot down two enemy Hunter aircraft and damaged three others. For the exceptional flying skill and valor displayed by Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam in operations, he was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat. On 7th September, 1965, in a number of interception missions flown by Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam against the enemy aircraft attacking Pakistan Air Force Station, Sargodha, Squadron Leader Alam destroyed five more enemy Hunter aircrafts. In less than a minute , which remains a record till today. Overall he had nine kills and two damagers to his credit. For the exceptional flying skill and valour shown by him in pressing home his attacks in aerial combats with the enemy, Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam is awarded a bar to his Sitara-i-Juraat.  

Brigadier Ahsan Rashid Shami Hilal-i-Jurat

Brig Shami was close to retirement in 1965 when the country called upon him. He was the Commander Artillery for one of the divisions focused in the Lahore sector. during the early days of the war while on inspection of the vast areas under his command he was moving in his command jeep with a few other senior officers, he wanted to take exact not of the situation and be aware of how far in his forces were into the Indian area. during his observation tour they went a bit too close to the disgruntled enemy who took the golden opportunity and attacked the commander. the came under fire and Brig Shami was martyred by machine gun fire. He was burried beyoud the border and after the war his body was brough back to be burried on home ground. Foe his courgae to go into the enemy's mouth to grab imp info whic proved useful for his junior and senior commanders he wa awarded the HJ.

i'm also reminded of a few other heroes that i've heard of, while countless remain unknown.

Major Shabbir Sharif who was awarded the Nishan-i-Haider on martyrdom in the 1971 war near Sulemanki headworks was a Lieutenant in the 1965 war and was at he Wahgah area with his unit, the 6FF. One day during the war he he went forward into enemy area with just one soldier and saw an indian truck with an artillery gun standing behind it and thed river alking around nearby. he went up to him, there as little light so the Indian didnt see the uniform color. Shabbir in his usual style commanded the driver to attach the gun to the truck, the driver obeyed without hesitation, shabbir realized he had taken him for an Indian officer, so sat in the truck with him and told him to drive towards home ground, the driver said in Punjabi "o tey mussaley aan", and shabbir smiled and said "bas, oder hi jaanna aye, aapan wi mussaley aan!", by now the driver's hands had been tied by the soldier accompanying Shabbir. this way Shabbir captured a gun, a truck and an Indian soldier on own initiative without nay loss and was awarded Sitara-e-Jurat in the 1965 war, which was only months after he had passed ot from PMA, where he had won the sword of honor.

Another hero who had only passed out from PMA recently in1965 was Lieutenant Pervez Musharraf of the Artillery. He was initially stationed at Wahgah but his regiment was later moved to the Sialkot area and then to Cahwinda where he also took part in the great tank battle. He performed the highly risely and dangerous tasks of and artillery formations OP, which is the observer who stands at a vulnerable position in the enemy's sight and fire range and directs fire. he was also injured slightly and won commendations. 


Yesterday, i.e. on 23 September 2004, exactly 39 years after the day the 1965 Indo-Pak war ended, i found myself face to face with Pakistan's most famous living war hero, the most famous Ghazi, the most famous fighter pilot, the only ace fighter, the double Sitara-e-Jurat recipient, the smiling face, tiny man with the ability to nail Goliath, the one name i had always heard of, the one man who i thought was larger than life, the man who is a REAL LIFE HERO, the man who is known as non other than the famous Squadron Leader (now Air Commodore Retd.) Mohammed Mehmood Alam!
i just couldnt come to terms with the fact that i was meeting this legend, this Pakistan's greatest hero! For all i have ever known about manhood, heroism, chivalry, pride, patriotism, warriors, muslim fighters, ghaziz, shaheeds, this man symbolized them all for me. I am among those lucky few who would know what a hero is...
May Allah bless him with a long fruitful life so we may continue to draw inspiration from him.
He is an excellent character, a small stature man, and as many might know, isn't the way he was in 1965, like in the picture above, but has a short well trimmed beard.
I just cant find words to express my feelings right now...
i had a long talk with him. he was very friendly, very humble and simple. very learned and knowledgeable. this is what a hero is made of. the man who is worshiped in Pakistan is in reality a simple man, a God fearing Muslim, who spreads the message of peace, harmony and sincerity to religion and nation.
He has never been married and lives a single life. A loss for womankind, who let this amazing personality live a bachelor life.
One thing that i'd like to mention is, when i was about to leave, i shook his hand, it was a firm handshake from his side too. I realized i was holding the hand of Pakistan's greatest fighter pilot and war hero, one of the world's few ace pilots, and i held his hand in both my hands and said 'it feels great to hold the hand of Pakistan's greatest hero', he just looked down, lifted his left hand in the air and shaken it negating my remark and said; "I was no hero, I was just another man, trying to do my duty."
I didn't want to leave, but had to. i told him i'd love to see him again and he was very welcoming.
i Salute him, his glory, and personality!
May Allah bless him!
Written by Haris on and assembled by me...

             Salute to the best army in the world Pakistan Army... 


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  2. On the 6th of September in 1965 our country which was but 18 yrs old found itself face to face with an extremely chalenging situation when war broke out with India. for the people of the country it was a huge shock, they werent exactly expecting this, atleast not by 6 Sep 65.

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