The families of martyred Pakistan Army personnel recounted the lives of their loved ones who laid them down to protect the country while expressing resolve to come forward for the defence of the nation should the need arise again.
Captain Abdullah’s father Zafar Hussain Shah said he was proud of his son who laid down his life during a military operation. Zafar said he was willing to sacrifice his other four children for Pakistan as it was their duty to protect the country.
Talking about Capt Abdullah, he said one day Abdullah called at 11pm in 2012 and told me that he was going on a “do or die” operation and asked me not to tell his mother about it. “I don’t know if I will be able to meet you again, just pray for me,” Zafar quoted his son. He survived that operation and came back three days later, Zafar reminisced. He said his son was martyred in a terrorist attack.
Zafar said he sacrificed his son, whom he raised with great love and courage, for the country and urged the nation to stop fighting among themselves and protect the country. My pain could only be understood by people who raised and sacrificed their kids for the country,” he added.
Sabeeh Ibrar’s mother remembered her “brave and obedient” son who embraced martyrdom on June 20, 2020, in North Waziristan during an intelligence-based operation. She said Sabeeh wanted to join the army as a kid and even joined scouting during school.
He was in his third semester at an engineering university when he came home and told me that he wanted to join the army, she said. “I told him it was my wish to see you in the forces,” she recalled.
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“I was worried about him when he was sent to Waziristan, but he would ask me not to worry as he ‘would be in his office and that nothing would happen to him’,” she added.
She said Sabeeh got married seven months before his martyrdom and added they spared no expense in his wedding but they never knew that their happiness would be temporary. “I would always see him off at the bus stop and the last time I went I did not know it would be my last meeting with my son,” she added.
“He has been gone for two years but sometimes it feels like I just spoke to him,” she further added. She said the army supported her after the loss of her son and they were with her at every step.
Captain Umar Cheema
The widow of Capt Cheema said her husband embraced martyrdom on Oct 14, 2020 almost seven months after their marriage. She said after a month of his martyrdom, she gave birth to a girl whom I named as per Umar’s wish.
She said Umar had an idea that he would be martyred in Waziristan as in a phone call with a friend he had expressed such apprehension. She said, “This country is a very valuable country and our army is a great army. Through the sacrifice of our loved ones, this country becomes free,” she added.
“If I ever get a chance in my life to do something for the Pakistan Army, then like Umar I will also rise to the occasion,” she said while thanking the army chief for standing by the families of the martyred through thick and thin.
Lt Nasir Hussain
The mother of Lt Nasir Hussain said even though she was a single mother yet she was still proud of her son who laid down his life to save the country and the nation. Nasir embraced martyrdom on September 3, 2020, in Waziristan.
“Nasir’s father embraced martyrdom in 2001,” she said, adding that Nasir was her first born. “We spent a lot of time alone at different places,” she said, adding that she does not cry over the loss of her son but is thankful to God who chose his son for the ultimate sacrifice. Nasir joined the army in 2016 and after selection, he was very happy that he had joined the military. She said her son was a genius and obedient.
“After his martyrdom, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is a wonderful human being and the army chief, visited me to share my grief. Gen Bajwa, while speaking about Nasir’s death, said his loss felt as if his own son had gone,” she added.
“Nasir used to say to me that mama, you cannot understand that the status of martyrdom is great and Allah chooses his loved ones for this honour,” she recalled.
“So I am proud of my son that his wish was fulfilled. He spoke to me a day before the martyrdom, told me that mama I have now come to the school side and here I will be able to talk to you a lot.”
“I am happy. I am proud that Allah Almighty chose my son for himself and he became immortal,” she added.
Sepoy Abdul Basit
Abdul Basit embraced martyrdom after an enemy bullet struck him while he was performing his duty at Sikandar Post, his father said. “I am proud of his sacrifice. He often asked me to pray for him that he would embrace martyrdom and then Allah listened to him,” Muhammad Safeer said as he remembered his son. Allah gave me this honour that I am the father of a martyred son, he added.
He said he was really thankful to army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other officers of the Pakistan Army who stood by his family. “Only God can repay for what they did for us,” he added. He said he was especially thankful to Gen Bajwa and proud of him. “May Allah blesses his life,” the father added.
Sepoy Usman Akhtar
My son was martyred in North Waziristan, Usman’s father Jahangir Akhtar said while talking about his son. He said they only met Usman only once after his marriage. “He never came back after he returned to the duty,” he said, adding that he was willing to send another son to the army.
Sepoy Ziaul Islam
His father Ali Marjan said his son joined the FC, a paramilitary force, in 2016. I am proud of the fact that my son embraced martyrdom for the sake of the nation and the country. My son called me that he had arrived on his duty, he said recalling the details of his martyrdom. The next day someone called in the morning and when I called them back they informed me that my son had been martyred, he added.
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“I am proud that my son was martyred for the nation and country. He sacrificed his life. The Pakistan Army is surely making great sacrifices for the nation and country,” Marjan said.
Soldier Zahir Abbas
The widow of Zahir Abbas said her husband embraced martyrdom in Swat on April 17, 2020. “He had always wished for martyrdom and Allah listened to him,” she said.
“The news of his death was initially unbearable for us,” she said, adding that the army was supporting them, however. “My husband used to say you will only understand the ‘respect of the uniform’ once I am gone. I never understood why would he say that but now I do,” she added.
She said she wished her son would also join the military and added that everyone has to die but I would wish martyrdom for my son as well. She added she was proud of COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and her husband’s unit for taking good care of them.
Sepoy Muhammad Abdullah
My son Abdullah was on duty at Jabbar Checkpost when a mortar shell struck him resulting in his death. He was a kindhearted and pious person, his father Nazar Mohammad said.
“When I saw him off the last time our neighbor said Abdullah would not come back.” He, however, consoled me. “I told him that when he would come back we will arrange his marriage.” He agreed, the father said.
Abdullah was deployed in a bunker and was firing towards the enemy when a shell struck him resulting in his death, he said, adding that the army, especially the army chief, took great care of them and stood by them in this difficult hour. “I am proud of my son for sacrificing his life for the sake of the country,” he added.