Once a Field Marshal along with his ADC was leading his troops in an attack against strongly held positions by a well dug in, obstinately determined enemy. As the Field Marshal moved up towards the objective, his ADC observed that the legs of the Field Marshal were shaking badly.
The ADC was shocked! He said “Sir you have fought many a battle and you are a highly decorated soldier but I am surprised to observe that your legs are trembling”.
The old man smiled and said ‘Son if my legs knew where I was taking them, they would collapse then and there instantly.Saulat Mirza, I am told walked steadfastly to the gallows reciting Quranic Verses. Obviously it was his spiritual strength that enabled him to climb up the gallows and embrace death. Such is the cosmic power underlying the Verses of Quran. Besides above narration, there is yet other side of this sinister episode still to be discovered. An old saying, a Hindu saying though relates “Climb up the gallows son; Ram will take care of you The saying in Hindi means “Char Ja Sooli Baita.Ram bhali karey ga” Many accomplices responsible for this ugly sinister episode must have heaved an immense sigh of relief. I am a soldier of very old vintage. Frankly I am not a very religious person; but I am not a pretender either like many of my brother Muslims. True spiritual strength, I suppose comes after a great deal of physical and mental stress and strain. To some like prophets, it is a God’s gift.
Never-the-less, I am a firm believer of Almighty God’s cardinal promise that all Shaheeds and Ghazies are destined to enter Jannat without fail. I have taken part in two Wars of 65 and 71 against our eternal arch enemy I N D I A. In 65 War, the first day of the battle was crucial. The bridge on BRBL Canal near Batapur had to be destroyed at all cost, so as to prevent the enemy from entering Lahore. Late General Tajamul then Commanding 3rd Baluch was ordered to personally supervise the destruction of the Bridge.
On receiving this command and before moving out of his Command Post he stood up to say two Nafalls. Obviously he was charging up his spiritual strength. I envied COL Tajmul and wished I could muster additional strength, this way. A dying solder on the battle field does not think about his family, his brother or sister etc. He likes to know what is happening around the battle field, about his comrades and progress of the operation. During 71 war, General Iftekhar, when knowing he was about to die, asked his Staff Officer close to his bed if so and so feature had been captured. In getting the reply in affirmative he heaved a sigh of relief and closed his eyes for good.
An Indian Officer, whose Unit was deployed in the same sector as General Iftekhar’s Division, wrote years later, complaining that Pakistan Army had employed the most ruthless General against their troops. Towards the end of his article he wrote “we heaved a sigh of relief when on a rainy dusk of thunder and lightning, our wireless blared out the news that the General on the other side was dead. Recently I met an officer whose Battalion had served under General Iftekhar during 71 War. When I told him about the article of the Indian officer describing General Iftekhar as a Ruthless General, he was alarmingly saddened and said; ruthless is hardly a word to describe that legendary General. He further said that his Battalion lost 158 officers and men during a single attack operation. The General would not accept any failure. It was after 18th or 19th attempt, we managed to capture the objective. I have quoted General Iftekhar for his ardent determination of dealing with the enemy firmly, whatever the cost; primarily for the benefit of those who are today faced with a similar situation.
Mazama’s and meetings and weak resolves at various echelons will get us nowhere. Face to face encounters with ardent determination like that of General Iftekhar is needed from the leadership of the Nation. Lengthy wisdom laden rhetoric of semi partial successes, weak resolves like “Hit me again now and I will show you what I can do to you”, would further worsen the situation. You may kill the cunning enemy, but you cannot finish them without whole heated resolve. Japanese during World War 2 used to say to the British prisoners that war is not a business deal you can settle through negations (Mazakarats). Neither war is a game of cricket. Death to a soldier is only a step from here to heavens. I am across 85 mile stone of my life. I am looking forward to meeting my comrades who are awaiting my arrival at the Gates of Jannat possessed with two gifts. What these two gifts would be? I leave it to the Young Officers of the Armed Forces to guess. “Comrades to see off and comrades to receive on the other side, Said once, the late Legendary General, who was twice H J”.
Author: Huzaifa Ismail