Nation pays tribute to Kargil warriors

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – July 8, 2020
RAWALPINDI: The 21st martyrdom anniversary of captain Karnal Sher Khan, who received the Nishan-e-Haider (NeH), and havaldar Lalak Jan — NeH — was observed, Tuesday, at their native towns, Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Ghizer in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) respectively.

According to an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, wreath laying ceremonies were held to pay homage to supreme sacrifices of valiant sons of the soil in the line of duty to safeguard Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

On behalf of the chief of army staff (COAS) general Qamar Javed Bajwa, force commander northern areas (FCNA) major general Ehsan Mehmood Khan, laid floral wreath at havaldar Lalak Jan’s grave while commandant Malakand task force (CMTF) laid floral wreath at the grave of captain Karnal Sher Khan.

People from various walks of life, civil and military officials and relatives of martyrs attended the ceremony.

According to historical records — the authenticity of which may vary — Karnal Sher Khan hailing from 27th Sind regiment was later transferred to 12th northern light infantry (NLI) regiment and at the onset of Kargil conflict he along-with other fellow soldiers were deployed at Gultari (at the height of 17,000 feet) in GB to establish five strategic posts.

The Indian army, in order to gain control of the five posts, launched 8 attacks but to no avail. The 9th attack was commissioned by the Indian forces comprising of two Indian army battalions on July 5, 1999, which surrounded the five posts and with heavy mortar fire one post was captured.

Pakistan army’s highest gallantry award recipient, Karnal Sher Khan, led a counter attack, despite being low on ammunition, and successfully re-captured the post which forced the two Indian army battalions to retreat.

However, during the counter attack, Karnal Sher Khan got severely injured due to machine gun fire and later succumbed to his injuries and embraced martyrdom.

According to an ISPR statement, Monday, Pakistan army paid glowing tribute to indomitable courage, devotion and exemplary leadership of martyred captain Karnal Sher Khan — NeH — and martyred havaldar Lalak Jan — NeH — the war heroes from Swabi in KP and Ghizer in GB, who wrote history with their blood against all odds.

“There is nothing more honourable than laying one’s life for defence of the motherland. Nation is proud of its gallant sons for valour and unwavering allegiance to defend the country, regardless of the cost,” COAS general Bajwa said.