Since this is August, a lot of us would love to know our national heroes. Today, we will be talking about the ones who have received Nishan-e-Haider. Many brave sons of this soil have received Nishan-e-Haider over the past 50+ years.
Today, we will be talking about these heroes. But first, let me give you a quick intro on Gallantry Awards by the Military of Pakistan.
There are a few prestigious awards given by the Military of Pakistan to soldiers who have fought for the honor of Pakistan.
These awards were created in 1957, after Pakistan became a Republic, by Pakistan Military. They can be awarded to soldiers in their lives, as well as, after their death as a result of their bravery and courage.
Infact, these are not just awards but the honor for a lifetime for the people as well as their families. The main “Operational Awards” comprise;
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- Heroes Honored with Nishan-e-Haider
Nishan-e-Haider is the highest military award which has a very profound meaning; “Order of the Lion”. This is named after Hazrat Ali (R.A), the fourth caliph of Muslims. People who belong to the Armed Forces of Pakistan and serving under the Federal Government, who have done some acts of bravery and greatest heroism in the most difficult of situations receive this award. They are the ones who show full devotion for, saving their homeland with the most heroic performance in the presence of their enemy. Such people are honored by the country and given Nishan-e-Haider as a recognition of their services.
Eleven people have received this award and all of them were fighting against India in the wars of 1948, 1958, 1965, 1971 and 1999 Kargil War.
Recipient of this award has the right to add “NH” after his name as this is a matter of great honor for them.
Hilal-e-Jur’at is the second most prestigious award of the military of Pakistan. Its meaning is “Crescent of Courage”. The meaning is just right for those who are honored with this reward. Only the officers are entitled to this award, for their acts of valor and courage for the cause of protecting their country in the presence of the enemy at sea or air or land.
The receiver of this award can add “HJ” next to their names as a symbol of their bravery.
Sitara-e-Jur’at is the third most honorable military award of Pakistan.It literally means “Star of Courage”. It is awarded for distinguished services in combat of the Officers, Juniors Commissioned Officers of the Army, the Frontier Corps, and the Frontier Constabulary, working under Federal Government of Pakistan.
Navy and Flight Sergeants of the Air Force are also eligible for this award when they perform outstanding against their enemies for the safety and protection of their country.
The one who receives this award can add “SJ” after his name as a sign of reminder of his courage to others and to himself.
The fourth highest award of Pakistan Military is Tamgha-e-Jur’at, meaning “Medal of Courage”. This is presented to the only non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the three Services when people are serving the country and done some marvelous act of bravery in combat. These three services are;
- The Frontier Corps
- Frontier Constabulary
- Pakistan Rangers
One who receives this award has the privilege to add “TJ” after his name.
Heroes Honored with Nishan-e-Haider
In the history of Pakistan, there are many great personalities who have won Nishan e Haider and are alive in the hearts of Pakistanis even after their deaths. A few of our national heroes are listed below who have been entitled to these gallantry awards for their remarkable performances in combat.
Raja Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed
Raja Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed is a national hero of Pakistan who received Nishan-e-Haider for his valour and bravery in the service of Pakistan. He was a captain of Pakistan Army and was commissioned in 1944. He was born in 1910 in Tehsil Gujar Khan. He volunteered to take part in the battalion for taking Kashmir back.On July 27, 1948, he died while fighting as a brave soldier for the country and was given the gallantry award.
Saif Ali Janjua Shaheed
Saif Ali Janjua was born on April 25, 1922, in Tehsil Nakial, Azad Kashmir. He was a platoon commander during Indo-Pak War of 1947. He sacrificed his life while fighting in Kashmir sector during 1948 war. He displayed extraordinary bravery in that war and for that, he was entitled to this award, the most prestigious award of Pakistan military.
Tufail Muhammad Shaheed
Tufail Muhammad Shaheed was born on August 7, 1914, in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. He was awarded Nishan-e-Haider and is the only person who is entitled to this while being outside the Indo-Pak Wars. He was commissioned to Punjab Regiment in 1943. In 1958, he was posted to East Pakistan as a Company Commander.
During this, the Indian troops captured a village in Lakshmipur of East Pakistan. Tufail Muhammad Shaheed set up his troops and went forward to the enemy. He received three bullets in his stomach, even after that he kept on moving further. He continued his mission and called his junior saying, “I have completed my duty; the enemy is on the run”. He died on August 7, 1958.
Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed
Raja Aziz Bhatti was a Staff officer in Pakistan Army,who is our national hero and received Nishan-e-Haider, the highest gallantry award of Pakistan Military. He was born in HongKong, 1928, in a Muslim family and moved to Pakistan before Independence.
He was commissioned to the Punjab Regiment in 1950. He took part in the Indo-Pak war of 1965 as a company commander. On September 6, 1965,he was in the forward platoon for five days in the defence of BRB Canal. He was full of zeal and battle spirit. He said “Do not recall me. I don’t want to go back. I will shed the last drop of my blood in the defence of my dear homeland.”
He met his martyrdom on 6th September 1965 and was buried in Lahore.
Rashid Minhas Shaheed
Rashid Minhas Shaheed, born in 1951, is the youngest of all the heroes who have received Nishan-e-Haider for their bravery in combat.He was a Pilot in PAF, a newly commissioned officer in 1971. He is still alive in the hearts of millions of Pakistanis and is remembered for his death in a jet trainer crash near Thatta in 1971.
Rana Shabbir Sharif Shaheed
Rana Shabbir Sharif was an officer of Pakistan Army who received both, award Haider and Sitara-e-Jur’at for his valour. He also received Sword of Honour. He is the only one who has received these three awards. He was a nephew of another award Nishan-e-Haider holder Raja Aziz Bhatti. Also, he is the elder brother of the current COAS, General Raheel Sharif. He took part in 1965 and 1971 wars of Indo-Pak and made a record for his bravery.
He met his martyrdom on 6th December 1971, while fighting against India the enemy launched a counter attack which caused major casualties to the army of Pakistan. This was the last day of his life which he lost while protecting his homeland.
Muhammad Akram Shaheed
Muhammad Akram Shaheed was born on April 4, 1938, in Jhelum. He was commissioned in 1963 in Force Regiment. He was a captain in 1965 Indo-Pak War and led the army to successful military operations.
He was promoted to Major in 1969. He led in the Battle of Hilli, 1971, with ultimate bravery and good strategies against the enemy which kept them away for some days. But this resulted in his martyrdom and he received Nishan-e-Haider for all his leadership skills in warfare and his courage.
Sarwar Muhammad Hussain Janjua Shaheed
Sarwar Muhammad Hussain Janjua was born in 1948 in Gujar Khan, Punjab. He was a brave soldier of Pakistan army. He took an active part in the wars of 1965 and 1971. On 10th December 1971, he was martyred while combating India. He was the first one who was awarded.
Muhammad Mahfuz Shaheed
Muhammad Mahfuz Shaheed was born in 1944 in Rawalpindi District Punjab. He joined Pak Army in 1962 and took part in the battles of 1965 and 1971 against India. He was martyred in 1971 Indo-Pak war on December 17 and was awarded for his bravery.
Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed
Karnal Sher Khan was born on January 1, 1970 in a village in Swabi district KPK. He was an officer in Pakistan Army and was among those who received this award. “Karnal” is a localized form of his rank in Pak Army (Colonel). He volunteered for serving at LoC in Kashmir in 1998 and was posted to 12 NLI Regiment during Kargil Conflict, 1999. He lost his life in serving for his homeland while fighting bravely with his enemies.
Lalak Jan Shaheed
Lalak Jan Shaheed was born in Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan on 1st April 1967. He joined Pakistan Army immediately after completing his school and reached the rank of Havaldar. He is the most recent one to receive this award. He died in 1999 Kargil War when he volunteered to be the in the front during the war against India and got a number of casualties due to the enemy attacks. The government of Pakistan awarded him Nishan-e-Haider for his performance against India.
Forces of Pakistan have always been a pride for the nation. However, it is the duty of each one of us to play their part in the prosperity, development, and security of our homeland. The sacrifices of all the Shuhdas (martyrs) can never be disregarded. They are still alive in our hearts and will remain forever.