A Tribute to 6-23 September 1965 War Heroes

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Sent by Umer Ali

On the 6th of September in 1965 our country Pakistan, which was but 18 yrs. old, found itself face to face with an extremely challenging situation when war broke out with India. For the people of the country it was a huge shock, they weren’t exactly expecting this, at least 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 aren't discussing that strategic history now. This article 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 valour 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 realize 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 glorified in our culture and even almost anyone in a military uniform. Why? Because these men, we all know, are ready to lay down 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 the 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. 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 a higher level. That remains beyond the scope of this thread. ppl confirm that in cantt 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 first few hours and today it seems as if they had managed to cross over that day, the outcome of the war may have been much different. So huge credit goes to the regiments, units, and above all men who were deployed in the Lahore areas of Wagah, 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 war 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 a cease-fire on 23 Sep, but our nation had had quite an experience by then. Civilians, ready to 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 particularly 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.