Remembering Captain Sarwar Shaheed - Recipient of first Nishan-e-Haider
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Captain Muhammad Sarwar, the veteran hero of Pakistan Army, who was martyred for his courage and bravery while cultivating the homeland with his blood, and who was awarded Nishan-e-Haider, the first and highest military honor of Pakistan.
The valleys of Kashmir are still witness to, how Captain Muhammad Sarwar fought till the last drop of his blood. He looked the enemy in the eye and told him that for this land he can shed blood and defeat the enemy. Captain Sarwar ensured the defence of the country by sacrificing his life.
Captain Muhammad Sarwar was born on Nov 10, 1910 in village Singhori in Rawalpindi. Captain Muhammad Sarwar belongs to a military family, his father Muhammad Hayat Khan was also in the army. Captain Muhammad Sarwar received his primary education from Government Muslim High school, Tariqabad, Faisalabad and then passed his middle school from Tandiala Nawala Middle school in 1925 and secured the first position in matric in 1927.
He was commissioned in the Punjab Regiment in 1944, after which he participated in World War - II and was promoted to the rank of captain in 1946 for his outstanding Military service. In 1948 he was serving as a company commander in the second Battalion of the Punjab Regiment when he was assigned to an operation in Kashmir.
At the time of the establishment of Pakistan, only Punjab regiment was an organized and active regiment. 2 Punjab Regiment was ordered to go to Kashmir. Captain Muhammad Sarwar takes the initiative and by virtue of his experience and ability, he thought that he must go to war and in this regard he started putting his efforts to be part of frontline troops. The Commanding Officer knew that it was not an easy battle, but he promised Captain Muhammad Sarwar that after few days he will be part of frontline troops.
The situation got worse and Commanding Officer on request of Captain Muhammad Sarwar send him with a team being led by Captain Muhammad Sarwar to destroy the enemy’s post which stands in the way of victory. Captain Muhammad Sarwar was very motivated and enthusiastic to serve his motherland.
On July 27,1948, Captain Muhammad Sarwar attacked a key enemy military position in the Uri sector of Kashmir. A large number of soldiers were martyred and injured in this attack but Captain Muhammad Sarwar continued to advance. On approaching the enemy’s front, he found that the enemy had secured their fronts with barbed wire, despite this, Captain Muhammad Sarwar constantly kept on firing, without caring about his injuries, he along with his 6 comrades he crossed the barbed wire and made a final attack on the enemy’s front, with a bust on the enemy, raising the slogans “ALLAH HO AKBAR”, he said to the presence of the lord. The enemy left the post and ran away. After this sudden attack, the enemy turned their cannons towards captain Sarwar, thus a bullet hit captain Sarwar in the chest and he was martyred.
The morning sun saw the green crescent flag of Pakistan fluttering on this hill. He was awarded the Nishan-e-Haider for creating an unparalleled history of bravery, an honor his widow received on 3 January 1961 at the hands of the President of Pakistan, Muhammad Ayub Khan. Captain Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed showed great bravery and courage to defend the motherhood.
After his martyrdom, General Ayub Khan said in his address: “I feel proud to mention the sacrifice of Captain Mohammad Sarwar Shaheed, who has added a new chapter in the history of Pakistan by being the first to receive the Nishan-e-Haider. By giving a great sacrifice, he made the name of himself, his army and his Unit alive forever. Indeed, we all are proud of his sacrifice. Let us all pledge to remember this golden feat forever and will keep it fresh.”
General Tikka Khan writes: “The entire nation pays tribute to Sarwar Shaheed’s magnificent feat. His feat will be written in golden letters in the history of the Pakistan Army.”
His long-time companion Major Afzal says: “I feel as if Sarwar Shaheed has just passed by me and advised me to pray for the defeat of the enemy and his martyrdom. I remember that time.” His life was ideal. He always wake up early in the morning to pray and wake me up forcibly. I would call him Maulvi and he would stop me and ask me to call him a martyr.”
Subedar Mangar Khan says:” Captain Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed did not talk nonsense. He was very quiet and only talked about work, always kept clean and valued time.”
Captain Sarwar Shaheed who fought against external enemies for the sake of motherland, is a shining example of bravery for the soldiers of the Pakistan Army who are fighting against terrorists and internal challenges today. Today, the entire nation pays homage to the martyred Captain Muhammad Sarwa, who gave stories of bravery and courage in the Kashmir was of 1948.