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Indian Army Recognizes The Bravery of A Pakistani Soldier, Despite Being An Enemy!


Did You Know That Pak Kargil War Hero Was Honoured At Indian Army's Recommendation?

Most of you know that the Kargil war or the करगिल युद्ध was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). Kargil conflict is often referred to as Operation Vijay that contains many stories of valour and pride. Today on the blog we have one such interesting story which will make you realize that the Indian Army recognizes valour, even of the enemy!

It was after eleven years after the Kargil war, Pakistan’s army had officially acknowledged its role by naming 453 soldiers and officers killed in the 1999 conflict. Islamabad was consistent in its denial till Musharraf wrote that five battalions of the Pakistani army — about 5,000 troops — had joined the combat “in support of the freedom-fighter" groups. Even in the middle of the war, the Indian Army had handed over bodies in coffins draped in the Pakistani flag to the Pakistani army at a border crossing near Kargil. Pakistan however had at first refused to accept the bodies but later did. Pakistan army’s Captain Karnal Sher Khan, who died during the Kargil war, has a similar story but is  now remembered with great pride, courtesy The Indian Army.

According to The Indian Express, the Indian army was contemplating writing to the Pakistan Army about the bravery of its captain who fought valiantly in the Drass sub-sector."Captain Sher won the respect of Indian officers defending the Tiger Hills feature and the adjoining hills, with his courage and brilliant attack. The officers of both '8 Sikh' and '18 Grenadier' watched the brave Pakistani captain lead a counter-attack to recapture the feature of the western spur of Tiger Hills on July 7," the paper said. An officer of the 8 Sikh was quoted as saying that soon after the soldiers of the 8 Sikh recovered the feature on July 7 around 8:00 am, Captain Sher with just a handful of Pakistani soldiers, launched a swift counter-attack.

"It was suicidal for Sher to launch the attack in broad daylight because we could see his movements.Yet in the highest of military traditions, he launched the attack. It is a disgrace for any army to be evicted from a post and he wanted to save Pakistani army from that disgrace," the official said. Such was the ferocity of his attack that 8 Sikhs had to be reinforced by a platoon of 18 Grenadier. The Pakistan counter-attack was beaten back and 15 of their soldiers were killed . . . under the onslaught of Indian guns, Captain Sher rallied around his men, encouraging them to fight on.

Being a professional army and holding utmost respect for another professional soldier, even if he is from the enemy side, The Indian Army crossed borders and wrote a citation for Capt Karnel Sher Khan so that he could get the recognition for his bravery.

Pakistan Govt agreed and awarded the man who fought on Tiger Hill from Pakistan's side with the Nishan e Haidar, Pakistan’s highest gallantry award on the recommendation of the Indian Army. Nishan e Haidar is equivalent to our Param Veer Chakra. Ten years after the Kargil war, Karnal Sher Khan became a folk hero. His native village has even been renamed after him.

Captain K Sher Khan's brother Sikandar Sheikh was quoted saying-

No enemy is a coward. I won’t call India coward because it proclaimed Sher Khan as a hero.

Sikandar Sheikh also said, "Ek game hai yeh. circikete ek game hai, Chakka mara..mara. Ye ek game hai. Cup milna hai bahadur ko. Cup Kernel Sher ko mila.aur wo bhi dushman ke kehe par (War’s a cricket game, but the winner has got the cup awarded by the opponent)."

Incidentally Nishan-e-Haider means sign/mark of a lion and it is no surprise that Karnal Sher got his 'Mark of Lion' like it was meant to be but all on the Indian soil.

Disclaimer: Article curated using The Indian Express, The Telegraph and Indian Defence Review.

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