Friday, September 6, 2013

Zaid Hamid's personal experience of the 1965 war !

 Let me share a small personal experience of the 1965 war !

In 1965, just before the war, my father Major Zaman Hamid was an artillery officer posted in Sialkot. Weeks before the actual war started on 6th September, tensions were high in Kashmir and some troops were already deployed along the working boundary near Sialkot though nobody expected an Indian attack on the city. While my dad was managing the artillery guns deployment, my mother would be alone in the house with my elder sister who was 5 years and me only a toddler at 1.5 years . Our faithful Cocker Spaniel dog Perdy would be the security guard while my mother keeping her .22 rifle loaded all the time in the house. Our house was also very close to the border and every night, my mom would be alone, staying awake all night, holding her two children and the rifle while the dog stayed guard outside the house. All officers and men had gone to the forward areas. In those days, there were blackouts too, so the entire region would be lonely, dark and very scary for a woman and her two kids. But Ammi, stayed on refusing to leave.

On 6th September when the full attack of the Indians came on Lahore and immediately afterwards on Sialkot also, which dangerously exposed our house to the Indian tanks, only then my mother abandoned the house and withdrew back to Pindi in an adventurous train ride which was constantly under threat of Indian air strikes.

All this time, my Dad was delivering hell through our own artillery guns on the advancing Indian tanks to prevent them from entering Sialkot. Abba Jan did not know where his family was and Ammi did not know if he was alive or not. But both stayed firm on their duties.

Then started the biggest tank battle in the world after second world war -- nearly 500 Indian tanks advanced with 50,000 troops on Sialkot but were pushed back and defeated by the defenders of Sialkot alhamdolillah. My father being one of the gunners who blasted the Indian attack and supported the ground troops through artillery fire. On the other front, Lahore was also being defended with equal ferocity by our tigers. Later, Indian army had to suffer huge humiliation in their own country for failing to capture Lahore and Sialkot!

Weeks later, after the war, when my mother came back to Sialkot with me and my sister, there were artillery guns placed all around our house, one even proudly dug in the main lawn as well

Even today, my mother proudly narrates the stories of that amazing war which the entire family witnessed from such a close range. History was repeated again in 1971 also when my father was again posted in Sialkot when the war started and the same saga started all over again -- war, enemy advance, family evacuation, defense of Sialkot..

Alhamdolillah, elders are still alive who have seen those times with their eyes and had seen how the nation gelled into a solid wall of steel to defend our faith, land and ideology. InshAllah, today and in future also, we vow to defend this medina e sani against all enemies, InshAllah.

Yaum e Difaa Mubarak ! Prepare yourself. It is your turn to defend Pakistan now.


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