Major Shabbir Shaheed was a true officer and a gentleman. Born on April 28th 1943. In Kunjah, Gujrat, this young man was a fine soldier as he was the only one to be decorated in two wars, once with the Sitara-e-Jurat in 1965, and then with the Nishan-e-Haider in 1971 after he attained martydom.He left no stone u turned when it came to the defence of his country, but when it came to the poor or the helpless, he would display his Muslim charity and prove to be their saviour as is evident from the following two incidents from the 1971 war against India.
It was the winter of 1971 when the young Pakistani officer heard an old man calling out to him. The old man had mistaken him for an Indian soldier as it was pitch dark and the man could not recognize the Pakistan army uniform. He complained to the young Pakistani that the Muslims had taken over the village where he had come with his son's 'barat' and now the wedding procession was heading back after the 'rukhsati', but as the Pakistan army had cordoned off the whole area, they could not reach their own village. Pretending to be an Indian soldier, the young Pakistani spoke to his foe in Panjabi. He expressed surprise that these Indian were not aware of the ongoing war. Instead of taking them as prosoners if war, he ordered his soldiers to escort them back into Indian territory. The officer also advised the man to follow the news on the radio in future.
Similarly, in another instance, when clearing out an Indian army bunker, he found wads of Indian currency. The currency must have been the salaries that had to be distributed among the fleeing, Indian soldiers. The Pakistani soldiers were ordered to keep the money safely until the war ended. It would then be returned to the Indian outhorities. But as they had no firewood, a few currency notes were used for a fire so that they could make some tea. The rest of the money was returned after the war with an explanation for the missing money.
Major Shabbir was awarded the 'Sword of Honour' when he graduated in 1964 from the military academy at Kabul.
This exceptionally brave and committed soldier, despite being wounded in the 1964 war, had escaped from the hospital with his arm in a sling and reached the battle front. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat. The same valour and dedication was displayed in 1971 when he continued to flight till the end, ignoring the pain in his scorched shoulder caused by a grenade attack. This brave son of Pakistan argued that it was not fair that he should return to safety while his men were exposed to extreme danger.
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