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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nishan-e-Haider Series. (2002-9)

Born in Pind Malikan (now Mahfuzabad, Rawalpindi District) on October 25, 1944, Muhammad Mahfuz joined the Army on October 25, 1962. When war broke out in 1971, Lance Naik Mahfuz was serving in "A" Company of 15 Punjab Regiment deployed on the Wagah-Attari Sector. On the night of December 17-18, his company was assigned the task of occupying Phul Kanjri village located in the section. Platoon No. 3, to which Lance Naik Mahfuz belonged, was the forward unit in the assault and had to face torrential volleys of enemy fire from concrete Pill boxes. When the Company was about 70 yards from the Indian position, it was pinned down by unceasing frontal and cross fire from automatic weapons of the enemy. With the break of dawn, the enemy artillery also opened up. Fighting like a man possessed, Mahfuz, whose machine-gun was destroyed by an enemy shell, took over a light machine-gun from a gunner who had already fallen and advanced towards an enemy bunker from which automatic fire had inflicted heavy casualties on his Company. Wounded in the legs by shell splinters, he continued to fire, dragging himself forward. At the bunker he got up with almost superhuman effort and pounced on the enemy and was hit at point-blank range. His weapon dropped from his hand, but despite being unarmed and mortally wounded, he caught hold of an Indian Soldier and began to strangle him when another Indian bayoneted him to death.
After the ceasefire, the Commander of the enemy admitted to his Pakistani counter-part in a meeting that the like of the courage and tenacity displayed by Lance Naik Mahfuz had seldom been witnessed before.
Born in Dhok Pir Bakhsh (now Dhok Muhammad Hussain Janjua) on June 18, 1949, Sawar Muhammad Hussain joined the Army on September 3, 1966 and was trained as a driver. When war broke out in 1971, he was in 20 Lancers. Though only a driver, he took active part in every battle his unit was engaged in. He would take over a machine-gun and fire on the enemy, unmindful of any danger no matter how grave. On December 5, 1971, he went from trench to trench delivering ammunition to our men in the Zafarwal-Shakargarh Area, braving intense shelling and direct fire from enemy tanks and infantry. On the following day, he went out with four fighting patrols and undertook most hazardous missions. On December 10, he spotted the enemy digging in near village Harar Khurd along our Minefield and informed the second- in-command of his unit. He moved, on his own initiative, from one anti-tank gun to another directing the crew to fire accurately at enemy tanks, and was thus responsible for the destruction of sixteen enemy tanks. At 1600 hours on December 10, while directing fire from one of our recoilless rifles, he was hit on the chest by a burst of machine-gun fire from an enemy tank and thus died in action. Date of Issue (September 06, 2002)