AN ICON OF PATRIOTISM AND BRAVERY GHAZI MAQBOOL HUSSAIN

Sumayya Khalid

AN ICON OF PATRIOTISM AND BRAVERY GHAZI MAQBOOL HUSSAIN

Severely injured, he was assumed as shaheed after being reported as missing during Pak-India war in 1965. Actually, Indian army captured him but they never declared him as the prisoner of war (POW). Later on September 17, 2005, this patriotic soldier of our brave army was handed over as a civilian by Indian authorities to Pakistani Officials.  The shuffling, perplexed 65 years old man was presumed to be a fisherman like the rest of the group who came back to Pakistan with him. He was like a bony skeleton and his tongue was cut by the Indian Army. In contrast to other prisoners who had some belongings in their hands, he was empty handed.

After the initial paperwork completed by the officials at the border people left for their homes but this man who could not even talk found no destination. After great effort, he reached to his Azad Kashmir Regiment and was presented to the commander. He raised his shaking hands and saluted the young commander and wrote on a piece of paper,

 “Soldier Maqbool Hussain No. 335139 reporting on duty Sir and is looking forward to his commander.”

He was a brave and patriotic soldier of the Pak Army who took part in the 1965 War against India. As the story unfolds, under the command of Captain Sher Khan, he was coming back from a victorious mission after destroying Indian weapons depot. He had wireless set on his back and gun in hands when he was seriously injured while fighting with the enemy. He refused to become a burden and said the Pakistani soldiers to leave him there and save their lives by moving toward the safe place. But upon continual insist by soldiers, he landed in the small ditch unseen by his colleagues and lost his consciousness.

He was captured and imprisoned by the Indian army and was put in 4×4 feet dark cell where he was unable to sit or lay down. He was tortured inhumanly and was never given the status of a Prisoner of War (POW), which provides specific rights and benefits to the prisoners. He spent forty valuable years of his life in enemy torture cell but refused to denounce his beloved motherland. The Indian army thought they could break down this brave soldier and take secrets about Pakistan from him. But even after all sorts of mental, physical inhumane torture, they could never break Pakistani soldier’s spirit and resilience. He was stated mentally retarded by the jail security guards because even after facing brutal torture, he refused to utter even a single word against Pakistan. Instead, he used to say,

“Yes I’m crazy for every particle of my soil and every corner of my motherland, “Yes I am crazy to defend the dignity and honor of my beloved Pakistan, Pakistan Zindabad.”

These words came down on the enemy like tons of bricks. The coward enemy took revenge by cutting off the brave soldier’s tongue and depriving him forever with the power to speak. Still then when they asked him to tell something by writing, for all time he had written “Pakistan Zindabad” with his blood on the walls and did not write even a single word against the sovereignty of Pakistan.

The bravest son of beloved land had lost his senses during forty years of his imprisonment. When Soldier Maqbool Hussain was released, he had become mentally ill due to the vicious torture he had faced at the hands of the Indians Army for 4 decades. When he was asked about his identity, he kept answering by writing number 335139 which was his Army bearing number.

Even after several months of affectionate and scrupulous psychiatric and medical care, Sipahi Maqbool Hussain preferred to sleep on the floor. He was upset from
 lights and lived only a small dark area of the large VIP house
allotted to him by President Pervez Musharraf in a military locality. Soldier Maqbool Hussain received the 3rd highest military award of Pakistan, “Sitara-e-Jurat” in 2009. Brave soldier’s older mother kept waiting for his homecoming. When Maqbool’s mother died, she at her own request was buried at the village entrance, so that she could meet her beloved son when he came back.

 ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations) co-produced a drama to pay tribute to Sipahi Maqbool Hussain as a symbol of loyalty and resilience. It is based on the devoted and heart-wrenching story of Sipahi Maqbool Hussain, which was directed by Haider Imam Rizvi. At the occasion of launching the serial, real 68-year-old Maqbool Hussain was brought on stage at the end of the show. Hussain was unaware of the admiring people that rapidly got to its feet as he entered. He had a blank look on Army Chief Gen. Ashfaque Pervaiz Kiani’s face and was not capable to recognize him, who went on stage to shake hands with him.

Sipahi Maqbool Hussain passed away at CMH (Combined Military Hospital) Attock on 28th August 2018. His funeral prayer was offered at Rawalpindi’s Chaklala Garrison on Wednesday, 29th August. Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Baja and a large number of officers and soldiers attended the prayer and paid respect to the brave son of the nation. Following the funeral prayers, Sipahi was laid to rest with full military honor at his native village Narian, Azad Kashmir.

A story with such sacrifice, strength, and bravery is still unfamiliar to many. People are unaware of the physical and mental torment he bore, only for Pakistan. It was his deep Love and dedication for the beloved country which made him such a brave and strong person. We, being Pakistani salute this unsung national hero of our motherland. May his soul get the highest rank in Jannah!!!! Ameen

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