Lot of things happen when the war is going on and some went unnoticed. Kargil war is full of such incidents. Today we share about a colonel in Pakistani army who was applauded by the Indian army and then he was awarded by the Pakistani army. However, it should be noticed here that Pakistan army denied completely that there was any role of them in the Kargil War. However, they announced the awards later and it is actually a shame that the country deny its soldiers.
Let’s continue with our story now. Karnal Sher Khan was a captain in the Pakistani Army. Karnal Sher Khan attained martyrdom during the Kargil war in the heights of Gultary region, Kargil. Captain Sher Khan was later awarded Nishan-e-Haider by the Pakistan Army.
But what if I tell you that he got this medal because of Indian Army? Pakistan denied the involved till 11 years of the Kargil War. When the war was going, when the Pakistani soldiers body was handed to Pakistan, they did not accept them. Later they accepted the bodies. Pakistan army’s Captain Karnal Sher Khan, has a same story but now he is remembered with great pride, courtesy The Indian Army. Pakistan officially announced in 2009 the involvement of Pakistani army in Kargil and all the soldiers were awarded.
The Indian army’s citation for Karnal Sher Khan was as follows-
He was very courageous. After a fierce battle, we had recovered the Tiger Hills on July 4 and for the next four days, were gradually advancing to recover other features — the Helmet, India Gate and Rhino Horn. Soon after the soldiers of 8 Sikh recovered the feature on July 7 around 8 am, Captain Karnal Sher with just a handful of Pakistani soldiers, launched a swift counter attack,” said an officer of the 8 Sikh, liberal in his appreciation. “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 officer 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. While other Pakistani soldiers tried to run away under the onslaught of Indian guns, Captain Sher rallied around his men, encouraging them to fight on. The Indian side too suffered casualties but the determined Sikhs beat back this assault too.
At least 10 more Pakistani soldiers were killed. Sher fought till the end till a hail of bullets snuffed life out of him. Even as he fell, his finger was curled around his gun. “We are a professional Army and respect another professional soldier, even if heis from the enemy side. And we would feel happy if a soldier like him gets recognition for his bravery.
According to a report in The Indian Express, The Indian army had written many times to the Pakistan army about the bravery of Sher Khan.
“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 report quoted.
Indian army truly professional and giving respect to the enemy soldier wrote a citation so that Pakistan can award their hero. Finally, Pakistani govt. agreed and awarded Nishan-e- Haider which is equivalent to India’s Param Veer Chakra after ten years.
Captain K Sher Khan’s brother Sikandar Sheikh was quoted saying-
“Allah ka shukar hai ki humara dushman bhi koi busdil dushman nahi hai. Agar log kahen ki India busdil hai to main kahunga nahi kyuki usne aelania keh diya ki karnel sher hero hai (No enemy is a coward. I won’t call India coward because it proclaimed Sher Khan as a hero).”
He also added when Karnal Sher Khan was awarded, “Ek game hai yeh. Cricket 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 kehne par (War’s a cricket game, but the winner has got the cup awarded by the opponent).
Even after many years of requests, the Indian prisoner of wars still languish in Pakistani jails and they are not released. Their families keep on trying, the only effort we can do is, we all must remember them who gave their all because of us.