A lone Nishan e Haider from Eastern Front

If you are in Jhelum, from Cantt Chowk on N5, Railway Road would take you east
There after crossing the railway line, if you take old G.T.Road there’s a memorial on your left
It commemorates Major Muhammad Akram Shaheed

On the entire eastern front marred by retreats and surrenders, the bulging salient of Hilli from day one was a tough nut to crack
4 Frontier Force Regiment bravely took the Indian onslaught from late November and repulsed numerous attacks
Major Akram commanded a company here

C Company under Major Akram displayed prodigious feats of valour
Having absorbed the initial dent into defences, the company recaptured Raibagh on night 1/2 Dec
On ni 4/5 Dec a series of attacks on left forward platoon were repulsed

That night Maj Akram leaped froward of defences and destroyed three tanks with 40 mm rocket launcher
While engaging the 4th he was shot through his eye and throat by a .50 bullet
He embraced shahadat and so did Sepoy Lal Khan a valiant soldier fighting side by side his commander

Their bodies lying 50 yards ahead of forward trenches could only be evacuated the next night
Major Akram was buried in Bangladesh, in Jhelum it’s only a memorial that stands
Few online sources cite his grave in village Boaldar in Bangladesh but that is incorrect

Major Akram was awarded Nishan e Haider, highest award for gallantry
He is the only recipient of the prestigious award on eastern front in 1971
A year ago I visited 4 FF in Pakistan commanded by a friend from Platoon Commander days at PMA
We relived few memories of the officer

My younger brother (with work history and business contacts there) was to revisit Bangladesh this year
I had few tasks for him in Bogra & up ahead towards Dinajpur
His application for Bangladeshi visa on Pakistani Passport is stuck in the stiff diplomatic corridors of Bangladesh
Some day when he manages to visit “amar sonar Bangla” and (who knows) I may join him in those faraway lands, I shall write a story on Major Akram and other gallants of 4 Frontier Force Regiment

ہم کہ ٹھہرے اجنبی اتنی مداراتوں کے بعد
پھربنیں گے آشنا کتنی ملاقاتوں کے بعد

share this article

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *