No prayers for the soldier…
When the Pakistan Army started full-scale anti-insurgency operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan, it suffered a lot of causalities mainly because the army had not been trained and equipped for undertaking full-scale anti-guerrilla warfare.
The worst part was that half the nation termed it a war against our own people.
The families of the slain officers and soldiers who died fighting in Waziristan often faced a bigger trauma when their fellow countrymen doubted the shahadat (martyrdom) of these men. For them, these soldiers gave their lives while fighting other Muslims for a war which served the United States.
It took 12 long years for this mind-set to change and for some it meant sacrificing their entire youth for a cause for which the people, whom they had risked their very lives for, never gave them any credit.
It is sad but the job of a soldier is to fight, no questions asked.
Unfortunately, the debate of shaheed or no shaheed has risen once again. The nation watched the entire drama as powerful men debated for and against the motion presented by a religious political party leader. The relatives of the fallen soldiers even came on national television and denounced the leader.
But in this whole commotion, we forgot about the soldier who still stood guard on a mountain top come hail or storm, winter or summer – never flinching, never retreating, holding his ground and looking the enemy straight in the eye.
So today I decided to write something – not for him but about him. This is my endeavour to make all the readers realise, if given a chance, the sentiments of a soldier.
My efforts of a lifetime are all in vain,
In grief I am, my heart’s in pain.
My strength, I have lost, my head hangs in shame,
My mind is blurred, I have lost the game.
But let us see in the midst of this hell,
What stories my wounds do tell,
I will die today, for me tolls the bell,
But finally my death will break the spell.
For sixty years, I have walked with you,
Lived with you, I have died for you.
In blistering deserts, in freezing hills,
At every front I have fought for you.
Remember Kashmir in ‘48
Where I had fought till this very day?
Lahore was burning in ‘65,
And we had fought side by side.
But then came the tragedy of ‘71,
Where five of us could not be one.
The enemy laughed and enjoyed the show,
As we lost our brothers in one bloody blow.
Once again in Kargil you asked for blood,
We spilled so much, it formed a flood.
Today I fight in Waziristan,
Is this not also a part of Pakistan?
In battle I do not find your prayers for me.
I lose my heart when I come and see,
You laugh and clap when my ranks fall,
You long for the day when I cannot stand tall.
They want to freshen our wounds again,
They want to freshen our pain again,
They want to freshen our grief again,
They want to humiliate us once again.
But I will not let that happen again,
I will fall fighting but will stand again,
For me, duty has called once again,
I am a soldier, I will answer again.
I see my nation abandoning me,
But for her and the country I stand again.
I will defend with honour my motherland,
And I seek only prayers from you again.
Go, abandon me, if that is what you want,
I will die fighting with honour again.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.