“Your Enemies Can’t be Your Brothers”

By Maj (R) Shabbir Ahmed (1st SSC)

Shabbir Ahmed, Major (1st SSC)Editor’s Note: Maj (R) Shabbir Ahmed was commissioned in 51 Punjab Regt in April 1972. After the retirement, he has settled in Gulrez Housing Society, Rawalpindi.

Badge of Punjab Regiment Pakistan ArmyMy unit, 51 Punjab Regt (Later 15 Sind,) was in Kashmir in early 1970s. During summers of 1973, I went to visit ‘A’ Coy of my unit, commanded by my course mate and a very dear friend, Lt Rafi Chaudhry. While I was with him and his Platoon Comd in the Forward Post which was about 150 meters from the Indian Post, an NCO came in and reported that the Indians were not allowing them to draw water from a spring, which was about 15 meters on our side of the LOC. 

On inquiry, we were told that as usual our porters went to draw water but the Indians threatened to fire and kill anyone coming near the LOC. Rafi asked me to accompany him to the spring. He left behind his Platoon Comd and ordered him to “Stand to” his Platoon. In case of any Indian fire, he was to retaliate with all the weapons. We along with a soldier proceeded to the spring. The Indians kept shouting and waving Red Flags. But we continued through minefield gap, Rafi leading. Though I was a bit scared but seeing Rafi determined, I also overcame my fear.

Army JerricanWhen we reached the spring, the soldier started filling the Jerrican with water. The Indians kept shouting but did not fire. Then we saw three Indians outside their post with a White Flag. They moved towards us, waving the flag. At about 30-40 meters from us, they stopped and we could see that one of them was an officer, a lean and dark fellow. He said, “I am Capt …… , the Company Commander. Brothers, I would like to talk this out”.

Even after 42 years, I still remember Rafi’s words. Rafi said, “Firstly, we are not brothers but enemies. I will kill you in the first instance and I am sure you will also kill me. I don’t kill my brothers and I don’t call those, whom I intend to kill, as my brothers. Secondly, there is nothing to talk. If you want to shoot, then just shoot and shut up”.

We moved back with pride and without fear. The Indian Capt kept standing for some time and then moved back to his post.

Rafi retired as a major in 1990. He would not have advanced in his career but even as a young man he was absolutely clear about his ENEMIES and about his BROTHERS.


Related Page:
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

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  1. A typical attitude of a failed state that lost all the wars against a bigger, better, smarter opponent… you guys will never, ever catch up with us… we’ve reached Mars… & you’re still trying to enter our borders… we’re going to systematically wipe you off slowly but surely!!!

    • Sajjad says:

      And your remarks… a typical behavior of a person who just wants to get importance and that is what your country and nation is. Do you want to go into histor?…Go back in centuries… history of forty, fifty years is not history …the game is on.

  2. Lt Col Naeem Ahmed Khan (Retd) Air Def says:

    What a soldier!! What a soldiery and what a conviction!! My salute to you Maj Rafi and Maj Shabbir.

  3. Lt Col (R) Qadeer A Ch. , 24/29 Punjab says:

    I fully agree and endorse the remarks of then Lt Rafi that your enemies (Yahood o Nasara) can’t be your brothers and friiends. Well done Maj Shabbir for sharing such a good incident.

  4. Lt Col (R) Tariq Rashid Bhatti, Sigs says:

    Liked it.

  5. Maj (R) Munir Ahmed, FF (2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Major Shabbir,
    Thank you for sharing an interesting event. My smart salute to both for their valour action. If my memory serves me right, we have done Snow Warfare Course together back in 1974 at Shogran.
    My warmest regards to you & your family.

  6. Maj (R) Aziz ur Rehman, Air Def (15 War Course) says:

    Surely its the instances like these that generate valour and audacity amongst the subordinates that make them show tenacity in extreme adversity. Bravo Maj Rafi.

  7. Lt Col Masood Alam, Retd (2nd SSC) says:

    I strongly believe and also have the experience that aggressive posture is always paid off. I have seen on many occasions that the person who takes bold initiative is most of the time the winner. Well done Lt Rafi you are a true Pakistani soldier.
    Pakistan Army Zindabad.

  8. Group Capt (R) Hayat Bangash, PAF says:

    Bravo, Lt Rafi Ch and Lt Shabbir Ahmed. Those with whom you are sitting eye balls to eye balls can’t be your brothers. Friends and foes are decided by their actions on peace location far away from borders.

  9. Bravo Sir Shabbir Ahmed!! Long live 51 Punjab Regt/15 Sind Regt!!

  10. Col (R) Amer Ahmed, Air Def (1st SSC) says:

    Dear Shabbir,
    Nicely narrated. Unfortunately such bold officers are never recognized for their straight and to the point approach.
    How true that what that young course mate of ours told the Indian officer so many years back is true even today. I wish our politicians who want close ties with India realize this fact. The sooner they do it better it is for us.

  11. Maj (R) Hasan Jawaid, USA (1st SSC) says:

    Regardless of age and experience, everyone tends to rationalize things to certain degree and I am sure that’s what Maj Rafi might have done with spontaneity as well but standing up to the occasion has been our hallmark, and this is exactly what he did when it was needed; we are proud of our legacy and him both.
    Thanks for sharing this Maj Shabbir.
    Could someone please send me Rafi’s contact details? He tried to contact me number of times while he was posted in Karachi but somehow we couldn’t get in touch with each other before I left for States.
    On a note of brotherly behavior, I see and respond to many of our “friendly neighbor’s” postings on “Some Facts about Kargil Conflict” (http://nativepakistan.com/kargil-war-1999-real-facts-about-kargil-conflict/) and “1965 War” damning us every way possible. Never do our “brothers” shy away denouncing and maligning us via every possible channel of global communication. We should take a serious note of it and respond to it likewise regionally and globally. Unfortunately our brothers, so to speak, Altaf Hussain, Hussain Haqqani, and likes who have sold their souls have been instrumental to this incarceration as well.

  12. Brig (R) Banaras Khan Jadoon, FF says:

    We must understand that India is an arch enemy of Pakistan and will take any opportunity to undo it because Hindu Banya has never reconciled with the creation of Pakistan. Indians understand only the language of force but when they come under pressure they resort to bogey of talks. History is witness to the fact that our leaders get mesmerized by their sweet talks but wily Banya never gives anything in return. Ayub Khan lost a golden chance to take Kashmir in 1962 when China provided us the opportunity but he fell in Indian trap of talks which lasted for 4 years between Bhutto and Swaran Singh. Again, Gen Musharraf repeated the folly and bragged about forcing the Indians to talk but what did he get???
    Indians are good at finding their brothers among us like Sheikh Abdullah, Sheikh Mujib and now Altaf Hussain. I fail to understand why can’t we read the history and see true face of India?

    • Balakris (from India) says:

      Do you think all of Pakistan’s problems will disappear if it gets Kashmir?
      India too has a multitude of problems. Keeping Kashmir doesn’t improve anything.
      I am no apologist for India’s governance which is pathetic both now and earlier.

      The leaders of both countries must display a real concern for their peoples.

      As far as the Pakistan Army is concerned, enlightened Pakistanis know it’s always been running a shadow govt to the terrible cost of the country. Still going on.

      The sufferers?
      Pakistan’s younger generation which should have been part of the global elite like many Indians because Pakistanis have the same brains -after all it’s the same stock. A generation and two have been deprived of normal opportunities.
      Instead the country and it’s people, families have been ruined.

      Brig Banaras Jadoon, it’s a question of your children and grandchildren, great grandchildren, their future in a peaceful decent society.

      India is incidental, problem is not India, it’s trivial and the sooner you drop the India obsession, the better.

  13. Col (R) Azam Qadri says:

    Good remembrance and thank you for sharing.

  14. Balakris says:

    I am an Indian, saddened that our people created a fuss over water.
    The current post proves the immaturity of the Pakistan major too.

  15. Col (R) Shah Alam, Avn (34 PMA) says:

    A good soldier is the same inside and out, and that is what Lt Rafi did.

    I wonder though that with a greater set of responsibilities resting on his shoulders as a leader, talking over the matters could have been the better part of discretion. Fortunately this episode ended up peacefully but it could have well been otherwise.

  16. Lt Col (R) Mazhar Faiz (50 PMA) says:

    Salute to the brave leaders and fighters of Pakistan Army!!

  17. Saeed Azad (39 PMA) says:

    Initiative at the right time and place is the quality of leadership. I am proud of Pak Army and Maj Rafi.

  18. Yunus Ghaznavi (43rd PMA) says:

    Well a declared and known one is real enemy time tested, but the most dangerous enemy is the enemy within, who is a bloody brotherly type, but the 1st chance he gets will kill. Hope the COAS also takes action against the MQM and its touts in Karachi, they sure have links with RAW, as half their relatives are still in India, the real Mohajirs were from East Punjab in 1947, but they are proud and great men who sacrificed many a loved ones. Sorry to say they are planted and were coming till late 1980s, so how about a write up on them?

  19. Azam Gill, France says:

    One of the best recapitulative anecdotes I’ve read, with an attractive, strong and clear narrative voice. Shabbir Jee, keep writing more – cheers!

  20. Dear Maj Shabbir,
    Nice article. Keep sharing more.

  21. Maj (R) Rehmat Elahi says:

    I must admire the greatness & brave act of my brother officer. Really the enemy is enemy unless proves otherwise. His decisions at the right time to react on the prevailing situation is admirable & commendable. This is called Comd & Con on the right time keeping in view of situation.T his particular ability & daring capabilities keeps PAK ARMY the No.1 in the world.

  22. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

    Nice one. Keep contributing.
    Stay blessed, Aameen.

  23. Col (R) Tughral Bashir, Avn (50th PMA) says:

    Good one. Thanks for sharing, sir.
    Yes, they really are our enemies and this is what Allah also says and knows. And about them Allah tells us to keep our strength ready, including steeds of war, in order to strike terror in their hearts. I salute that brave officer who stood solid and showed the Indian officer his true face.

  24. Rana M Sadiq (2nd SSC) says:

    Sir, it is surely an act of a true Pakistani soldier. I liked it but I would have appreciated more to know wither our soldiers were allowed to fill water later as well.

    • Maj (R) Rana Saeed Bhatti, 9 Baluch, USA says:

      Rana Sadiq is right to be curious about resolution of water issue?

      • Maj (R) Shabbir Ahmed (1st SSC) says:

        When Lt Rafi Ch dared the Indian Capt, either to shoot or shut up, this was the end of Indian attempt to lay claim on our water. We continued to draw and savour the sweet spring water, as before.

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