By Maj (R) Shabbir Ahmed (1st SSC)
My 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.
When 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.
The Moral of this story is: DON’T MAKE BROTHERS OUT OF YOUR ENEMIES and DON’T MAKE ENEMIES OUT OF YOUR BROTHERS.
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)
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