Defence Day also known as Youm-e-Difa is a public holiday that is celebrated as national day to commemorate in the memory of Pakistan’s successful defence against Indian that marked the ceasefire in the 1965 war on 6 September.
Pakistani Christian soldiers likewise gave a firm shoulder to their Muslim comrades whether it was Kashmir war of 1948, Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, Kargil war, and 1999 or, the ongoing War on Terror. They always battled on front foot.
As per the ‘Shuhada Cell’ of GHQ, so far 52 Christians have yielded their lives for Pakistan from Pakistan Army alone barring PAF and Pak Navy. It is additionally reassuring to realize that out of 70 Sitara-i-Jur’at of PAF, seven are Christians and, out of seven, two embraced martyrdom..
Younus, child of Qaisar, from 16 Punjab Regiment showered his blood at Pando Hills; Pilot Officer Novan Theodore Fazal Ellahi grasped suffering at Attock; and Flight Lieutenant Edwin gave his life on duty while flying F-6 air ship at Quetta. Out of 140 saints of Gayari (Siachen Sector), four were Christians to be specific Asif Masih, Amoon Gill, Adil Masih and Naveed Masih.
Squadron Leader Peter Christy was among the pilots who countered with full power amid the 1965 war. As a Flight Lieutenant, he was guide of B-57 Canberra air ship and remained some portion of numerous fruitful operational missions. To respect his fortitude and professionalism, the administration of Pakistan granted him ‘Tamgha-i-Jurat’ and advanced him as Squadron Leader. As 1971 war began, he was on deputation in PIA and was gotten back to his parent division, PAF. There were reports of air attacks on Karachi and this important city must be protected no matter what.
A Do-or-Die (DoD) mission was planned, the Christian Base Commander of Mauripur Base, Air Commodore Nazir Latif, gave a detailed briefing and two men volunteered for the mission – Squadron Leader Khusro, who had prior retired from the Air Force yet was called back, and Squadron Leader Peter Christy.
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Wing Commander Marvin Lesley was commissioned in 1954. During 1965 war, then young Flight Lieutenant Marvin Lesley Middle Coat (known as Commander Lesley) was deployed at Masroor Base Karachi. When the enemy attacked Karachi, he was among those flying the F-86 aircraft. He destroyed two aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and was known as “Defender of Karachi” for his bravery and professionalism. At Lahore Air Base, he was given the charge of 9 Squadron where he held the spirit of his troops high by leading from the front. He flew 17 sorties and three photo reconnaissance missions. The government awarded him ‘Sitara-i-Jurat’. It is noteworthy that he left his attractive deputation at Jordan and voluntarily rushed back to Pakistan as the 1971 war started.
On 12 December 1971, together with his colleagues when he completed his mission, an Indian MiG 47 Squadron attacked them. He took a lower flight and saved his aircraft from two missiles but when he reached near Gulf of Kuchh, another missile hit his aircraft. According to IAF Flight Lieutenant Bharat Bhoshan Soni, who hit his aircraft, he saw him ejecting from the aircraft and falling in the deep sea and asked the headquarters to send a rescue team. When rescue team reached, Commander Lesley was found nowhere. He was declared “Missing in Action” and was again awarded ‘Sitara-i-Jurat’.
On the same day, on 12 December 1971, another young man aged 19 was writing the story of valour with his blood. Second Lieutenant Daniel Utarid volunteered for the most difficult task when he passed out from PMA, Kakul and went to a deployed unit in Sylhet, East Pakistan. On the morning of 13 December 1971, his Company returned from a night-long difficult mission.
As he was having breakfast with his batman, he received the news of the enemy attack on a platoon of 31 Punjab that bore heavy losses. He got his soldiers ready and immediately reached the front. He was severely injuried during an encounter and three bullets were removed from his chest during surgery. He requested the surgeon to give those bullets to his mother as a souvenir. He was recommended for ‘Sitara-i-Jurat’.
Captain Michael Wilson fought the enemy at Chamb Sector in 1971 war and got injured in a tank accident on 21 November 1972 and later embraced martyrdom.
Since the start of War on Terror, the Christian soldiers actively participated shoulder to shoulder with other Pakistani soldiers . Martyr of Nawazkot, Major Sarmas Rauf, Tamgha-i-Basalat is one of them, who serve his life for the country. He got commission in 1987 out of 44 FF and out of 20 years of his service; he spend 17 years in the border areas of Sialkot, Kashmir, Siachen and Waziristan. He never favored his own solace over the defence of nation. Major Sarmas Rauf was serving at the Line of Control amid Kargil war 1999. He was presented from 44 FF on FC NWFP (later FC KPK) on 3 January 2006.
Eversince the begin of Operation Al-Mizan, 3 Wing Bajaur Scout had participated in it and demolished numerous vital forts of the radicals Islamist . At the point when his wing assumed liability of Nawazkot, Major Sarmas Rauf demonstrated a solid pioneer against lowlifes. Four days before his affliction, an imperative fear based oppressor’s authority, his child and a few associates were killed in an operation. To render the retribution, the psychological militants laid attack of Nawazkot post and obstructed the courses of supply. Under his charge, the warriors set up awesome resistance and made real misfortunes the adversary.
Amid a same operation, he was hit by a RPG 7 round. He at first got harmed and because of over the top dying, passed away later. The saint was granted Tamgha-i-Basalat.
Our Christian children of this soil have proved their worth whenever needed by the motherland.. Out of the numerous Christian troopers, 60 have laid their lives for Pakistan altogether, though, seven are Sitara-i-Jurat, three are Tamgha-i-Jurat and four are Tamagha-i-Basalat.
Pakistan Army also looks after the families of Christian Martyrs with equal great care and responsibility and never forgets them.