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An Immortal story: Soldier Maqbool Hussain

Written by: M Rashid Tabassum,
Independence is the great blessing which demands sacrifices. Pakistan is also a blessing of Allah and its history is filled with innumerable sacrifices. Whenever the country had hard times, its brave forces saved the country by risking their lives.
6th of September is the day when India crossed the international border and attacked Pakistan. Pakistan’s army and its nation faced Indian forces bravely. Indian forces tried their best to seize Pakistan but they failed in their plans. After 17 days, Indian PM Shastri approached UNSC, and after UNSC’s intervention ceasefire agreement was signed. In 17 days of the war, Pakistan armed forces put Indian forces in hot water. Pakistani forces wrote eternal stories of sacrifice.
Soldier Maqbool Hussain is one of the examples of boldness and bravely. He remained prison in Indian jails for 40 years. He joined Pakistan army in 1960. In 1965 war, he was returning from after completing his mission in enemy’s territory. He was injured by enemy’s firing. His friends tried to escape him, but could not succeed due to severe firing by the enemy. He sacrificed and gave cover fire to save the life of other soldiers. He was captured by Indian Army when he was senseless. His name was not listed in the name of prisoners. He was supposedly a martyr at the end of the war. During imprisonment, he was given the status of civilian prison instead of a prisoner of war (POW). He faced lots of difficulties. He was kept in 4×4 feet cage in which he could neither stand nor lie down. He was brutally tortured mentally and physically. His nails were plucked. Indian army tried to gain Pakistan’s national secrets but Maqbool did not give out any secret despite all the brutalities. He remained steadfast in worst of the times. His tongue was cut off and he was made dumb forever.
On 17th September 2005, he was released at Wagah Border in an exchange of prisoners. He was 65 years old and nothing in his hand. He had already lost his senses and memory due to the brutal torture which he had faced in Indian jails. After a great effort, he reached his AK regiment because he could not speak. He saluted the commander and wrote on the paper: “Soldier Maqbool Hussain, Number: 335139 (Army Bearing Number), is on duty, sir.” His record was searched by his Number. His family was no more to see him.
After release, Pakistan army gave him healthcare facilities. Army documented his imprisonment period. ISPR, with the help of a private production house, made a special drama serial on the life of Maqbool Hussain, in order to give him a tribute. In April 2018, the drama was aired on PTV and TV One, comprised of 6 episodes. It received a lot of appreciation from people belonging to all walks of life. He was awarded Sitara e Jurat on 23rd March 2009.
On 28th August 2018, he died at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Attock. His funeral prayers were offered at Chaklala Garrison. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, a large number of officers and soldiers joined the prayer and paid homage to Maqbool Hussain. Later, he was buried with full military honor at his native village Narian, Azad Kashmir on 29th August.
Concluding more, 6 September 1965 is a memorable day in the history of Pakistan. Our army and nation together faced Indian militarism bravely. Martyrs and conquerors (Ghazis) wrote stories of bravery. In fact, their blood is an ornament of our forehead. It is the reality our enemy did not accept the existence of Pakistan since 1947. It tried to wipe out Pakistan from the face of the earth. It is necessary to memorize the war of 1965 to fail the enemies’ plots.

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