Silent Soldiers


I was standing outside in the hospital corridor, opposite nursery waiting for my wife to return from operation theatre, after giving birth to our second child. Anxiety was in process of being replaced with happiness and I was enjoying the quiet moment.

Few minutes later, a nurse brought a new born baby boy and few ladies (family of the new born) followed her. One of the ladies, who looked like a typical grandmother sort of stood out from rest of the crowd. There was something not normal about her. She was constantly wiping off her tears, saying things like ‘My son is back’, ‘Mein Sadqey Jaoon’, ‘Mera beta aagaya’.

At first I thought it’s just another over reacting joyous grandmother. While rest of the family went to room, she remained in front of the window of nursery, looking at her grandson, and repeating her chants. It is then I heard one of the staff tell her colleague that the lady lost her 26 years old son, an officer in Army couple of months ago near Afghanistan’s border.

At that moment, in a sudden flash, she didn’t seem like a typical overjoyed grandmother any more. There was tremendous pain in those tears, and oddly enough, I felt a lump form in my throat. This same pain still resonates with me as I write this post, or whenever this episode crosses my mind.

I do not personally know the officer who was killed; I do not know if he died fighting gallantly, or was hit by a stray bullet; I do not know if he was victim to a suicide bomber – a suicide bomber whose family assumes that their father or son embraced martyrdom; I do not remember reading about him in the papers, or hearing about him on the news – or maybe I did, and I simply do not recall it because there are so many like him these days.

I am not aware of whether there is a support system in place for those who are left behind, but it is about time we as a civil society do something about it, and not just leave it to the government. The government, I believe has already done their bit by awarding these silent soldiers medals of various cadres. Sadly, in the same event  it also awarded a significant number of civil awards to phony achievers with a dubious past.

There is no way we can adequately repay these soldiers, who have silently given up their lives, for what, to be honest, is an unknown cause. They were probably just following orders, and laid down their lives at the line of duty. What we do not realise is that their death is also killing the people they have left behind.

That infant will never get to see his father, spend time with him, or play cricket with him. Imagine all the good times you spent with your father – all the special occasions that the newborn will have never have.

These men of honour deserve more than just a national holiday on September 6.

Apart from other facets of civil society, our media needs to come forward and play its role in raising awareness about what thesesoldiers have been doing for us. They should focus on creating respect for them  rather than sympathy.

Our soldiers deserve to be heard, celebrated, and mourned. They do not deserve to be shadows of the past, or a number in the books of martyrs. We owe them and the people they left behind more.

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3 responses to “Silent Soldiers

  • Sami Saayer (@SamiSaayer)

    Tere honton ke phoolon ki chahat mein hum
    Daar ki khushk tehni pe waaray gaye
    Tere haaton ki shamm’on ki hasrat mein hum
    Neem tareek raahon mein maare gaye

  • Zaain Bokhari

    Reblogged this on MAIN JHOOT BOLTA HUN.

  • jamal khattak

    … it is to be added that we are part of an unfortunate country where education level is just 29% out of which only 2% is the recognized education standard internationally. So, technically speaking, world see this country having only 2% population as educated. Having said that, our so called politics is basically a dynasty system sugar coated in dummy democracy. Media is in the hands of establishments whose sole purpose is collapse of Pakistan. Every single individual who have access to any national asset would abuse his authorities to insane limits. A sixteen yrs old child in this country can plan professionally how to get 100% marks in practicals by manipulating examiners via un-fair means…in country distorted to this level…our defense officers and soldiers are the only breed who feel PRIDE in wearing uniform and be the guardians of nation. These people are not soldiers by profession…they are soldiers by birth and then by CHOICE…when civilians sleep in warm couches they are awake in nerve trembling cold nights…their only strength is..PRIDE…that they feel in doing what they do…they get average salaries and average emoluments…and yet deliver one hundred percentage if not more…but our ill-literate people would heartlessly say… “what if they die…it is what they are paid for…”..i ask such mindless jerks…name a single package in this world to buy life? can any one pay for life? there is no PAYMENT that human being can PAY for freaking LIFE…its only ALLAH almighty who can pay some one for his life…its not jurisdiction and ability of any human to pay for life on the face of earth…but these slicks cannot understand and they would say…”oh what if a soldier died…it is what they paid for…” they are not paid for their “death”…they are paid just to earn bread for their families…they die for the PRIDE…they die for the TRUST that nation have in them…and the distinguished respect that is extented towards them…that is what they are paid for their life…but if they are not respected..and people think they are just ID card numbers who are PAID to die for the country…they live in fool’s paradise…we should respect them..give them pride that they deserve..for that…life cannot be paid for…

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