Lalak jan-1999 was an unfortunate year for Pakistan in general and Gilgit-Baltistan in particular. This year, Gilgit-Baltistan was witnessing spring



1999 was an unfortunate year for Pakistan in general and Gilgit-Baltistan in particular. This year, Gilgit-Baltistan was witnessing spring and autumn. The Kargil War had broken out and the children of the Mother Earth were being martyred in the line of duty. The period from May to August was very difficult. There was sadness in the area. Mothers waited frantically to hear the news of the well-being of their livers. Fathers would either go to a post office to look for letters of their livers, or they would always be in a central bazaar. Sisters and brothers never tire of praying for their brothers. Wives were eager for their husbands to come. There was no special means of communication in Ghazir district, especially in Yassin Valley in those days. Rumors were spreading and even seeing a small crowd, people were afraid that some bad news might come to them. From the end of May to the first week of August, the young men of our land sacrificed their lives for their country.

Among the mothers and sisters who were going through this difficult phase was my mother, whose cousin Ibrahim Khan was martyred in Kargil and my mother's younger brother Lalak Jan was also present in their unit. During this time I always saw my mother in a state of anxiety. Whenever I inquired about the cause of my mother's distress, she either avoided me or told me that your uncles Lalak Jan and your cousin Wali Khan were in Kargil and no letter came from them. Also pray for their well-being. There were days of my childhood, I was in a bad mood, sometimes I prayed and sometimes I ran to see all the army vehicles in which the corpses of our beloved martyrs were being brought.

The moon came out that night too, but its existence

There was so much blood, like the corpse of an innocent

It was July 7. Lalak Jan was alone in the mountains of Kargil, the high Tiger Hill and one of his posts. His other comrades and friends were martyred. The sounds of ammunition and heavy weapons echoed in the Kargil Valley. He did not care to return until he had done his duty well. According to the Pakistan Army, they defeated hundreds of enemies. A lone brave Sput surprised and disturbed his opponents. Despite two to three days of continuous attacks, it was not possible for the opposition to capture Lalak Jan's post. Eventually, with the help of heavy weapons and helicopters, the Indian Army martyred these spies of Gilgit-Baltistan and by then they had made a lasting story of bravery. In recognition of his bravery, the Government of Pakistan awarded him the Haider Award.

Lalak Jan Shaheed, the great hero of Kargil, opened his eyes on February 19, 1967 in the remote village of Hondor Morang in the Yasin Valley. He got his primary education from the village and after that he started helping his parents. My mother says that her younger brother Lalak Jan was also very interested in studies and used to come back and teach his sisters what he used to do in school. But due to limited resources, he dropped out of school and started helping his parents in farming and raising livestock. Later in the army, he studied up to Matriculation and FA. Lalak Jan Shaheed's uncle Kharwar Khan took part in the 1948 war and his uncle Panin Jan took part in the 65 and 71 wars. After hearing stories of military life from his mouth, one day he reached Bunji Gilgit and joined the army. From 1985 to 1999, he was promoted from soldier to hawaldar, making the Kargil Hills the last place of his military duty, and after his martyrdom became Pakistan's highest military honor.

He earned a lot of respect in front of his village and relatives for his social service, philanthropy, and caring for relatives. It took a lot of hard work to get everyone to like him. Whenever he came home, he would see the happiness on my uncle's face. He would slaughter the most special rooster in his stock and arrange food for him. All the relatives heard stories from him. He is also credited with teaching me spelling and encouraging me to study. He was a fourth grader at the time of his last visit. As usual, he insisted on better reading.

In his hometown of Hundur Yaseen, he, along with other like-minded people, founded the Al-Muddad Welfare Organization, which helped the poor. He also worked with high school students in Hundur to facilitate the post office in the area.

He wanted to do a lot for his area but due to limited resources his dreams were not coming true, but his passion was young and his determination was strong that he performed his duty well and won the highest honor of the army. After which a lot of development work took place in the area. The paved road from Ga Hokoch to Hondur was built, schools and colleges were built, various free medical camps were organized in the area and thus much work was done in recognition of the bravery of Lalak Jan Shaheed for the improvement of education, health and communication system. Dedicated to the spirit of social service, Lalak Jan Shaheed is fast asleep in his native village of Hondur. People from all over the country come to Honduras to see his final resting place and to pray at his shrine and to salute his bravery. 

Naveed Hussain

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