In Loving Memory of Capt. Omerzeb (Shaheed)

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Since the operation against militants began in April last month, over 1,100 militants had been killed and over 60 soldiers had been martyred so far. Yet I never felt the pain of those dying in the name of their country’s sovereignty against terrorism so excruciating as the martyrdom of my sister’s fiancé.

He was only 24 years old, a month older to me and he was very smart and handsome boy. He loved my sister and she loved him and we all loved him just as much as his own family loved him. He was engaged to my younger sister and they were looking forward to getting married by next year.

On 11th of May, 2009, he was deployed to Lower Dir as part of the Operation ‘Rah-e-Rast’ against Militants in Swat and near-by areas. He left from Rawalpindi and we all prayed for him. We never knew he was leaving forever. Let me narrate to you what happened just 10 hours before he embraced martyrdom – we Muslims call ‘Shahadat..’

It was mid-night – the beginning of the painful 21st May, 2009. He called up my sister and wished her a very happy birthday. The 21st of May was the day when 23 years ago my younger sister came into this world. He sang to her ‘birthday song’ in 6 different languages, he gave her his prayers and told her how bad he feels for not being there with her on her birthday.

He was in Lower Dir and she was here with us in Rawalpindi. She said to him, “I wish you were here on my birthday. I wish I could have celebrated my birthday with you.” And he replied, “Do you want me to come over? Should I come over to Rawalpindi in the morning and we celebrate your birthday together?” She said, yes, please, please do.”

He did come over on her birthday but not the way we wanted him to come over. He didn’t come to her walking on his feet, holding a bouquet in his hands just the way he promised to her last night. Instead, he came on the shoulders of sad soldiers in a box we call a martyr’s coffin! He had been martyred on the 21st of May, 2009 – The very day my sister came into this world, he left this world forever – On my sister’s birthday!

I received a call at around 11:30 in the morning, I was in Islamabad. It was my ill-fated sister and she was crying like a mad woman. She was literally screaming in the phone so I couldn’t understand what she was trying to tell me. I heard something like a blast in Lower Dir, a strip running on a TV channel showing my sister’s fiancé’s name among the martyred. She was hysterical. She wanted me home right away.

I left in panic, I kept praying the news I just heard was false. It took me an hour to reach home from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. I was met with screams of my sister who was out of control of almost everyone. She wasn’t accepting the fact that her love has left her on her birthday. She kept screaming, “You guys are lying to me. He is not dead. He cannot leave me. He promised me to celebrate 93 birthdays with me. This was our first. He can’t leave me on our (her) first birthday, he promised me 93 birthdays together.”

I couldn’t see her like this; I had broken down into tears. My mother was half-living half-dead. We all left for his house. What I saw there, I cannot narrate in words. His mother was still, tears in her eyes, she hugged me and the first thing she said was, “Hold on to your sister, she will die. Take care of her.” I was looking at her. This was the mother of a brave soldier, a soldier who was our loved one, but a soldier who came home on his love’s birthday but not the way any member of his family or mine would have ever imagined or wanted him back.

Even if I want to tell you what my family on the whole and specifically my younger sister is going through, I won’t be able to because there are no words to put down my pain, my family’s loss, his family’s sufferings and most of all my sister’s desolation. Two families were destroyed when one soldier died. 14 hearts wept dry of blood when one heart stopped beating on the 21st of May. All sacrifices in the name of a peaceful, safe, terrorism-free country.

Capt. Omerzeb, like many soldiers sacrificed his life for the greater good of his nation but is the nation even thankful to those families who have been left scarred for life. When sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers die every other day while fighting the militants, how many people in our nation pray for their safety, their long lives, their safe return? They know that when they are sitting in the comforts of their homes, it is these brave men fighting on the borders for them to have that sense of security and comfort.

My heart breaks every time I see my younger sister who has not regained herself so far. Who wakes up in the middle of the night and weeps like a child, who hasn’t eaten in 24 hours, and whose eyes have swollen dry of tears that have drained her off completely. I wish this fight against the militants come to an end soon. Till now every time a soldier died, we thought we felt the pain but no, we couldn’t. Nobody can until your loved one goes away when you are least expecting. Now, I can truly say I know what a martyr’s family goes through when their beloved leaves them forever.

May his soul rest in peace, may all those soldiers who have given their lives for this noble cause, for their country rest in peace. Most of all, the families who have lost their sons, their brothers, their husbands and their fathers, may God give them strength, patience, and peace of heart. I post this true story of a distraught family, of my family, of my loss, of my younger sister’s anguish to pay tribute to the brave Capt. Omerzeb for his valor and all the love that he gave us in whatever little time we spent with him. God bless us all!

19 Comments

Filed under Army, Pakistan

19 responses to “In Loving Memory of Capt. Omerzeb (Shaheed)

  1. Simply no comments. May Allah bless his soul and give patience to the entire family.

  2. yasserlatifhamdani

    My condolences to your family and late Mr. Omarzeb’s family. 24 is too young an age… My heart goes out to your sister.

    The point that must be underscored is that those who continue to root for the Taliban and make excuses for them are traitors, crooks and cranks who must be taken to task.

    May Omarzeb’s blood may strengthen the tree of liberty for all times to come.

  3. Anwar

    Please accept my condolences and best wishes. We experienced something very similar during ZAB’s war in Baluchistan in the 70s..
    Unfortunately, most of the wounds of Pakistan are self-inflicted…
    Regards.

  4. Vijay Goel

    My tears for you

  5. Rana Asim Wajid

    May Allah have mercy on you all

  6. bonobashi

    Very sincere condolences to the bereaved family and the loved ones.

  7. in pain!

    March 24th, 2009

    GHAZIABAD – Army Major Mohit Sharma, who lost his life while fighting terrorists in Kupwara, was cremated here with full military honours on Monday.

    Sharma was killed along with three other soldiers on Sunday in an encounter with the terrorists.

    Major Sharma’s body was taken to Ghaziabad, where hundreds of his relatives, friends and other admirers paid their last tribute.
    “All brave soldiers who laid their life in the line of duty whether in Kashmir or during the Mumbai terror attacks last year, I think they are an irreparable loss. Mohit was the only member of the family who was in the army. There are a lot of young people in the army who looked up to him as a role model and wanted to emulate him,” opined Madhur Sharma, Major Mohit Sharma’s brother.

  8. in pain!

    Please also accept my condolences and best wishes. We experience something very similar in Kashmir ,every month, due to the jihad that pakistan keeps waging on in kashmir.We can feel your pain.

  9. YLH

    No. An army of occupation is not the same as an army fighting to preserve the union.

  10. Sarwar

    I felt your pain and that of your sister. I sobbed uncontrollably and let the tears run down my cheeks. That was my salute to the martyrs and those left behind with deep wounds.

  11. stuka

    There are two issues here.

    1. The Indian Army has lost over 10,000 officers and soldiers since 1989 in Kashmir and Kargil. They have died doing their job. They are morned by the nation and their families, but in silent determination. They have been killed by Jihadis sent over by GHQ Rawalpindi.

    2. Let’s talk about Pakistan. Thousands of Pakistanis have died in the very same Kashmir, fighting to liberate what you call “occupied” territory. These Pakistanis are the Jihadis, hailing from Kashmir, NWFP and Punjab, and they have sacrificed their lives by the thousands for an ideal.

    Whereas I am no defender of the Jehadis, they are at least an enemy that can be respected for they fight and die for what they believe in. How many Pak Army officers have given their lives trying to liberate Kashmir? In fact what exactly has the Pak Army ever done for Pakistan in the post 71 world besides taking over Islamabad every few years?

    I do feel badly for the author and the personal loss he has suffered, but I cannot bring myself to respect the institution of the Pakistan Army.

  12. stuka

    “An army of occupation is not the same as an army fighting to preserve the union.”

    YLH, so you agree that the Jehadis of the Jaish e Mohammad are Patriots who are fighting an Army of Occupation?

  13. bete noire

    YLH is an ultranationalist crook (and the orwellian Big Brother of PTH who seldom tolerates dissent).
    He cannot:
    1.see nehru or maulan azad being praised and not foam at his mouth(ALTERNATELY, he cannot see jinnah being criticized)
    2.allow any comment at PTH which does not go with his viewpoint(he deletes them all, with an excuse”boss, this is sparm”)
    3.he believes in hardcore nepotism(allowing people with poor writing skills topost absurd columns on PTH)
    4.he is wrecking Raza Rumi’s PTH
    5.hamdani boss, i am spending these vacation(which formally began on june 7)reading Animal Farm and 1984 , and i must say You bear striking resemblance with the Big Brother (and perhaps with the pigs of AF)
    6.He also abhors sherryx and simply cant stop abusing/disparaging him
    1.

  14. Baba Ji

    ay puttar hattan tay nahin wikday ………
    madam noor jahan

    I pray for him and his family …..

    the only thorn in my heart is that such a great sacrifice for whom … all the sharabi thugs in Islamabad ?

    May Allah help this country !

  15. Faisal

    Capt OmerZeb was my senior in PMA,Kakul. He was a gem of a person, thorough gentleman and man of his words. Nothing could have teared his smile apart, not even the rigorous training and harsh conditions we used to live in. He was a kind collegue and sincere mentor always there to help us.
    Sir I am proud of the fact that you fullfilled your duty in highest esteem and gained the honour that every brave soldier strives for!!!
    Sir you are the inspiration of thousands of us who are out there to protect our Green land from these beasts. You sacrificed your today for our better tommorow, you would always be remembered and kept alive in our hearts.
    Pakistan Zindabad!

  16. Sajad Hussain

    Asalamalaikum,

    Death comes to us all, god selects his martyrs, they are his chosen ones. The love he shares whith them has no comparisons within this life. Your sister should be strong, her fiance is with those whose souls protect and gaurd our country, our beliefs and our faith.

    May I take this oppertunity as a complete stranger to you and your family and say to you that my heart is full of sorrow. Your suffering is so real I can feel the anguish running through my viens.
    I would like to express to you and your family the most sincere and total respect I have for your fallen hero. He is our hero. You have met him and spent time with him. I have just read this article and have so much love for him that words cannot explain.
    I prey Allah will protect and bless him and that he will walk in the garden where other heros like him walk.
    I prey also that the warmth and love that your story has generated around the world gives a little solace to your sister. Her actions should now be those that her fiance would expect from her; to move on and live life.
    I bid you farewell and prey for your comfort.

  17. ASIM MUHAMMAD KHAN

    May your soul rest inpeace, ameen. u deserve immeasurable gratitude from your country; and great honour that you got martyred while striving for the betterhood of ur parents and sisters. your handsome face teems with love and natural smile. May God grant courage to ur parents that they may tolerate this irreparable shock, ameen.

  18. InSadness

    Capt. Vinay G. was killed in Kashmir by killers sent from Pakistan. He was the only son of his parents. His father died recently after a bitter rest of his life.

    In September 1947 Pakistani army decided to end pathan tribesmen from the NWFP and some junior armymen to enter into Kashmir to force Kashmir into Pakistan. They went about looting and killing approching Srinagar in a few days time. The ruler of Kashmir (with a less equipped old-fashioned army) had no choice but to seek outside help. And the only one who could offer it immediately was India. India sent troops by air and succeeded in staving off the sudden unexpected and treacherous attack and pushing the pak-sent soldateska back to what is now the line of control. Later India promised a referendum in Kashmir but this could not be held for very many reasons (not all of which are of India’s making).

    It was Pakistan that introduced violence in the relationship between the two neighbours. Later Pakistan continued with its attitude of instigating violence in Kashmir for one reason or another. India was not guiltless, but did not start this cycle of violence. Today 60000 have died of violence in Kashmir. It was Pakistan’s policy (and is so even today) to increase the number of dead in Kashmir as an augmentation of its hyper-emotionalized claim of ownership of Kashmir. Indira manipulated elections in Kashmir – that caused anger but no deaths. Pakistan however saw in it the opportunity to convert this anger into violence and bloodshed. Using another persons mistakes, idiocies or sins to increase violence and bloodshed has been pakistani politics.

    However all this (this attitude, this politics, this army style) set and sets into motion forces in Pakistan itself – forces which are now killing pakistanis themselves.

    Somehow 24 year young Omerzeb and his family have paid a terrible price for what Pakistani military big brass started triumphantly in Sept. 1947.

    Violence comes around – you start it and it comes back to haunt you, even destroy you. A religion that wants to increase the number of martyrs only ends getting pseudo-martyrs and hate. A religion that glorifies violence and bloodshed becomes a hated ideology that has no capacity to stop what it started.

  19. Sajjad Abbasi

    Guys it is politicians and Army game to keep fighting going on between two countries so that they can keep on looting and corruption.Now even if in past all these nasty things happen cant wetake a step towards peace and spread good will and peace instead of hatered.Why dont we stop calling each other enemies and start telling our politicians that we want every solution with dialogue.What wars have given us .Poverty .why not to spend that money on educaiton .I know it seems ideal but we have to start .Why dont we promise that we will not call inida and pakistan as enemies rather we will talk positively towards peace.Thanks