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Hilal Her

The Strength Behind The Force

October 2018

And if we don’t come back tell them we have sacrificed our today for their tomorrow…
Pakistan Armed Forces are comprised of men and women, made of steel. They do not hold on to their jobs for the prospects of livelihood, or an easy lifestyle but they are driven by the passion to serve the country and if needed voluntarily choose martyrdom over life. Such a force is invincible that holds no fear of death in their hearts. For the past two decades, while also defending the longest active borders, Pakistan Armed Forces have successfully fought the internal miscreants. While both conventional and unconventional threats, our soldiers and officers have offered unparalleled sacrifices. 
One cannot help but wonder, from where do these soldiers derive this strength and resolve? Alongside other factors, the brave families of these soldiers play a major role. The role of mothers, wives, sisters and daughters is crucial in this saga of courage; they are the invisible soldiers in every combat. These silent soldiers may appear fragile and emotional beings wearing no uniforms but they are an embodiment of spirit of sacrifice. They are a source of strength for the brave soldiers of Pakistan.
No soldier is ever alone. He is someone’s son; a little bundle of joy that filled up the heart of his mother with warmth and love. He is someone’s brother; warden and protector of the dreams of his sister. He is someone’s fiancé; harbinger of dreams and prospects for the future life. He is someone’s husband; a promise for a lifetime of love and care. He is someone’s father; a shielding parasol from atrocities of life, a guardian angel, a hero and a mentor to help them nurture and flourish in life. So many men and women are weaved together in the thread of the family, knotted by the one who wears the uniform.
It is sheer courage to stand in the valley of bullets, but it is equally courageous to let your son go to face those bullets. It is an act of extreme valor to challenge the adversary behind the enemy lines, but it needs equal valor to see your brother off on such a mission. It needs commitment to assault through a minefield, but it is also heroism to let your husband saunter a mortal peril. In a nutshell, heroism, sacrifices and commitment of our women in any relation to the soldiers of Pakistan are matchless and praiseworthy.
For charging in to a battlefield or embarking on a mission, why do our soldiers volunteer? Why is every soldier so focused and resolute in his responsibility that he never dreads the thought of leaving his old mother alone at home for the rest of her life? Why does our soldier not hesitate when he knows his wife is expecting their baby and needs him at home than thousands of miles away on the frontline? Why is our soldier not worried to think of his children growing up without a father? Why our man in uniform does not falter thinking his fiancé was ready to put henna on her hands preparing for their wedding and instead of henna, he is prepared to color the soil with his blood. Why a brother, a son, a husband and a father never commit suicide, never give in to the temptations of life and dither in his deliverance of duty to the country?
Pakistan Armed Forces operate beyond the common norms of professional obligations alone. There is no word or phrase to define the spirit and commitment of a soldier and his family. When he leaves home for the battlefield, he is encouraged by his father to return with honor. While leaving home, his mother blesses him with the prayers of glory. She raises his spirits to never take the bullet on his back and return home if not alive, then with bullets on his chest, facing the danger bravely and embracing shahadat with open arms. The soldier is embraced by his children and amidst the goodbyes; he is reminded by his son and daughter to fight like a superman.
When leaving home, he is assured by his wife that they will be okay no matter what, and that he should just defend the borders and safeguard our homeland, despite the fact that she knows what it means to her if he doesn’t come back alive. She will be a widow to carry herself and will have to look after her children alone. She understands that she will be a single parent and will be a father and a mother both to her children and life will be a long, tiring and lonesome journey.
The emotional commotion of the moment when a mother, a wife and children are given the news of a shahadat, the folded flag with the rank pips and the uttered words ‘Mubarak ho’ is unimaginable. The moment is filled with tumultuous mélange of many emotions; the pain of loss, the agony of death, the unlimited train of thought of a future without a beloved, the pride of shahadat, the pride of being a close one to a hero, the pride of being the motivation and strength of the gallant, the pride of legacy of bravery, the pride of being a mother to give birth to such a son, a beloved wife to such a husband and a daughter to be the darling of such a father. What substance are these women made of?  Of course, their commitment to the country surpasses all worldly concerns.
There are countless stories immersed in the pain of loss and ultimate bravery of Pakistani women written with the blood of the soldiers of Pakistan Army. These women are not only the motivation and force behind the Shuhada of Pakistan Armed Forces, but are exhibiting a great deal of courage in taking care of the Ghazis, too. The injured ones in the battlefield face a difficult life ahead; some are disabled for life and some go through extensive medical treatments. Their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are tending day and night to make these soldiers come back to life. We salute this strength-behind-the-force who have given new meaning to courage, devotion and patriotism…