The name of this gentleman is Mian Ijaz Ahmad. His legendary love with the Army in general and passionate association with the Regt of Arty in particular, is fondly known by many in the Armed Forces. He is known to the common soldier and high-ranking military officers alike. In recognition of his unflinching love for the Army, his emotions and feelings were reduced to writing in weekly “Hilal” of March 20, 1979. His physical relationship with 77 Fd Regt Arty is spread over 31 long years and it would be a Herculean task to encompass each and every moment of his devotion but following paragraphs would reflect in nutshell the beginning of this moment.
It was in the month of Ramzan (November 1971) that Mian Ijaz Ahmad, finding from some local friends, that an Arty Regt was camping in Malik Bagh, Shahdra, went there. He carried few packets of edibles as Aftari for the Troops and enquired the way in from R.P. at the entrance of the Camp. He was taken to the CO of Regt Lt. Col. (Late) Syed Shaukat Ali Wasti, who got so impressed from the devotion and patriotism of this fragile young man that he accepted his Aftari for the officers/jawans. However, the CO advised
Mian Ijaz Ahmad not to bring any thing for the troops in future. At this, Mian Ijaz Ahmad could not control his emotions and burst into tears and told the CO that he was a very ordinary businessman but he could sacrifice anything for the Army poised to defend the motherland. He once again requested that he be not denied the opportunity to shower small favours on the soldiers of God. The emotions of a true Pakistani, springing from the core of his heart, moved the CO and other officers and they allowed him to visit the unit again.
After a few days, 77 Fd Regt Arty moved from the Conc Area to the battle zone of Maqboolpur Sector, Kala Khatai. The war started and guns from both sides started vomiting fire. This newly raised unit got deeply involved in active operations and the complete zone became hot and almost a no go area for the civilians. But this terrible situation could not deter the courage of Mian Ijaz Ahmad. He would be shuttling between Lahore and Maqboolpur Sector in his vintage VW, which he still keeps, come by shelling, come air bombing by enemy and come CB by Indians, Mian Ijaz Ahmad was present among troops to lift their morale with operationally required items e.g. torches, battery cells, stationery etc. Day in and day out this small stature but a lion hearted man, beyond all imaginations of bravery, showed up on the battlefront, imbued with patriotic madness.
Very few would know how much this brave man suffered on account of the tragedy of the dismemberment of East Pakistan. The stock waves of the trauma left him half-dead. He gave up all comforts of life. To mention few, he gave up wearing western dress and bought “Khaddar” shalwar kameez for himself, started sleeping on the floor and made a promise to himself that he would continue this routine till such time the prisoners of war came back. Finally, on the repatriation of POWS Mian Ijaz Ahmad presented approximately 7000 gift packets to Corps HQ and HQ Arty 10 Div for POWS.
From 1971 todate, wherever 77 Fd Regt Arty moved Mian Ijaz Ahmad showed up. He went to the height of rugged mountains and blazing deserts to pay homage to Officers and Jawans, especially during the month of Ramzan. This continued relationship, through thick and thin, has raised the stature of Mian Ijaz Ahmad in hearts of rank and life of 77 Fd Regt Arty. In his physical absence from the unit his presentations in the shape of various shields, paintings of unit SHAHEEDS, shamianas and many a more gifts provide a never ending courage and renewed dedication to the Officers and Jawans alike to come upto the expectations of the motherland and this living legend of courage, devotion and patriotism.
In recognition of his services an article on his personality and deeds was published in “Hilal”. Late Gen. Zia-ul-Haq Chief of the Army Staff gave him a letter of appreciation. This was followed by a letter of appreciation by the Arty Dte, GHQ Rawalpindi. 77 Fd Regt Arty and Commander Arty forwarded a comprehensive case to GHQ recommending him as Hony. Colonel of 77 Fd Regt Arty in August, 1981. Maj Gen Muhammad Afzal Khan SI (M) TI (M) MGA, Arty Dte, GHQ in this connection bestowed upon him the shield of Arty Dte and declare him Friend of Arty.
Although through few letters of appreciation and shields some gratitude has been shown, yet this brave patriot merits much more appreciation and honour to set a trend in the society for many others who might be thinking of taking a step forward. Let us show them the light to follow the footprints of Mian Ijaz Ahmad and cement the foundations of Pakistan to secure the lofty structure of motherland, which needs many more Mian Ijaz Ahmad’s to come forward.
posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, October 19, 2013,
خالد نعیم الدین said...
بہترین ۔ ایک پاکستانی کی پاکستان فوج کے ساتھ محبت کی بہترین مثال ۔
Munir Ahmed said...
Great man, Mian Ijaz. I served in 77 Fd & witness the love & affection for army.Had long association with Mian Ijaz & his entire family since 1990. God bless the departed soul. Ameen. Major Munir Ahmed.
May ALLAH Bless the soul of Mian Ijaz Ahmad. I cherish every moment of my association with Mian Sahib, the most patriotic Pakistani I ever came across. Despite meager resources at his disposal, he had always donated and had never requested any favour. I salute Mian Sahib. May ALLAH Grant us character to emulate his great deeds. Aameen! His contribution is valuable in terms of setting the trend; many Mian Sahibs have come up whose dedication will further cement the foundations of our Motherland, INSHA ALLAH.
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