Pakistan has produced countless war heroes who demonstrated unbelievable bravery and sacrifice in defending their homeland. These extraordinary individuals, from various branches of the armed forces, have left a remarkable mark on the nation’s history. In this article, we pay tribute to the top 10 war heroes of Pakistan, who displayed immense courage and devotion to duty, even at the cost of their lives.
1. Maj. Aziz Bhatti
Major Aziz Bhatti was a brave and decorated officer in the Pakistan Army. In his early life, he was born on April 10, 1928, in Hong Kong. He later migrated to Pakistan and joined the military.
One of the highlighting moments in his life was his exceptional bravery during the 1965 Indo-Pak War. Major Bhatti was stationed at the Burki sector in Lahore when India launched an attack. Despite being heavily outnumbered and under constant enemy fire, he displayed immense courage and determination, holding his post and defending his position for five days.
During this intense battle, Major Aziz Bhatti suffered serious injuries but continued to lead his troops with unwavering dedication. Sadly, on September 12, 1965, he was martyred while protecting his country’s borders.
2. Pilot Rashid Minhas
Rashid Minhas was a young and valiant Pakistan Air Force pilot. In his early life, he was born on February 17, 1951, in Karachi, Pakistan. He was passionate about aviation from a young age.
One of the highlighting moments in his life was when he sacrificed his life to save his country’s honor. On August 20, 1971, at the age of 20, Minhas thwarted an attempted hijacking of a plane by a senior officer who wanted to defect to India. Instead of allowing the plane to be taken, Minhas took control and crashed the aircraft to prevent it from being used against Pakistan. This act of bravery made him the youngest recipient of the Nishan-e-Haider, Pakistan’s highest military award.
3. Captain Karnal Sher Khan
Captain Karnal Sher Khan was a courageous and revered Pakistani military officer who displayed exceptional bravery and leadership. He was born in Nawan Kili, Swabi District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. He joined the Pakistan Army and was commissioned into the 27th Sindh Regiment. Captain Karnal Sher Khan’s defining moment came during the Kargil conflict in 1999 between India and Pakistan.
He fearlessly led his troops against the Indian forces in the mountainous area. Tragically, Captain Karnal Sher Khan embraced martyrdom during the battle, but his legacy of bravery and sacrifice continues to inspire generations of Pakistanis. In recognition of his extraordinary bravery, he was awarded Nishan-e-Haider.
4. Major Tufail Muhammad
Major Tufail Muhammad was a Pakistani military officer, known for his bravery in the army. He was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, British India (now in India). After the partition of India in 1947, his family moved to Pakistan, where Major Tufail Muhammad joined the Pakistan Army. He served in the East Pakistan Rifles (now known as Border Guard Bangladesh) and was stationed in the Rajshahi District of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
In 1958, during a counter-insurgency operation against anti-state elements, Major Tufail Muhammad displayed exceptional bravery. He fearlessly confronted armed rivals but was tragically hit by a burst of machine-gun fire. Despite being critically injured, he continued to lead his troops, sacrificing his life for the safety of his men.
5. Captain Muhammad Sarwar
Captain Muhammad Sarwar was a brave Pakistani military officer, renowned for his extreme love for his country. He was born in Singhori village, Rawalpindi District, Punjab, Pakistan. In his early life, he demonstrated a strong sense of duty and patriotism, which led him to join the Pakistan Army. Captain Muhammad Sarwar was commissioned into the Punjab Regiment, where he served with full heart.
During the 1948 Indo-Pak War, he played a pivotal role in the liberation of Kashmir. He led his troops with exceptional bravery. He was martyred during the conflict, displaying remindable bravery until his last breath.
6. Major Muhammad Akram
Major Muhammad Akram was a celebrated and fearless Pakistani military officer, known for his exceptional leadership and bravery. He was born in Dinga, Gujrat District, Punjab, Pakistan. From an early age, he wanted to join the Pakistan Army. Major Muhammad Akram was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment, where he served with utmost dedication. During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, he played a crucial role in defending the country’s borders. He led his troops skillfully against the enemy.
He embraced martyrdom during a fierce battle, but his sacrifice ensured the defense of his post until the end. As a result, he was awarded Pakistan’s highest military award.
7. Lance Naik Muhammad Mehfooz
Lance Naik Muhammad Mehfooz was a revered and brave Pakistani soldier, known for his exceptional commitment to his country. He hailed from Sialkot, Punjab, Pakistan. From a young age, he was full of bravery. Lance Naik Muhammad Mehfooz served in the Azad Kashmir Regiment, where he proved himself as a brave soldier. During the Kargil conflict in 1999 between India and Pakistan, he played a remarkable role in defending Pakistan’s borders. He fearlessly faced the enemy’s advances and inflicted heavy casualties on the opposing forces. At Last, he embraced martyrdom, but his heroic actions recognized him as a national war hero.
8. Major Shabbir Sharif
Major Shabbir Sharif was a Pakistani military officer, known for his courage. He was the brother of Pakistani Army General Major Raheel Sharif. He was born on 28 April 1943 in Kunjah which is a small town in Gujrat. On 19 April 1961, he was commissioned into the Pakistan Army, and after successfully completing his training, for which he was given the Sword of Honor, he was assigned to the 6th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment. He was a part of the 1971 Indo-Pak War. He fought bravely against the enemy. But unfortunately was hit by the tank of the enemy.
He was honored by the Pakistan army for his bravery. He is the only army person to receive both Nishan-e-Haider and Sitara-e-Jurat.
9. Havaldar Lalak Jan
Havaldar Lalak Jan was a Pakistan Army soldier from the Northern Light Infantry unit. Lalak Jan was born on April 1, 1967, in Yasin, Gilgit-Baltistan, in the Gupis-Yasin District. He joined the Pakistan Army on December 10, 1984, after finishing his studies, and finally attained the rank of Havaldar. When the Kargil War began, Lalak Jan was a member of the Northern Light Infantry (NLI). In May 1999, he volunteered to be sent to the front lines. His station was attacked by the Indian Army many times in late 1999, but he successfully repelled them. He passed away on July 7, 1999, after suffering terrible injuries from heavy weaponry.
For his remarkable bravery, he was awarded Pakistan’s highest military award.
10. Naik Saif Ali Janjua
Saif Ali Janjua was a Pakistan Army non-commissioned officer of the Azad Kashmir Regiment who had previously served in the British India Army for four years during World War II. He joined the Pakistan Army following the partition of British India and served as a Platoon Commander during the 1947-1948 Indo-Pakistani War. On January 1, 1948, he founded the Haidri Force with the backing of Sardar Fateh Muhammad Karailvi.
As of June 2023, he was the sole winner of the government of Azad Kashmir’s Hilal-e-Kashmir honor, which was afterward deemed the equivalent of the Nishan-e-Haider, the highest military award. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-1948, he fought in Kashmir and died during the siege of Bhudha Khanna.
These war heroes epitomize the indomitable spirit and selfless devotion of Pakistan’s armed forces. Their sacrifice for the country serves as a reminder of the invaluable contributions made by our brave soldiers. As we remember and honor these heroes, let us also pay tribute to all the men and women who continue to protect Pakistan’s borders with unwavering dedication and valor. Their bravery and sacrifices will forever be etched in the annals of Pakistan’s history, inspiring generations to come.