LAHORE (Web Desk) – Nishan e Haider, an award conferred upon valiant soldiers to honour their services got a new addition in it’s recipients list and the fortunate soldier is Naik Saif Ali Janjua.
Naik Saif Ali Janjua of 18th Azad Kashmir Regiment (Army Number: 68275) began to appear in GHQ documents in recent years and as of September 6, 2016.
Inter-Services Public Relations(ISPR) has started printing his profile on various advertisements as well, along with other Nishan-e-Haider(s).
Saif Ali Janjua enlisted in British Army during World War II in Royal British Engineers and after 6 years of service, joined Pakistan Army at the time of partition.
His first official duty after his joining was establishing a ‘Haideri Force’ for defence of Kashmir, a task which was completed successfully by July 1948.
Moreover, he was involved in frequent skirmishes against the invading Indian Army and first saw combat in September-October 1947, Dunya Blogs stated.
Saif Ali Janjua was then promoted to Naik in the fall of 1947 and was given the command of Platoon-I of B-Company, a distinction for the rank of Naik.
The platoon was given responsibility to defend Peer Kalewa ridge. On night of October 25th 1948, Indian Army launched offensive in the area with a force of an infantry brigade (5th Infantry Brigade) with assorted tanks and with Indian Air Force (IAF) providing direct support for the ground assault.
Continuous artillery barrage followed by tanks initially over-ran the line of defence and Naik Saif Ali Janjua’s outfit was isolated from the battalion. The encirclement, however, did not deter the soldiers’ resolve as they put on a brave performance despite being outnumbered. The first waves of attack lasted for more than 10 hours, extending up to afternoon of October 26th.
Naik Saif Ali Janjua himself fired bursts from his Light Machine Gun (LMG) and kept enemy at bay for hours as Indian casualties mounted. It is reported that a low flying aircraft of IAF was also damaged, which later downed inside territory of Pakistan by effective marksmanship of Naik Saif Janjua.
Naik Saif Ali Janjua, while manning his position atop Pir Kaleva at Mehndhar Sector, got hit directly by an artillery round and embraced martyrdom on spot on October 26, 1948. Nothing short of direct hit from an artillery barrage could have stopped Naik Saif from carrying out his duties.
Naik Saif Ali Janjua was awarded Hilal-e-Kashmir, the highest gallantry award of AK, by Defence Council of Azad Kashmir in March 12, 1949. As per gazette notification(No.1/18/D/25/91) by Government of Pakistan, Naik Saif Janjua has been declared equivalent to other Nishan-e-Haider(s) of Pakistan.
As per orders of Government of Pakistan, recipients of Hilal-e-Kashmir have been given equivalence to Nishan-e-Haider. The only person to be awarded the highest gallantry award of Azad Kashmir(AK) is Naik Saif Ali Janjua, technically the 11th recipient of Nishan-e-Haider.
Following is the picture of the grave of undaunted soldier at Nakyal, Azad Kashmir: