In Memorium: Kargil war hero Havaldar Lalak Jan Shaheed, Nishan-e-Haider

Havaldar Lalak Jan Shaheed, Nishan-e-Haider, is the hero who inflicted heavy blows on the enemy in the battle of Kargil.

Be it the 1965 war or the Kargil front, the brave sons of the nation have sacrificed their lives to keep our beloved homeland safe and prosperous. One such example is Havaldar Lalak Jan, who inflicted such a heavy blow on the enemy in the Kargil War that he will be remembered for centuries.

The Ghazar Valley of Kashmir, also known as the Valley of the Martyrs, still resonates with the hymns of Lalak Jan, where he narrated the eternal story of loyalty to his homeland with his blood, the bravery of which was acknowledged by the enemy. In every village and town there, a green crescent flag can be seen over the shrine of the martyrs.

Brave soldier Havaldar Lalak Jan was born on April 1, 1967, in Yasin Tehsil, Ghazar District, Gilgit-Baltistan, in the house of a poor farmer named Niat Jan. Lalak Jan received his early education in his native village of Hundur, Yasin and joined the Pakistan Army in 1984 after completing his middle school education. 

After receiving initial training at the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) Regiment Training Center Bunji, he reported to the 12 NLI in 1985. He had been part of most of the teams in the unit because of his professionalism. His drill, military turn, and physical agility have always been ideal. He played a key role in leading the unit’s commando team to the first position. Proof of his weaponry skills is that he had been stationed at the NLI Regiment Training Center Bunji as a Weapon Training Instructor.

During the battle of Kargil, Havaldar Lalak Jan was visiting his family. When he got the news of the Kargil war, he had six days left until the end of the holiday. Thereby, Lalak Jan asked his father for permission to go to the battlefield and said that although he had six days left till the end of his vacation, he would like to spend the days on the battlefield instead of spending the day at home, and asked his mother to pray for him that he be martyred while defending the country. This wish of Lalak Jan was fulfilled and his father Niat Jan thanked Allah saying that my son sacrificed his blood to irrigate the Gulshan of Pakistan dearer than his own life.

 

Havaldar Lalak Jan emerged as a fearless and brave son of the Northern Light Infantry (NLI). He took such bold steps for the sake of his beloved homeland, an example of which is rarely found in history. As a junior leader, through his bold move, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and repulsed several of their attacks. In the performance of his duties, he spread his mind and body. Lalak Jan, along with a handful of comrades, not only successfully defended his post but also thwarted several enemy attacks and inflicted heavy casualties.

On June 12, 1999, Lalak Jan suddenly launched such a fierce attack that the enemy was forced to retreat leaving their dead bodies behind. In these words, the enemy acknowledged the strong defense of Qadir Post, “No soldier left his post. This is a great example of the defensive warfare that was fought to the last soldier and the last bullet.”

In May 1999, when it became known that the enemy was preparing for a major ground offensive, Havaldar Lalak Jan, who was not on the front line but was performing his duties at the company headquarters, volunteered to fight on the front line. Knowing that the front lines were under attack by the enemy, Havaldar Lalak urged his senior officers to allow him to go to the front lines and fight the enemy at a very difficult hill post.

One night in the last week of June, an enemy battalion stormed the outpost of Havaldar Lalak Jan. During the attack, Havaldar Lalak Jan, ignoring his own life, continued firing from different positions and went to every front to encourage the soldiers. The enemy’s attack continued throughout the night and Lalak Jan thwarted all the intentions of the enemy, by morning the enemy troops had retreated leaving a pile of corpses.

On the second night, after receiving more reinforcements, the enemy again launched an attack from different directions, but Lalak Jan also showed boldness and courage that night and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. On 7th July, the enemy fired a barrage of artillery at Lalak Jan’s post. It rained bullets throughout the day and at night the enemy again attacked Lalak Jan’s post from three sides. Lalak Jan was severely wounded but despite the insistence of the company commander, he remained in his post in a wounded condition and continued to fight the enemy. A reflection of his spirit is still written in the golden pages of history that when Captain Ahmed, seeing the severity of his wounds, ordered him to return, he replied, “I would prefer to meet my Creator, fighting the enemy on the battlefield, rather than to embrace death in a hospital bed.”

Eventually, the brave soldier also thwarted the enemy’s attack, but Havaldar Lalak Jan was martyred on July 7, 1999, while at his post.

In the Kargil War, when the enemy attacked to achieve their nefarious aims, despite the minus 30 temperatures, icy winds, and deadly wounds, the Mujahid showed great courage and fought the enemy with light machine guns for many hours. He inflicted heavy losses but refused to leave the front and stood like a plywood wall in front of the enemy and defended the country which is rarely seen.

The country’s highest military honor, the Nishan-e-Haider, was awarded for his bravery, courage, and passion for martyrdom.

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