Note: This article is written to pay tribute to Major Tufail Muhammad Shaheed (NH) on his 64th martyrdom anniversary.
The second recipient of Nishan-e-Haider, Major Tufail Muhammad Shaheed was born in Hoshiarpur in 1914 and commissioned in the 16 Punjab regiment in 1943. After several instructional and command appointments in his own Battalion and in the Civil Armed Forces, he was posted to the East Pakistan Rifles in 1958 as a Company Commander.
In August, Indian troops captured a village in East Pakistan. Major Tufail divided his men into three groups. It was decided that they would launch the assault during the dark hours of 7th August, electronic channels reported.
He encircled an illegal Indian post, which violated the internationally recognized boundary between the two countries, in the Lakshmipur area.
When the major Tufail group was about fifteen yards from the enemy, they came under heavy fire and three bullets entered the major’s stomach. Despite the shower of blood from his stomach, he kept moving forward and silenced the machine gun with a grenade.
When another enemy machine-gun opened fire, killing his second in command. Major Tufail destroyed that gun too with a well-aimed grenade. During the hand-to-hand encounter that followed. He noticed the commander of the Indian post moving silently to attack one of his men.
Though fatally wounded, Major Tufail crawled towards the enemy commander. He stretched out one of his legs and as the enemy stumbled, he hit him in the face with his steel helmet, thus saving his troop. Major continued directing the operation until the enemy was driven out leaving behind four dead and three prisoners.
Due to the loss of so much blood, Major Tufail fell on the ground, and then got up and said to his officer “I have completed my duty, the enemy is on the run.”. Major Tufail was taken to hospital but he later died the same day, the 7th August 1958. He was awarded Nishan-e-Haider, for his courage and was buried in Burewala.