What's new

Featured OP-ED: War Days, finding an unlikely ally

jaibi

SENIOR MODERATOR
Nov 15, 2012
3,421
107
6,816
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
War Days: Finding an unlikely ally
soldiers five-martyred-pak-army-soldiers-laid-to-rest-in-their-hometowns-1564322689-5131.png

This is one of the most interesting things I’ve experienced; I shall try to tell the story as accurately as I can without revealing any sensitive details. Hopefully one day we shall revisit and write names, locations and make it useful for future generations to learn from it.

It is said that Alexander the Great had the toughest time when he was in our region. On the inquiries of his mother about why his letters were filled with such agitation, he sent her some soil from South Asia, I believe present day Afghanistan, in pots and asked his mother to spread it across her palace. Within three days there were a number of murders around her and she informed her son who replied with something akin to, 'see mother, even the soil here is hostile'.

Eons have passed but the ever changing yet somehow never changing region remains the same and a young nation faced the same undeniable destruction that this soil is capable of head on. The only difference was that this time the men facing that chaos were products of the same soil. However, as you shall soon discover, this isn’t just reserved for the men and women of the region but extends beyond them.

In a ruggedly mountainous area where the echoes of gun fire and wails of dying men were common, a regimental unit of the Pakistan Army was holding the area. The only semblances of civilization here were the makeshift bunkers around them, some caves which were serving as offices and some tents - otherwise it was a sea of dust, rocks and unknown death as the enemy would sneak around them and unleash their fury at random. Day or night, it would take a single whiff of the soil jumping in front of you and you’d know that someone was aiming for you, take cover, figure out where they are and fire back. At other times, the deadly wails of the wind being broken by the rebellious mountains reaching for the heavens would be interrupted by the unholy screams of mortar fire.

This is how it went, day in and day out, relentless and uncaring for what you felt, who you had to see when you returned, or what rank you wore. War is a great equalizer and a brutal kick of reality to whatever notions you hold about the world around you.

There were other demons that haunted you as you patrolled the endless sea of hostility in your armor. Sometimes it was an inconspicuous pile of debris around you, sometimes a wire not much thicker than the width of a human hair somewhere around you being tripped, accompanied by the sound of a small 'click' and followed by a massive explosion that would send deadly shrapnel in every direction. This would go on day in and day out, as men snapped their necks in the direction of the explosion and at times could only pray that you got out in time, and that they would not have to be the ones to tell your family that you had joined the eternal existence of men forged by war.

There are no cellphones, there is no television, there are no distractions and yet these men stand tall day in and day out and still manage to smile.

It is in these trying times that the only comfort for you becomes the food you eat. Believe me, no five star hotel or Michelin star chef can beat the taste of food that comforts you during battle. As often happens that men try to mimic the taste that reminds them of home, their mothers, their sisters or their wives as they cook and tell stories to each other as they eat.
soldiers182939_463904997041327_106779166_n.jpg

That is not just something that is reserved for the men as there were feral dogs around who would often get the left overs as there were no refrigerators. The procedure was to bury the food but the young officers there designated some area for the feral dogs because the enemy had blended with the environment - the field dictates procedures more than any paper or manual ever can. This is the first thing you learn when you are actually at war.

The first time the unit realized something had changed was when in the middle of the night the pack of the feral dogs started barking non-stop near the camp sites. They would not stop and appeared aggressively barking at a particular direction. They did not let the men fall asleep and that was enough because an ambush was coming.

From then on the dogs considered the unit to be a part of their pack and would accompany them during patrolling, often sniffing out IEDs. It turns out the most unexpected tide had turned. The connection that the men felt towards these dogs was moving, one of them even said, ‘Sir, they have saved lives.’

In the most desolate hours, it appears, a good deed comes back in multiples.
soldiers pic_1572087697.jpg

Dedicated to the warriors of a very ancient and proud land, men or otherwise.
@dbc @PanzerKiel @Joe Shearer @That Guy @ghazi52 @aziqbal @bratava
@Casus Belli @dbc @F.O.X @forcetrip @Hakan @haviZultan @Indos @KAL-EL @MilSpec @Mugwop @Munir @Neutron @S.U.R.B. @siegecrossbow @Signalian @SpArK @TOPGUN @TruthSeeker @vostok

@Ark_Angel @CommandEleven @CPGS @denel @Desertfalcon @GlobalVillageSpace @Quwa @RadioactiveFriends @TheMightyBender @Tps43

@Aamir Hussain @ajpirzada @araz @Awesome @Chak Bamu @Dazzler @Dubious @EagleEyes @ThePatriotReport @UnitedPak @T-Faz @Sapper @roadrunner @RescueRanger @Rafael @Pfpilot @notorious_eagle @niaz @muse @mean_bird @Manticore @Kasrkin @Jungibaaz @Jabar 1 @Icarus @HRK @Elmo @Emmie @fatman17 @Awesome
 
Last edited by a moderator:

YeBeWarned

ELITE MEMBER
Sep 25, 2016
16,705
11
23,834
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
There is general idea in society that Fauji eats a lot, but they don't, Once i get a chance to eat with them not in field of course but like some dhaba , their body language during eating reflect the disciplined training they might get in their academy its funny but also awesome :D

another thing i must mentioned here, I have that misconception that young officers of Major or above ranks might have some sort of Arrogance in their attitude towards civilians , but they are as humble as the colonel level or higher.

@jaibi would you like to hear about my experience with army officers and personnel ? I can write about it ( of course censoring some details ) but I am not good at story telling haha
 
Last edited:

RealNapster

SENIOR MEMBER
May 6, 2015
5,737
5
10,753
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
another thing i must mentioned here, I have that misconception that young officers of Major or above ranks might have some sort of Arrogance in their attitude towards civilians , but they are as humble as the colonel level or higher
I have seen both sides of major rank individuals. I saw one really calm and friendly major (my classmate) and one major who was really arrogant and egoistic who thought one he knows everything. Everyone else is aeve.

But then we have these two types in almost every gathering, every work area even in every home. So no issue there
 

bhola record

FULL MEMBER
Jul 22, 2020
230
0
342
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
I have seen both sides of major rank individuals. I saw one really calm and friendly major (my classmate) and one major who was really arrogant and egoistic who thought one he knows everything. Everyone else is aeve.

But then we have these two types in almost every gathering, every work area even in every home. So no issue there
i met a general two years back and man that was one of the most humble human i have ever seen
 

jaibi

SENIOR MODERATOR
Nov 15, 2012
3,421
107
6,816
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Loads of bullets, brother, ambush only works if you can surprise your enemy. The dogs made such a ruckus that no one was asleep so they were ready to take them head on
how was the ambush repulsed?
Sure. The public perception is not really accurate and the people in uniform don't really like to open up about our inner workings as a culture because I think in a way it's really amusing to see how wild the ideas people get.
There is general idea in society that Fauji eats a lot, but they don't, Once i get a chance to eat with them not in field of course but like some dhaba , their body language during eating reflect the disciplined training they might get in their academy its funny but also awesome :D

another thing i must mentioned here, I have that misconception that young officers of Major or above ranks might have some sort of Arrogance in their attitude towards civilians , but they are as humble as the colonel level or higher.

@jaibi would you like to hear about my experience with army officers and personnel ? I can write about it ( of course censoring some details ) but I am not good at story telling haha
Thank you, brother, I would love to narrate the tales of the brave maybe one day I shall be remembered as a historian when our children read up on how it was back then :)
Wonderfully narrated @jaibi sahib.

You have a real knack for story telling.
 

masterchief_mirza

SENIOR MEMBER
Apr 29, 2019
7,376
15
15,724
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Loads of bullets, brother, ambush only works if you can surprise your enemy. The dogs made such a ruckus that no one was asleep so they were ready to take them head on

Sure. The public perception is not really accurate and the people in uniform don't really like to open up about our inner workings as a culture because I think in a way it's really amusing to see how wild the ideas people get.

Thank you, brother, I would love to narrate the tales of the brave maybe one day I shall be remembered as a historian when our children read up on how it was back then :)
Another excellent addition to your memoirs....

We look forward to more such tales.

And whenever it's no longer a threat to national security, we want to know the names of the dogs.
 

YeBeWarned

ELITE MEMBER
Sep 25, 2016
16,705
11
23,834
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Sure. The public perception is not really accurate and the people in uniform don't really like to open up about our inner workings as a culture because I think in a way it's really amusing to see how wild the ideas people get.
Wil write about it and tag you :)
 

Desert Fox 1

FULL MEMBER

New Recruit

Aug 11, 2020
58
0
100
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
It is said that Alexander the Great had the toughest time when he was in our region. On the inquiries of his mother about why his letters were filled with such agitation, he sent her some soil from South Asia, I believe present day Afghanistan, in pots and asked his mother to spread it across her palace. Within three days there were a number of murders around her and she informed her son who replied with something akin to, 'see mother, even the soil here is hostile'.
a great read indeed
i think it was the area around beas(hydaspes)against the armies of porus
 

Bouncer

FULL MEMBER
May 31, 2014
999
1
1,033
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
i think it was the area around beas(hydaspes)against the armies of porus
If I am not wrong, I think the precise location of this battle was somewhere around the modern area of Mandi Bahauddin? People of Mandi Bahauddin are anything but treacherous as Alexander makes them out to be.
 

Krptonite

FULL MEMBER
Jun 5, 2018
718
2
897
Country
India
Location
India
War Days: Finding an unlikely ally
View attachment 679354
This is one of the most interesting things I’ve experienced; I shall try to tell the story as accurately as I can without revealing any sensitive details. Hopefully one day we shall revisit and write names, locations and make it useful for future generations to learn from it.

It is said that Alexander the Great had the toughest time when he was in our region. On the inquiries of his mother about why his letters were filled with such agitation, he sent her some soil from South Asia, I believe present day Afghanistan, in pots and asked his mother to spread it across her palace. Within three days there were a number of murders around her and she informed her son who replied with something akin to, 'see mother, even the soil here is hostile'.

Eons have passed but the ever changing yet somehow never changing region remains the same and a young nation faced the same undeniable destruction that this soil is capable of head on. The only difference was that this time the men facing that chaos were products of the same soil. However, as you shall soon discover, this isn’t just reserved for the men and women of the region but extends beyond them.

In a ruggedly mountainous area where the echoes of gun fire and wails of dying men were common, a regimental unit of the Pakistan Army was holding the area. The only semblances of civilization here were the makeshift bunkers around them, some caves which were serving as offices and some tents - otherwise it was a sea of dust, rocks and unknown death as the enemy would sneak around them and unleash their fury at random. Day or night, it would take a single whiff of the soil jumping in front of you and you’d know that someone was aiming for you, take cover, figure out where they are and fire back. At other times, the deadly wails of the wind being broken by the rebellious mountains reaching for the heavens would be interrupted by the unholy screams of mortar fire.

This is how it went, day in and day out, relentless and uncaring for what you felt, who you had to see when you returned, or what rank you wore. War is a great equalizer and a brutal kick of reality to whatever notions you hold about the world around you.

There were other demons that haunted you as you patrolled the endless sea of hostility in your armor. Sometimes it was an inconspicuous pile of debris around you, sometimes a wire not much thicker than the width of a human hair somewhere around you being tripped, accompanied by the sound of a small 'click' and followed by a massive explosion that would send deadly shrapnel in every direction. This would go on day in and day out, as men snapped their necks in the direction of the explosion and at times could only pray that you got out in time, and that they would not have to be the ones to tell your family that you had joined the eternal existence of men forged by war.

There are no cellphones, there is no television, there are no distractions and yet these men stand tall day in and day out and still manage to smile.

It is in these trying times that the only comfort for you becomes the food you eat. Believe me, no five star hotel or Michelin star chef can beat the taste of food that comforts you during battle. As often happens that men try to mimic the taste that reminds them of home, their mothers, their sisters or their wives as they cook and tell stories to each other as they eat.
View attachment 679355
That is not just something that is reserved for the men as there were feral dogs around who would often get the left overs as there were no refrigerators. The procedure was to bury the food but the young officers there designated some area for the feral dogs because the enemy had blended with the environment - the field dictates procedures more than any paper or manual ever can. This is the first thing you learn when you are actually at war.

The first time the unit realized something had changed was when in the middle of the night the pack of the feral dogs started barking non-stop near the camp sites. They would not stop and appeared aggressively barking at a particular direction. They did not let the men fall asleep and that was enough because an ambush was coming.

From then on the dogs considered the unit to be a part of their pack and would accompany them during patrolling, often sniffing out IEDs. It turns out the most unexpected tide had turned. The connection that the men felt towards these dogs was moving, one of them even said, ‘Sir, they have saved lives.’

In the most desolate hours, it appears, a good deed comes back in multiples.
View attachment 679356
Dedicated to the warriors of a very ancient and proud land, men or otherwise.
@dbc @PanzerKiel @Joe Shearer @That Guy @ghazi52 @aziqbal @bratava
@Casus Belli @dbc @F.O.X @forcetrip @Hakan @haviZultan @Indos @KAL-EL @MilSpec @Mugwop @Munir @Neutron @S.U.R.B. @siegecrossbow @Signalian @SpArK @TOPGUN @TruthSeeker @vostok

@Ark_Angel @CommandEleven @CPGS @denel @Desertfalcon @GlobalVillageSpace @Quwa @RadioactiveFriends @TheMightyBender @Tps43

@Aamir Hussain @ajpirzada @araz @Awesome @Chak Bamu @Dazzler @Dubious @EagleEyes @ThePatriotReport @UnitedPak @T-Faz @Sapper @roadrunner @RescueRanger @Rafael @Pfpilot @notorious_eagle @niaz @muse @mean_bird @Manticore @Kasrkin @Jungibaaz @Jabar 1 @Icarus @HRK @Elmo @Emmie @fatman17 @Awesome
That made for a very immersive read. You've got a knack for good story telling.
 

Desert Fox 1

FULL MEMBER

New Recruit

Aug 11, 2020
58
0
100
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
If I am not wrong, I think the precise location of this battle was somewhere around the modern area of Mandi Bahauddin? People of Mandi Bahauddin are anything but treacherous as Alexander makes them out to be.
Mandi Bahauddin and Jehlum etc were all under the division of Gujrat which has both chenab on one side and jehlum on the other thus Gujrat region will be the most precise region because the battle between Alexander and Porus was not a large and absolute one but it was a fluid one with a number of skirmishes with Alexander trying to cross the river and outflank porus but it was porus' great understanding of Alexander's tactics that he avoided an absolute battle and hence he carried the day. The people often say that Alexander won but they say with reference to Alexander's own court historian whoose sole purpose would be to please the king
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Top