Major Tufail Muhammed Shaheed (Nishan e Haider): Brave Son of Pakistan
Major Tufail Muhammed Shaheed (1914 – August 7, 1958) was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab (India). In 1943, Tufail Muhammed got commissioned in the 16 Punjab Regiment of Indian Army. After the independence of Pakistan, Tufail Muhammed was transferred to Pakistan Army. During his distinguished career he served at various command and staff appointments in the Army.
In 1958, Major Tufail Muhammed was posted to East Pakistan as the Company Commander of a battalion of East Pakistan Rifles (a Para military force for border security). During his command, Indian troops violating international borders captured a village in the area of Laskhmipur of East Pakistan. On August 7, 1958 Major Tufail launched an assault to force withdrawal of Indian troops from the village; He divided his men in to three groups and attacked Indian troops during the dark hours of August 7th. Their groups was able to reach enemy without being detected but as the firefight started, the group came under heavy fire and Major Tufail received three bullets in his stomach. Despite being shot in stomach, he kept moving and was able to silence the incoming fire from machine gun. By tactically using grenades, Major Tufail was able to destroy key enemy posts. When he saw enemy commander inflicting heavy casualties to his men he crawled towards enemy posting and engaged enemy in hand-to-hand battle which resulted in killing of commander of the Indian Army. He killed him by hitting him his steel helmet on the face. He continued the operation with his men which resulted in withdrawal of Indian forces. Despite being heavily injured, he called his junior officer “I have completed my duty; the enemy is on the run.” He was rushed to hospital but he embraced shahadat.
Major Muhammed Tufail was buried with full mitialry honors in his native city Burewala. His native town has been named after him and is now known as Tufailabad. Major Muhammed Tufail was posthumously awarded Nishan-e-Haider and he is the only person to get this award for an action outside the Indo-Pak wars.
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