Raja Aziz Bhatti
Raja Abdul-Aziz Bhatti
|Died||12 September 1965
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
|Years of service||1948–1965 (Pakistan Army)|
|Rank||Major (Pakistan Army)|
|Unit||17 Punjab Regiment (Pakistan Army)|
|Battles/wars||Indo-Pakistani War of 1965|
Sword of Honour
Major Raja Abdul-Aziz Bhatti (Urdu: راجہ عزیز بھٹی; 1928 – 12 September 1965) usually known as Aziz Bhatti was a Staff officer in the Pakistan Army who received Pakistan's highest award for valor. He is also known as "Muhafiz-e-Lahore" (Protector of Lahore). He was born in Hong Kong to a Punjabi Muslim Malik family in 1928. He moved to Pakistan before it became independent in 1947, living in the village of Ladian, Kharian, Gujrat. There he enlisted with the newly formed Pakistani Army and was commissioned to the Punjab Regiment in 1950.
Early life and Military career
He was from a Punjabi Rajput family. His father's name was Abdullah Bhatti, and his mother's name was Bibi Amana. He had four brothers, Nazir, Bashir, Sardar and Rashid, and two sisters, Rashida and Tahira. His brother Bashir was killed during the Second World War by the Japanese while leaving Hong Kong. He had initially joined the Pakistan Air Force as Airman and later applied for commission in the Pakistan Army. He himself had six children, four sons named Major Zafar Javed Bhatti, Dr. Zulfiquar Ahmad Bhatti, Rafique Ahmad Bhatti, and Iqbal Javed Bhatti, and two daughters named Riffat Bhatti and Zeenat Bhatti. Throughout his career, he was a brilliant officer and stood out among his peers. He did very well at the Academy and was awarded the Sword of Honour for being best in his batch of 300 officers, and the Norman Medal.
Indo-Pak War 1965
Major Raja Aziz Bhatti was posted in the Burki area of Lahore sector during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. As the company commander, Major Bhatti chose to move his platoon forward under constant firing from Indian tanks and artillery. For three or more days he went without rest. He resisted for five days and nights defending a Pakistani outpost on the strategic BRB canal.
On 6 September 1965, as a Company Commander in the Burki area of the Lahore sector, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti chose to stay with his forward platoon under incessant artillery and tank attacks for five days and nights in the defence of the strategic BRB Canal. Throughout, undaunted by constant fire from enemy small arms, tanks and artillery, he was reorganising his company and directing the gunners to shell the enemy positions. To watch every move of the enemy, he had to place himself in an elevated position, where he was exposed to Indian fury. He led his men from the front under constant attack from Indian Artillery batteries. Although he tried to counter every Indian offensive in his area, he was hit by an enemy tank shell in the chest while watching the enemy's moves, and embraced martyrdom on 11 September 1965.
A day before his Shahadat (Martyrdom), the commanding officer had sent to him word that since he had been fighting untiringly for the last five days and nights, he should take a little rest and that another officer was being sent to replace him. Major Aziz, who was filled with a battle spirit and the will for martyrdom replied, "Do not recall me. I don't want to go back. I will shed the last drop of my blood in the defence of my dear homeland".
He is buried at his village in Ladian in the Gujrat district.
Each year, Major Bhatti is honoured in Pakistan on 6 September, also known as Defence Day of Pakistan. Major Raja Aziz Bhatti was awarded the Nishan-e-Haider, the nation's highest military award for gallantry for the exemplary courage he displayed till his Martyrdom.
Awards and decorations
- "Major Raja Aziz Bhatti". Nishan-i-Haider recipients. Pakistan Army. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- "Raja Aziz Bhatti". PakistanTimes. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- "Lt. General Raheel Sharif Appointed as Chief of Army Staff". Pakistan Tribune. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.