Shabbir Sharif

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Nishan-i-Haider-PAK.jpg

Muhammad Shabbir Sharif

Shabbir Sharif.png
Shabbir Sharif
Native name
Muhammad Shabbir Sharif[1]
Born28 April 1943
Kunjah, Gujrat District, British India
Died6 December 1971(1971-12-06) (aged 28)
Okara District, Punjab, Pakistan
Allegiance Pakistan
Service/branch Pakistan Army
Years of service1961–1971
RankOF-3 Pakistan Army.svgMajor
Service numberPA-6911
Unit6 Frontier Force Regiment
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
AwardsNishan Haider Ribbon.gif Nishan-e-Haider
Sitara-i-Jur'at
Sword of Honour
RelationsGeneral Rana Raheel Shareef (brother)
Raja Aziz Bhatti (distant relative)

Major Muhammad Shabbir Sharif (Urdu:محمد شبیر شریف; c. 28 April 1943 – 6 December 1971) was a military officer in the Pakistan Army who was posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Haider during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.[1][2] He is the only person ever who received both the Nishan-e-Haider and Sitara-e-Jurat for his bravery.[3][4] He is regarded as the most decorated officer of the Pakistan Army.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Sharif was born on 28 April 1943 in a Punjabi Janjua family[1][2][6] at Kunjah, Gujrat District to Major Muhammad Muhammad Sharif.[7] He attended St. Anthony's High School, Lahore. While at Government College Lahore, he received a call to join Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul.

He used to play squash and won an Army level swimming medal while he was in 4th Frontier Force Regiment.

Military career starting[edit]

He was commissioned in Pakistan Army on 19 April 1961 and after successfully completing his training, after which he was awarded the Sword of Honor, he was posted to the 6th Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment.[5]

Nishan-e-Haider action[edit]

In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Pakistan Army launched an offensive on the Western front against the enemy. Sharif, as commander of a company of 6 Frontier Force Regiment, was ordered to capture high ground overlooking Grumukhi Khera and Beri, a village in the Sulemanki Sector.

On 3 December 1971, in a well-organized action, he fought alongside his men and held Indian attacks at bay. He cleared the Jhangar post by passing through the minefield laid by enemy and swimming across a water obstacle, the 'Sabuna distributary', whilst under intense enemy fire and led his company to capture the objective.

On the afternoon of 6 December, the enemy launched an offensive preceded by air strikes and heavy artillery shelling. After casualties among the crew, he took over as a gunner on an anti-tank gun and started firing on the enemy tanks. While this fight was on, one of the enemy tanks fired at him thus killing him. His last words were quoted as: “Don’t lose the bridge.” It was the same bridge he died defending from the Indian Army's attack.[5][8]

Family[edit]

His younger brother, General Raheel Sharif was the Chief of Army Staff (November 2013 - November 2016), the highest rank in the Pakistan Army.[4] He is also the relative of another Nishan-e-Haider holder, Raja Aziz Bhatti.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

An Indian Malayalam film, 1971: Beyond Borders,[9] was inspired by the story of Major Shabbir Sharif.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Nishan-e-Haider Award Recipient
Nishan-i-Haider-PAK.jpg
Shabbir Sharif received the Nishan-e-Haider Award.[5]
Date1971
CountryIslamic Republic of Pakistan
Presented byZulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Other awards he won are:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "From Sharif to Sharif". nawaiwaqt.com.pk (in Urdu). 29 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Legends:Maj. Shabbir Sharif". dailytimes.com.pk. 19 September 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  3. ^ Samaa TV Shabbir Sharif Rana
  4. ^ a b "Sharif Tribute to Major Shabbir Sharif". The Nation. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Army's 'superman' remembered". The Nation. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Luck plays role in Gen Sharif's promotion". The News. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Lahore remembers heroes of 1965".
  8. ^ Afzal, Brig (Retd) Farooq. "TOGETHER WE FOUGHT". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "1971 Beyond Borders movie review: This Mohanlal film is ill-conceived, powerless".

External links[edit]