Shabbir Sharif

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Rana Shabbir Sharif
Native name Rana Shabbir Sharif[1]
Born 28 April 1943
Kunjah, Gujrat District, British Raj
Died 6 December 1971(1971-12-06) (aged 28)
Okara District, Punjab, Pakistan
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1964–1971
Rank Major

6 Frontier Force Regiment

4 Frontier Force Regiment
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Awards Nishan Haider Ribbon.gif Nishan-e-Haider
Sword of Honour
Relations General Rana Raheel Shareef (brother)
Raja Aziz Bhatti (Uncle)

Rana Shabbir Sharif,[1][2] also known as Rana Shabbir Sharif Shaheed[1] (28 April 1943 – 6 December 1971), was a Pakistani Army officer. He is the only person ever who received both the Nishan-e-Haider and Sitara-e-Jurat for his bravery.[3][4] In addition, he is also a recipient of Sword of Honour and holds a unique honor of having received the three most coveted awards of Pakistan Army.[5] Shabbir Sharif is regarded as the most decorated officer of Pakistan Army and often addressed as Army's Superman.[5] He is nephew of another Nishan-e-Haider holder Raja Aziz Bhatti.[6] Sharif is the elder brother of General Raheel Sharif, the former Chief of the Army Staff, Pakistan.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born on 28 April 1943 in a Rajput family[1][2][6] at Kunjah, Gujrat District to Major Rana Muhammad Sharif.[7] Sharif Completed his Matric from St. Anthony's High School, Lahore and while he was at Government College Lahore that he received a call to join Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul.

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

Military career and death in action[edit]

He was commissioned in Pakistan Army on 19 April 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.

In the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Pakistan Army launched an offensive on the Western front against the enemy. Shabbir, 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-organised action, he fought valiantly alongside his men and held Indian attacks at bay. He cleared the Jhangar post with utmost courage by fearlessly 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. During the day, his troops repelled over 15 Indian attempts to recapture the high ground and furthermore, he and his men destroyed four enemy tanks and held two Indian battalions at bay by killing 43 soldiers.[5]

During an attack on the night of 5 December, Shabbir jumped out of his trench on the call of an Indian Company Commander who dared him for a hand-to-hand combat. Shabbir soon snatched the sten gun out of the Indian major's hand and mortally wounded him. The gallant act demoralized the Indian troops allowing Shabbir's men to consolidate their hard earned gains in the captured area.[8]

On the afternoon of 6 Dec, the enemy launched another counter attack preceded by air strikes and heavy artillery shelling. After casualties amongst the crew, Shabbir Sharif 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 causing fatal injuries which resulted in his death at the age of 28. His last words were quoted as: “Don’t lose the bridge.” It was the same bridge he died defending from the enemy’s attack. [5][9]


His younger brother, General Raheel Sharif, became Chief of Army Staff, the highest rank in the Pakistan Army, in November 2013.[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[10] is inspired from the story of Rana Shabbir Sharif. And in the movie Rana Shabbir Sharif's character is named as Muhammed akram Raja

Awards and decorations[edit]

Nishan-e-Haider Award Recipient
Shabbir Sharif was recipient of the Nishan-e-Haider Award[5]
Date 1971
Country Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Presented by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Other awards won by him are:


  1. ^ a b c d "From Sharif to Sharif". (in Urdu). 29 November 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Legends:Maj. Shabbir Sharif". 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 g "Army's 'superman' remembered". The Nation. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "Luck plays role in Gen Sharif's promotion". The News. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Lahore remembers heroes of 1965". 
  8. ^ Raashid Wali Janjua, (Ret.) Brigadier. "Ammi Jee remembers: Shabbir Sharif died as he lived". Daily Times (Pakistan) (6 September 2013). Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Afzal, Brig (Retd) Farooq. "TOGETHER WE FOUGHT". 
  10. ^ "1971 Beyond Borders movie review: This Mohanlal film is ill-conceived, powerless". 

External links[edit]