Bravery & the Sikh Spirit
Excerpts from the book 'Crisis of Leadership' by Maj. General M. Khan, Pakistan )
On 3rd December 1971, we(Pakistan Army) fiercely and vigorously attacked the Indian army with our infantry brigade near Hussainiwala border. This brigade included Pakistan army's fighter Punjabi regiment together with the Baloch regiment. Within minutes we pushed the Indian army quite far back. Their defence posts fell under our control. The Indian army was retreating back very fast and the Pakistani army was going forward with a great speed. Our army reached near the Kausre-Hind post. There was a small segment of the Indian army appointed to defend that post and their soldiers belonged to the Sikh Regiment. A few number of the Sikh Regiment stopped our way forward like an iron wall. They loudly greeted us with the ovation of 'Bole-so-Nihal' and attacked us like blood thirsty hungry lions and hawks. All these soldiers were Sikhs. There was even a dreadful hand-to-hand battle. The sky
filled with roars of 'Yaa Ali' and 'Sat-Siri-Akal'. Even in this hand-to-hand fighting the Sikhs fought so bravely that all our desires, aspirations and dreams were shattered.
.....In this war Lt. Col Gulab Hussain of Baloch Regiment got killed. With him Major Mohammed Zaeef and Captain Arif Alim also died. It was difficult to count the number of soldiers who got killed. We were astonished to see the courage of those handful of Sikh soldiers. When we seized the possession of the three-storey defence post of concrete, the Sikh soldiers went onto the roof and kept on persistently opposing us. The whole night they kept on showering fires on us and continued shouting the loud ovation of 'Sat-Siri-Akal'. These Sikh soldiers kept on the encounter till the next day. Next day the Pakistani tanks surrounded this post and bombed it with guns. Those handful of Sikhs got martyred in this encounter while resisting us, but other Sikh soldiers then destroyed our tanks with the help of their artillery. Fighting with great bravery they kept on marching forward and thus our army lost its foothold.
....Alas, a handful of Sikhs converted our great victory into a big defeat and shattered our confidence and courage. ....The same thing happened with us in Dhaka (Bangladesh). In the battle of Jaissur, the Singhs opposed the Pakistani army so fiercely that our backbone and our foothold was lost. This became the main and important reason of our defeat and the Sikhs' fancy for martyrdom and mockery with death for the sake of safety and honour of the country, became the sole cause of their victory.
"...the main reason of our defeat was Sikhs fighting facing us. We were helpless to do anything in front of them. Sikhs are very brave and they have a great craving for martyrdom. They fight so fiercely that they are capable of defeating an army many times bigger than theirs.