18 September, 2020

Scapegoat Martyrs

A year has passed, but nobody in Pakistan, not even the army, knows why the Kargil operation was mounted, or called off for that matter

Scapegoat Martyrs
Nestling in the shadow of the majestic Hindu Kush mountains, this small dilapidated house in a remote village 137 km from Pakistan’s northern city of Skardu has become a symbol of valour for the rest of the country. It produced a soldier, who last year earned the country’s highest gallantry award of Nishan-e-Haider, for giving up his life in Kargil. Subedar Lalik Jan showed exemplary courage when, despite being severely wounded, he asked his colleagues to retreat and battled the Indians—alone—till death.

But nothing’s changed for Jan’s family, except the occasional vip trips to their house. In fact, that’s responsible for having made things a little difficult for the martyred subedar’s folks. Jan’s widow—whom he married after the death of his first wife, who bore him three children—has taken the major part of the compensation, leaving her old in-laws in the lurch.

The family’s efforts to erect a boundary wall around the nearby grave of Jan have also come to a naught. The masonry is ready, but the bureaucracy’s go-ahead is still awaited—it’s...



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