I ask nothing more
Than to die in my country
To dissolve and merge with the grass,
To give life to a flower
That a child of my country will pick,
All I ask
Is to remain in the bosom of my country
A flower (Fadwa Tuqan)
The above quoted poem, by a Palestinian poet depicts the true inner soul of every patriot. I learnt this poem and whenever I recite these verses I see an image of every Pakistani soldier who is ready to die for this land, in the battle field, under the unfathomable depths of the ocean or up in the air.
Standing under the open wild sky, starring at the bright moon I felt so broken and shattered for the very first time in my life, as I was powerless to do anything for those who are dying for me and my country. I was thinking about 30th April, Youm-e-Shuhdda (day of martyrs) and its actual significance in our lives. One in thousands actually knows about this day and except for the armed forces or the families of the martyrs, rest are least bothered and concerned.
I thought and ponder, and then I realized that what so ever, I can never pay back the persistent sacrifices they made for me, for us and for this country, which is fast becoming so insensitive and numb with every other life laid for them. It’s the coldness, the detachment of this nation towards the martyrs and Ghazis of this land which disturbs me and makes me fear all those who are poisoned and inclined towards counting the pensions, plots and houses being given as compensation to the bereaved families. Has someone ever thought that martyrs themselves have paid the price of the so called plots and houses with their blood? We should not forget the sequel of sacrifices and heroism committed by our armed forces for the past so many decades. To sit quietly in the air conditioned rooms and criticize is very easy, to doubt, defame and insult is effortless, but to go in the battle field, to see the roaring gunfire and to get hit by a bullet and to receive a coffin of a loved one is not painless and simple.
When I look at the barren faces of the children who have lost their fathers, the empty smiles of the young ladies who lost their partners, the wrinkled sad eyes of the old parents who received the wrapped coffin of their only son, then I find no place in this entire universe to hide my embarrassed face. During these moments I realize that I would never be able to bring their happy moments with their fathers back; I can never bring back the fatherly hugs to the children and passionate embraces to the lonely wives, indeed I can never bring back their sons, fathers, husbands, brothers and friends. I don’t have any substitute, any replacement for the sacrifices they have made for this motherland. This is their tradition to lay down their lives for this country, as have witnessed this from the day they wore the uniform and carried a gun. There is no doubt that they will continue to uphold these revered traditions till the day they all are wrapped up in the green flag and become a part of the martyrs’ brigade, as they find eternal peace in laying down their lives.
This is a day, on which we decided to pay tribute to the martyrs and Ghazis of this war on terror. We will honor their families, pay homage to the brave sons and will acknowledge their dedication and commitment towards the cause. Let’s make it 365 days a year, why we should forget about them the whole year? We breathe in the free air because many are ready to depart to the eternal world for our safety and security. We are not protecting the country on the cold mountains, nor are we receiving bullets and losing our limbs, rather we are not even ready to pat their back, for the duty they are performing. Either we accept it or not, but everyday these souls are silently dying for the honor of this flag, for which they took an oath.
This land is guarded by the brave sons; it cannot be ever harmed by the evil eyes. Innumerable sacrifices have been made for the up keep of the national pride, sovereignty and integrity, and countless are ready to spill their blood. This proud green flag Insha’Allah will be fluttering high and they will never let it fall.
You the defenders, the brave sons! You mean a lot to me, I failed to utter, to show the feelings buried deep inside me, but I owe nothing less than my own life to you. Salute to the Martyrs and Ghazis of this land on this day and all days to come.
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