FATHER’S FOOT-STEPS

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“I’ll fight for my country mama; I’ll kill all the bad people who hurt little children, I’ll be just like baba”, Junaid proclaimed lying in his mother’s arms.
“Yes you will my little angel”, her hands combed his hair, as tears rolled down her face.
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“And what exactly is your motivation behind joining army”, the interviewer looked at him once again.
“My father, he was an army officer and embraced shahadat when I was 10, I want to follow in his footsteps.” he replied with the calm posture, which was so natural of him.
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Junaid pushed Daniyal forward as they both lunged onto their beds; it was midnight and they had just gotten back to their room.
“Just one more month to deal with this tough routine then we’ll be officers, just one more month.” Daniyal exclaimed as Junaid gave him a high-five.
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She was crossing the road when he saw her, and he know he had lost his heart then and there.
“Junaid, look out a car!” Daniyal called from behind.
Coming back to his senses, he took a step back as the car whooshed pass him.
“What the hell were you thinking running like that?? You feeling all right bro??” Daniyal jerked him.
“Nothing, I am fine”, he replied, his eyes still fixated at her fading image.
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He couldn’t look into her eyes as he handed her his movement order.
“What is it beta??” she inquired.
“Mama, move order, I have been posted to Mingora…………. I have to leave in a week”
Large tears rolled down her cheeks, tears that she had hidden from him all his childhood, as she looked at the piece of paper in her hand.
“I have been posted to Siachen; I’ll have to move in a week, this is my move order.” He had said the same thing.
She looked up at her son’s beaming face, and she saw her husband all over again.
“May Allah All Mighty protect you” she finally prayed.
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It was dark, but still he could see the determined faces of his comrades all around him. He said a silent prayer, as he replaced the picture of Sara and his mother, the two most important people in his life, back in his wallet.
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“Bismilla hir rahman nir raheem”
“My fellow soldiers, today our mission is to clear the post on the west side of this mountain, which has been under the control of terrorists for the past six months and has been causing extensive damage……”

And for the next thirty minutes, he listened to the operation commander go over the details of the operation.
Lt Junaid was to lead his party from the south of the post and capture it, while the other two parties engaged the terrorists from the front.

He led his party as per the instructions and they were able to gain substantial ground, when all of a sudden the terrorists realized their presence, and started firing in their direction.
“Take cover” he shouted to his soldiers, as he adjusted his gun and began to shoot.
“Danish, you and Illyas approach them from the left and occupy the post, Ali you stay put and cover them. Salar you follow me” he hurriedly issued directions and went out of cover again to start shooting again.
Junaid was reloading his gun, when all of a sudden a bullet entered his left arm.
“Sir!”
“Don’t worry I am fine, move forward”, he said as he again began to shoot, ignoring completely the throbbing pain in his arm.

“Very near now, almost all of them have fallen”, he thought to himself as they approached the post.

His finger once again pressed the trigger, aiming at the terrorist merely 10 feet away from him. But this time he was fraction of a second late, the bullets from the enemies’ gun ripped into his chest and the other his neck. Even with his flailing strength he raised his gun shouted ALLAH-HO-AKBER and shot him in the head.
“la ilaha illalaha”
I’ll fight for my country mama
I want to follow in my father’s foot steps
Baba, I’ll miss you, when will you come back from Siachen
Sara, will you marry me??
Hurry up Daniyal; we have to report in five minutes
You are the best mom in the world
Lt Junaid the CO wants to see you in his office
Lt Junaid you will lead the party from the west
I want to follow in my fathers’ footsteps
This is the posting order I have to go Sara, I promise you we’ll get married when I came back for holidays
I want to defend my homeland
Pakistan Zindabad Pakistan Army Paindabad
I’ll fight till my last breath……..

Novera Tahir

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