Rajput Nishan-e-Haider Holders – Pakistan’s Highest Military Award for Bravery

by roshi on October 3, 2009

in Informatory

Nishan-e-haiderNishan-e-Haider (Urdu: نشان حیدر, translated as “Emblem of Haider, where Haider is the epithet of Ali and means Lion”), is the highest military award given by Pakistan. It was established in 1957. It is awarded to military personnel, regardless of rank, for extraordinary bravery in combat. The award is considered to be the highest military award and is only awarded to those who have sacrificed their life. Its exclusivity may be gauged by the fact that since it was established only 10 awards have been made and given. To date all awards have been made posthumously (after the death). Of the 10 recipients, 9 have been from the Pakistan Army and one has been from the Pakistan Air Force. Pakistan has fought battles in 1948, 1956, 1965, 1971 and 1999. Most of all the Shaheeds have been of Rajput (Rajpoot) or Pathan families. Here I will mention only Rajput Shaheeds who have been awarded with Nishan-e-Haider. Rajput is a caste.

Pilot Office Rashid Minhas Shaheed

Date of Shahadat: 20 August 1971
Age: 20 years


Born 17 February 1951, commissioned as a pilot in the Pakistan Air Force. Pilot Officer Minhas was taxiing for take-off on a routine traning flight when an Instructor Pilot forced his way into the rear cockpit, seized control of the aircraft and took off. When Minhas realized that the absconding pilot was heading towards India, he tried to regain control of the plane but was unable to do so. Knowing that it meant certin death, he damaged the controls and forced the aircraft to crash thirty two miles short of the border on 20 August 1971. He died at the age of 20.

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed

Date of Shahadat:10 september 1965
Age: 37 years


Born 1928 in Hong Kong. Commissioned into the Punjab Regiment, 1950. On 6 September 1965, as Company Commander in the Burki area of the Lahore sector, Major Bhatti chose to move with his forward platton under incessant artillery and tank attacks for five days and nights in the defence of the strategic BRB canal. Throughout, undaunted by constant fire from enemy shell arms, tanks and artillery, he organized the defence of the canal, directing his men to answer the fire until he was hit by an enemy tank shell which killed him on 10 September 1965. He was 37 years old.

Major Tufail Muhammad Shaheed

Date of Shahadat: 17 August 1958
Age: 44 years


Born 1914 in Hoshiarpur. Commissioned into the 16th Punjab Regiment, 1943. Early in August, 1958, Major Tufail, a Company Commander in the East Pakistan Rifles, and his patrol encircled an Indian post in the Lakshmipur area. And, though mortally wounded in the hand-to-hand encounter that followed, Major Tufail continued to lead his troops till the Indians were driven out, leaving four dead and three prisoners. He died the same day on 7 August 1958 at the age of 44.

Jawan Sawar Muhammad Hussain Shaheed

Date of Shahadat: 10 sep 1971
Age: 22 years


Born 18th June 1949 in Dhok Pir Baksh (now Dhok Mohammad Husain Janjua). Enlisted as a driver on 3 September 1966. Although only a driver in the 20th Lancers, when war broke out in 1971, Sowar Mohammad Hussein took an active part in every battle in which his unit was engaged unmindful of any danger, no matter how grave. When he spotted the enemy digging in along a minefield near the village of Harar Khurd in December 1971 on his own initiative he directed accurate fire at the enemy resulting in the destruction of sixteen enemy tanks. But while directing fire from recoilless rifles, he was hit in the chest by a burst of machine-gun fire and died on 10 December 1971 at the age of 22.

Captain Muhammad Sarwer Shaheed

Date of Shahadat: 27 july 1948
Age: 38 years


Born 1910, Village Sanghori, Commissioned into the Punjab Regiment, 1944. During the Kashmir Operations soon after the birth of Pakistan, as Company Commander in the 2nd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment, Captain Sarwar launched an attack causing heavy casualties against a strongly fortified enemy position in the Uri Sector under heavy machine-gun, grenade and mortar fire. But on 27 July 1948, as he moved forward with six of his men to cut their way through a barbed wire barrier, he died when his chest was riddled by a burst of automatic fire. He was 38 years old.

Other Nishan-e-Haider holders are Major Mohammad Akram Shaheed, Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfooz Shaheed, Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed, Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed and Havaldaar Lalak Jan Shaheed.

Nishan e Haider – Documentary – 1

Nishan e Haider – Documentary – 2

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