Major Raja Aziz Bhatti gave his life for the protection and sovereignty of Pakistan on 12th September 1965. Indian Army, a force much capable in armoury and strength failed to repel and advance Bhatti’s defences.

While we remember his supreme sacrifice of bravery, leadership and ultimately his life against Indian Army, we should also try to understand what led a person born in British Hong Kong, served in Imperial Japanese Navy to fight for Pakistan.

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti’s life goes as back to when Hong Kong was under British control and later became under the eyes of Japanese imperialist forces. Aziz’s father worked for Hong Kong Police and he went to Queen’s College in Hong Kong, while he could not continue completing his education, he joined the Imperial Japanese Navy as a sailor. However, his love for his motherland made him question his dedication, and ultimately returned back to British India.

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After the British left India, Major Bhatti initially joined Pakistan Air Force but later switched to Pakistan Army, maybe this was destiny, Little did his instructors and course-mates thought he’d become one of the bravest fighters that would come out of Pakistan Air Force. It was evident in his academics that he was destined for greatness. While his course Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) at Kakul, he passed out top of the class.

Major Aziz Bhatti
Young Raja Aziz Bhatti. Source: The Nation.

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti’s true bravery was tested when the Indian Army initiated their push on the side of Burki sector. Moreover, this push was heavily supported by modern artilleries and armouries in a view of entering Lahore.

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On the dawn of 7th September, the Indian Army began its operations. However, in this situation, Major Bhatti’s fellows forced the Indian Army to engage in hand-to-hand combat at night. This continued for the next three days.

In these days, even after being offered to meet his family, Major Bhatti held his ground and accompanied his men to hold the frontier of Burki. This eventually led the Indian Army to halt its plan to invade Lahore, ultimately saving the city.

In his final moments, he stated, “Do not recall me. I don’t want to go back. I will shed the last drop of my blood in the defence of my dear homeland”. Finally, he moved to the front of the trenches to get a better view of the enemy. In this pursuit, he was able to command his forces to counter the Indian Army. 

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He was on a routine survey to observe the enemy position when eventually a tank shell hit his position. This led to his demise at just a ripe age of 37 years old.

Keeping in consideration of how valiantly Major Aziz Bhatti secured the Lahore Front, he was posthumously awarded with the highest-gallantry award—Nishan-e-Haider. 

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