An Army Officer who witnessed the horrific Salala Massacre
Last year, almost around this time, Salala massacre took place when our sons were brutally attacked and murdered by US forces. One of the officers who was present at that time nearby, wrote this piece and we share it with you here. Recite Fatiha for our officers and men who died that night. By Allah, we will take revenge from the Americans for this murder.
Last year -this day- Captain Hassan and I woke up to the sounds of boom and thunder, at one in the morning. We were sleeping in a bunker on a mountain top at Pak-Afghan border, the Khaki Top. As we came out of our bunker, we saw tracer rounds and heavy gun fire pounding at a post not very far from ours. Missiles and large caliber bullets were fired from the air across the border and we saw the whole post blazing with fire. It was the Salala Check-post.
Earlier that year in September, our unit the 21st frontier force regiment was assigned the task of mopping up Salala ridge and surrounding areas. Captain Ali and I were the officers who were given the task to make a piquet on the skyline and then I had to eventually move forward to capture the Salala ridge. I remember the two weeks we spent on skyline just three hundred meters short of Salala. That was the most horrid time of my life. The skyline is actually the international border – an attached feature with Salala. However, it was a very bad strategic position as enemy would inflict heavy fire on us three times a day for as long as we were deployed there. We couldn’t move or strengthen our defenses else we’d receive aimed sniper and intense machine-gun fire. We had to move forward and occupy the position where the enemy was firing from; in order to gain tactical advantage. And occupy we did (that is another long horrific story). After successful completion of the operation and deployment of troops, we strengthened our bunkers and all officers shifted in one gigantic bunker. Among the officers were Major Mujhahid SJ (Shaheed, Sitara-e-Jurrat), Major Tanveer, Captain Ali, Lieutenant Zaid and myself. After real battle during days we would play “Call of Duty” at night; connecting our laptops through Wi-fi. It was our ‘khushi time’. Major Mujahid SJ was from the 7th Azad-Kashmir regiment. He belonged to the Sindh province of Pakistan, country side. He had regimented, tough, fair and a bold personality. One of the things I remember about him is when he asked me to find him a suitable companion as he was 30 but still a bachelor. He told me that he had to get married before the month of Muharram approached and that it was high time. I remember replying him that, “Sir! Who in their right mind would give you their daughter” jokingly. That was the last I saw of him.
On the eve of 25-26th November 2011, Salala was bombed, fired upon and shelled over and over again by the United States Army Aviation and United States Air Force. Our ‘allies’ rocketed us with such force that our skimpy 12.7 mm was like an ant under boot against them. Even then, it is told by three to four survivors who were spared by a miracle that Major Mujahid SJ went on and fired his 12.7 mm at the American gunships. However, his arms couldn’t swim him through the tide. He was bombed and killed in action on the spot. 25 brave men were killed and over 50 wounded. Soldiers who were apparently fighting against the Taliban had no idea an air assault of this intensity would come.
Salala marks one of the most tragic events –among other frequent events- in the history of Pakistan. I mourn for its victims, and all other officers and men who have lost their lives for this cause. I mourn with their mothers, fathers, their wives and daughters. I mourn for Major Mujahid who was killed brutally and did not have the chance or enough support to fight. I mourn them because no one else does. I mourn them because I see how ignorant our nation, because I alone am privy to what happened and is continuously happening. I mourn them because their lives mattered and so do their deaths. I FEEL, do YOU?