Martyrs Never Die – The Gayari Avalanche

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Three years have passed, but no one could ever forget the tragic and the saddest incident of history in which 129 soldiers of Pakistan army and 11 civilians were buried under the snow slide (avalanche) that hit the Battalion Headquarters on April, 7 2012. That morning turned out to be a morning of deep grief for the Pakistani nation.

This unfortunate event took place in Gayari sector of Siachen, popular as the land of wild roses but in actual terms it is a place of barren land that is full of ice. It has -14 to -34 degree temperature in summer and -50 in winter season. The glacier was uninhabited before 1984 but it became a region of conflict between Pakistan and Indian army in 1984, when India occupied the Pakistani area of Siachen Glacier and made this another dispute between the two countries.

The Indian army made their military posts in the area and to defend the Pakistani borders Pakistani army also moved to the glacier and made posts and camps.. Now two third part of Siachen is occupied by the Indian army and one part under Pakistan’s army. There’s no doubt that Siachen is a difficult place to live or stay with such a low temperature it is very difficult to survive there. Special dresses, shoes and helmets are required. If any part of the body is exposed, then it will be badly damaged, this is the reason that soldiers avoid to use washroom. Soldiers in Siachen use multivitamins and other steroid drugs to remain alive.

The maximum time limit of staying there is usually 20 days, so every soldier has to return to the base camp after 20 days. And even when they return every third person of them is the victim of Snow Bite or some part of their body is badly damaged and ultimately the result is the loss of that part but still the brave soldiers of Pakistan are defending the sacred borders of Pakistan on the highest altitudes of Himalaya.

It’s not only the harsh weather; Siachen is also an expensive place to live. Pakistan army spends almost 15 million per day which is monthly 450 million and per year it is 5.5 billion. In Siachen every third day a Pakistani soldier become a martyr and same is the situation at the Indian side. Since 1984 Pakistan army have lost more than 3000 soldiers and Indian army more than 5000 soldiers.

These are hard conditions to live and every Pakistani should be thankful that under all these dreadful circumstances our army is still serving. Our soldiers go on their feet but they are on the risk of return at stature. They never complain, never asks for any reward because they love their country with all their heart.

These weather conditions were the cause of the unfortunate incident of 7th April 2012. The incident of Gayari avalanche is still fresh in our minds. The avalanche made that place, that Battalion Headquarters a graveyard for the soldiers. More than 142 people were under 80 feet layer of ice in the Gayari sector of Siachen.

After this incident Pakistan army along with international search and rescue operation team and with latest equipment had started the search and rescue operation. They searched day and night in order to find the soldiers and civilians. The bad weather also caused hindrances in search operation. Pakistan army chief also vowed that they would not stop this operation until every soldier is recovered. But with the passage of every single day the survival of the buried people was almost impossible. And then at last after a great search operation the bodies of martyrs were recovered. But sadly no one was recovered alive.

Pakistani nation salutes the brave and courageous soldiers of Pakistan army who in such hard conditions guarded the post. They will always be there in our minds and have secured a very special place in our hearts. We will always remember the martyrs who defended our country with their lives and we will always pray for them.

 

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Namra Aftab is a student of Mass Communication at Karachi University, wanabe a news reporter. Can be reached at [email protected] and tweets at @namraaftab

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