Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed

Published on by KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ

Raja Aziz Bhatti (1928 - 10 September 1965)[1] (Punjabi, Urdu: عزیز بهٹی‎) was a Hong Kong-born Pakistan Army's Staff officer who received Pakistan's highest award for valor. He was born in Hong Kong in 1928.[2][3] He moved to Pakistan before it became independent in 1947, living in the village of Ladian, Kharian, Gujrat. There he enlisted with the newly formed Pakistani Army and was commissioned to the Punjab Regiment in 1950.
 
He was born in a Muslim, Rajput Bhatti family. His father's name was Master Abdullah Bhatti, and his mother's name was Bibi Amna. His uncle's name was Mian Imam Deen and his wife was Rehmat Bibi. He had three female cousins from his maternal aunty namely Aziza, Rozie, and Khurshid. Aziza married his eldest brother Nazir Ahmad Bhatti, whereas the youngest one married to Sardar Ali. He had four brothers, Nazir, Bashir, Sardar and Rashid, and two sisters, Rashida and Tahira. His brother Bashir was killed during the Second World War by the Japanese while leaving Hong Kong. He was a student in Hong Kong at the time the Second World War erupted.
 
 Prior to joining the army, he was an airman of the rank of corporal technician in the Royal Pakistan Air Force, now Pakistan Air Force (PAF). He was apt in the German language, a player of the mouth organ and good in drawing. Throughout his career, he was a brilliant officer and stood out in his class. He did very well at the Academy and was awarded the Norman Medal and the Sword of Honour in his year's batch of 300 officers. He received his honours from Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, who was later assassinated in Rawalpindi. He was married with Zarina Bhatti and had six children, four sons named Major Zafar Javed Bhatti, Dr Zulfiquar Ahmad Bhatti, Rafique Ahmad Bhatti, and Iqbal Javed Bhatti and two daughters named Riffat Bhatti and Zeenat Bhatti.

Death

On 11 September 1965, as a Company Commander in the Burki area of the Lahore sector, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti chose to stay with his forward platoon. His platoon was under incessant artillery and tank attacks for five days and nights while defending the strategic BRB Canal. Throughout the encounter, undaunted by constant fire from enemy small arms, tanks, and artillery, he was reorganizing his company and directing the gunners to shell enemy positions.
 
In order to watch every move of the enemy, he had to place himself in an elevated position, where he was exposed to Indian forces. He led his men from the front, under constant attack from Indian Artillery batteries. Although he tried to counter every Indian offensive in his area, he was struck in the chest by an enemy tank shell while watching the enemy's moves, and embraced martyrdom on 11 September 1965.[4]
 
He is buried at his village in Ladian in the Gujrat District.
Each year, Major Bhatti is honoured in Pakistan on 6 September, also known as the Defence Day of Pakistan. Major Raja Aziz Bhatti was awarded the Nishan-e-Haider, Pakistan's highest military award for the gallantry and exemplary courage he displayed in 1965.
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