Major Aziz Bhatti was a Pakistani war hero who fought in the Indo-Pak War of 1965. He was awarded the Nishan-e-Haider which is the highest military honor in the country and only awarded posthumously. Numerous TV shows and films have been produced in Pakistan honoring him and he’s still highly revered in Pakistan.
His full name was Major Raja Abdul-Aziz Bhatti.
Aziz was born in Hong Kong on 14 July 1928 to a Muslim family from India.
Just before the partition of India, Aziz and his family moved to Lahore.
A year after the creation of Pakistan, Aziz joined the Pakistan Army.
He had a total of 6 siblings, 4 brothers and 2 sisters. His father’s name was Abdullah Bhatti and his mother’s was Bibi Amana.
Aziz Bhatti was married and had 6 children.
Initially he joined the Pakistan Air Force but later joined the Pakistan Army as a cadet in 1948.
During his training at the Pakistan Military Academy, he was awarded the ‘Sword of Honor’ an award given to him for being the best cadet in a batch of 300 officers. He also won the Norman Gold Medal.
In 1950, Major Aziz Bhatti started his service in 4 battalion of the 16th Punjab regiment of Pakistan Army.
During the 1965 war with India, he was posted in Lahore.
His was stationed in Burki, Lahore and his job was to defend Lahore from Indian attacks.
While under heavy fire from Indian infantry, tanks and artillery he moved forward with one of his platoons to defend the strategic BRB canal near Lahore’s border with India.
His platoon of few soldiers was under constant fire from a whole Indian Army battalion.
Given how outnumbered Aziz and his troops were, he was ordered to retreat back to his home base. Aziz covered the retreat of all his men and was the last to leave the area.
While at his home base, he defended his posts against Indian attacks.
Aziz observed enemy positions that his men could target.
To get a better view he moved to higher ground, despite knowing that this would expose him heavily to enemy fire.
While looking through his binoculars, selecting enemy targets Major Aziz got hit by a tank shell in his left shoulder. He died on the spot on 11 September 1965.
It is said that Major Aziz Bhatti didn’t rest during the battle near BRB canal and stayed awake continuously for 5 days. His soldiers and commanding officer asked him to take a rest but he carried on fighting saying he would rather die defending his motherland than go back.
For his gallantry he was awarded the ‘Nishan-e-Haider’ military honor.
He’s also known as “Muhafiz-e-Lahore” which means “Protector of Lahore”.
Major Aziz Bhatti(Nishan-e-Haider) is honored each year on Pakistan’s Defense & Martyrs Day.