New Delhi: Pakistan army’s Colonel Karnal Sher Khan, who died during the Kargil war, is remembered with great pride.
The man who fought on Tiger Hill from Pakistan's side was given the Nishan e Haidar, Pakistan’s highest gallantry award on the recommendation of the Indian Army.
Captain K Sher Khan's brother Sikandar Sheikh says, “Allah ka shukar hai ki humara dushman bhi koi busdil dushman nahi hai. Agar log kahen ki India busdil hai to main kahunga nahi kyuki usne aelania keh diya ki karnel sher hero hai (No enemy is a coward. I won’t call India coward because it proclaimed Sher Khan as a hero).”
Captain Khan had led an assault to re-capture Tiger Hill soon after Indian troops had taken it and had lost his life in the process.
Ten years after Kargil, Karnal Sher Khan is a folk hero. His images visible everywhere, his native village has even been renamed after him.
Sikandar Sheikh says, "Ek game hai yeh. circikete ek game hai, Chakka mara..mara. Ye ek game hai. Cup milna hai bahadur ko. Cup Kernel Sher ko mila.aur wo bhi dushman ke kehe par (War’s a cricket game, but the winner has got the cup awarded by the opponent)."
On the other side too, valour was prized but the culture was different.
Instances of the Indian soldiers tortured as prisoners of war (PoW) by the Pakistani army can’t be forgotten easily.
However, captain Khan's family, unaware of the torture of Indian troops at Kargil, agree there must be a code of honour among warriors.
(With inputs from Vishal Thapar and Zahir Shah)