Major Tufail Mohammad Shaheed (Nishan-i-Haider)
Major Tufail was born in Hoshiarpur in 1914 and commissioned in the 16 Punjab regiment in 1943. After a distinguished career, which included several instructional and command appointments in his own Battalion and also in the Civil Armed Forces, he was posted to the East Pakistan Rifles in 1958 as a Company Commander. Also in august, Indian troops captured a village in East Pakistan. Major divided his men in three groups and it was decided that they would launch the assault during the dark hours of 7th august. When majors group was about fifteen yards from enemy, they came under heavy fire and three bullets entered major’s stomach. Despite the shower of blood from his stomach, he kept moving forward and silenced the machinegun with a grenade. When another enemy machine-gun opened fire, killing his second in command, Major Tufail destroyed that gun too with a well-aimed grenade. During the hand-to-hand encounter that followed, he noticed the commander of the Indian post moving silently to attack one of his men. Though fatally wounded, Major Tufail crawled towards the enemy commander. He stretched out one of his legs and as the enemy stumbled he hit him in the face with his steel helmet, saving his troop. Major continued directing the operation until the enemy was driven out leaving behind four dead and three prisoners. Due to lose of so much blood, major fell on the ground, and then got up and said to his officer “I have completed my duty, the enemy is on the run”. Major was taken to hospital but he later died the same day.
Although mortally wounded in the hand-to-hand encounter that followed, Major Tufail continued to lead his troops till the Indians were driven out, leaving four dead and three prisoners.He died the same day on 7 August 1958 at the age of 44.