by: Ch. Muhammad Natiq.
Indians were laying fierce fire on the small enclave across the Ravi River on the Indian side. Here a small contingent of 3 Punjab was positioned under the command of Lt. Kaleem Mehmud. After an hour, the Indian ground troops approached the position. Pakistani battalion was equipped with all kinds of necessary support, so they were successful in holding a foothold of the enclave. However, their joy did not last for long.
3 Punjab laid counter attack on the enemy and were able to push them back by 1200 HRS. Simultaneously 3 Punjab was also able to clear the enclave on the west bank of the river.
Indians were attacking in waves after waves since 0300 HRS. It was the third attack which was repulsed by 3 Punjab. It was Lt. Kaleem who was facing the attacks with his men. By 0800 HRS, Indians were able to reach closer to the bridge, pushing the Pakistani troops back.
To stop the enemy’s advancement, Jasarr Bridge was blown up. While Kaleem and his men were ordered to fall back.
There was no groundway, so the soldiers had to swim back in order to reach back. To secure his men, Kaleem held a machine gun on the far end of the Indian side and told his men to swim, until they reach the Pakistani side; telling his men that he will join them later. It was surely a suicide mission, he could have ordered anyone to hold the position but instead, he did it himself.
He kept firing on the enemy until all his men reached safely, but by that time the enemy came closer. Kaleem had to leave his position. As he came into the open to cross the river, he was hit by a machine-gun burst as there was no one to provide him cover. He was martyred on the spot, but he was declared missing in action.
A couple of days before the ceasefire, 6FF took the control of the area, relieving 3 Punjab. Indians were still positioned on their side of the bridge while Pakistanis were holding the other side. The fingers were still ready to press the triggers in any type of hostile situation. On one such night, Lt. Shabir Sharif was patrolling in the enemy area when he noticed something shiny on a small mound.
He discovered that it was a glass bottle with a small slip in it, fitted on a grave, having the name of Lt. Kaleem Mehmud on it. Commemorating the bravery of the young hero, the enemy buried Kaleem respectfully in a grave. His body was returned to Pakistan after the ceasefire.