Raja Muhammad Sarwar

Captain Raja Muhammad Sarwar Bhatti (Urdu: راجہ محمد سرور بھٹی; b. 10 November 1910 – 27 July 1948) NH, BS, best known as Muhammad Sarwar,[1] was a military officer in the Pakistan Army who was cited with the first Nishan-i-Haider for his gallant and actions of valor during the first war between India and Pakistan in 1947–48.[2

Raja Muhammad Sarwar Bhatti was born in a small village, Singhori, that was located in the vicinity of the Gujar Khan Tehsil, Rawalpindi District, Punjab, British India in the British Indian Empire on 10 November 1910, according to his tombstone.[3] He was a military brat whose father, Raja Muhammad Hayat Khan Bhatti, was enlisted in the British Indian Army, retiring at the rank of Havildar, a Sergeant.[3] His family hailed from a Muslim-caste of the Punjabi Rajput tribe.[1]

He was educated in government-run schools in Rawalpindi District and secured his matriculation from a local school in Faisalabad in 1928.[3] After graduation, he followed his father, Sgt. Muhammad Hyatt, path and enlisted in the British Indian Army in 1929 as a Sepoy (Pvt), where he was posted with the 2nd Battalion of the 10th Baloch Regiment (2/10th Baloch Regiment) of the Baloch Regiment {present 7th Battalion The Baloch Regiment (Steadfast Battalion)}.[3] From 1929 until 1939, he worked hard towards reaching one of the highest enlisted ranks and was eventually promoted as the AIB Subedar (the Warrant officer-first class (WO-1) as present in the Pakistan Army) and posted in supply and ammunition with the Service Corps in 1939.[3]

In 1939, WO-1 Sarwar was invited to attend the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun and completed his military training before gaining a commission in the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Punjab Regiment (2/1st Punjab Regiment) of the British Indian Army in 1943.[3] In 1944, 2nd-Lt. Sarwar briefly served in Burma, serving with distinction in the military operations in 1944–45 that earned him the Burma Star by the British administrations in Delhi in India.[4]

In 1944, 2nd-Lt. Sarwar was posted in an administrative position in the Punjab Regiment — he was promoted as Lieutenant in 1945–46.[3] In the British Indian Army personnel accounts, Lt. Sarwar was known to be “a serious man with no-nonsense and deeply religious who would practice his religion, Islam, devotedly and offered five prayers every day, first offering the prayer before sunrise and concluding with the very last midnight prayer.”[3]

In 1946–47, Lt. Sarwar was promoted as an army captain and decided to attend the signal course before Capt. Sarwar was recommissioned in the Pakistan Army Corps of Signals in 1947, and directed towards attending the Military College of Signals.[3] After hearing the news of the first war between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir, Capt. Sarwar immediately wanted to volunteer but refrained due to his officers wanted him to complete his schooling on the military signals, which he completed after a year.[3] In 1948, Capt. Sarwar took over the command of the 2nd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment of the Pakistan Army as its commanding officer and was deployed on the frontline.[5]

A march towards the Uri town of the Jammu and Kashmir was commenced under Capt. Sarwar, and led an attack on the organized Indian Army’s troops, forcing them to retreat from Gilgit-Baltistan to Ladakh on 26 July 1948.[4] Capt. Sarwar’s company followed the retreated Indian Army’s troops to the Uri region where his unit faced off the strongly fortified enemy position located in the Uri sector.[4] His company was only 50 yards away from the fortified enemy position as the Indian Army’s soldiers begin their mortar shelling at his positions and received instructions on leading the attack on the left side of the bunker where the shelling was taking place.: 88[6] Moving towards the new position, his passage was blocked due to the barbed wires, and decided to move to cut the wires with only taking six men alongside.: 88[6] During the firefight, Capt. Sarwar used the bolt cutter to cut their barbed wires and due to the downpour of shelling, taking a bullet with machine gunfire.: 89[6]

On 27 July 1948, Capt. Sarwar was killed while clearing the passage– he was 38 years old at the time of his death.: 188[7]

Nishan-e-HaiderRaja Sarwar ka Nishane Haider

The body of Capt. Sarwar is buried at the Hill of Tilpatra which is near the Uri in Indian Kashmir where he was buried on 27 July 1948.[3] It was on 23 March 1956 when the Government of Pakistan recognized his services as the Parliament of Pakistan authorized to posthumously award the Nishan-E-Haider (Eng. lit. Emblem of the Lion) for his meritorious services, which was awarded to him by the President of Pakistan.[2][9][8] The Presidential Nishan-e-Haider citation on his grave is written in Urdu; and its reads with translation as:

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