The Lost And Unsung Hero Of The 1965 War

Arbelo Faqir Katpat

“Wars are fought not with weapons but with passion”. This is a quote by one of the fearless, and courageous warrior and Captain of a popular desert force of Sindh, called Hurs. Arbelo Faqir Katpat was a son of the chieftain of his tribe. During the war of 1965, he wanted to enlist in the Pakistan Army but the commander in charge of the regiment refused to enlist him. The commander objected that Arbelo was too young and weak to join the army. But as Arbelo was accompanied by another 500 companions who protested in favor of Arbelo’s enlistment, the Army commander was forced to enlist him in the army. “You will hear about the actions I will take on the Indian Radio,” he claimed to his commander, and that is exactly what happened. The news of Arbelo‘s conquering 2200 square miles of land in India was broadcasted on the Indian Radio. He was the lion who conquered many forts in India and caused panic in the Indian Army by his actions. He endured hunger and thirst for many days with his companions in scorching heat and fought fearlessly for Pakistan. After the war ended, he was awarded a civilian award ‘Sitara-e-Jurrat’ along with ‘MM Alam’ and ‘Madam Noor Jehan’ for his undeniable efforts, bravery, and passion for his homeland. By his actions in the war fields, Arbelo made his ideal leader Pir Sibghatullah Shah (the founder of the Hur force) proud and inspired many youngsters to follow in his footsteps. Arbelo Faqir Katpat passed away in 2011. Herewith deep sadness, I want to mention that though he died a true hero of Pakistan, he did not get the applause and recognition that he deserved. His contemporaries such as MM Alam and other heroes were applauded by the media and on social forums whereas Arbelo’s heroism remains in the shadows and didn’t get the recognition it deserves.

By Mahnoor Malik