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Zarb-i-Azb: In patriotic video, ISPR salutes soldiers as saviours

Updated June 14, 2015

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The emotional four-minute video opens with a re-enacted scene where a frightened child is surrounded by militants pointing weapons at her. ─ ISPR
The emotional four-minute video opens with a re-enacted scene where a frightened child is surrounded by militants pointing weapons at her. ─ ISPR

The army's public relations wing marked the one year anniversary of the North Waziristan military operation with a patriotic video released Sunday.

Read more: Conclusive phase of Zarb-i-Azb next month

A military official told Dawn.com on condition of anonymity that the project was the brainchild of Director General Public Relations Asim Bajwa, who aims to "instil confidence".

"It is to tell them [the nation] they are safe," the official said.

He said the tribute is an expansion of Bajwa's vision for "openness, truth, and reality" and has been produced entirely in-house.

The emotional four-minute video opens with a re-enacted scene where a frightened child is surrounded by militants pointing weapons at her.

It shows tribal residents intimidated and threatened by armed militants who appear to terrorise civilians with their kalashnikovs.

Actors posing as militants stand guard over cowering residents. ─ ISPR
Actors posing as militants stand guard over cowering residents. ─ ISPR

Serving soldiers in the Pakistan Army are shown in the footage as they hop into military aircrafts and vehicles to reach a restive area and confront militants.

A car bomb goes off amidst an intense exchange of fire. ─ ISPR
A car bomb goes off amidst an intense exchange of fire. ─ ISPR

The song is accompanied by the sound of gunfire exchanged between soldiers and militants, as scenes play out showing soldiers reclaiming territory infested with militants. In one shot, amidst an intense exchange of fire, car bombs go off.

A child stranded in the middle of an exchange of fire is scooped up by a soldier. ─ ISPR
A child stranded in the middle of an exchange of fire is scooped up by a soldier. ─ ISPR

Most of the video shows soldiers rescuing distraught children; scooping them up and out of danger and defusing explosive devices strapped to them.

A soldier attempts to defuse explosives strapped to children. ─ ISPR
A soldier attempts to defuse explosives strapped to children. ─ ISPR

The lyrics are emotive:

Kitna pyara ho ga woh jis ke liye saara karta hai, Tera hi sahara hai iss ko, baki ko sahara karta hai.

How dear to him they are, for whom he does all this, He has only your encouragement, he protects everyone else

Soldiers exit battleground carrying children. ─ ISPR
Soldiers exit battleground carrying children. ─ ISPR

The chorus evokes the image of the Pakistani flag, with references to flags and stars.

Jab mushkil bhi ho ghabrai, Inn ke haathon main haath rahain

When your difficulties overwhelm you, place your hand in theirs

The soldiers exit the secured area all smiles, two holding the hands of children, while two others are carried to safety. They hug and congratulate each other on a successful mission, grinning and high-fiving each other.

Yeh banday mitti ke banday, Yeh jhanday mitti ke jhanday

They are sons of the soil, these flags are our own

Soldiers congratulate each other on a successful mission. ─ ISPR
Soldiers congratulate each other on a successful mission. ─ ISPR

Dead terrorists are carted off, their bodies heaped onto a pickup truck.

Marking the one-year anniversary of Operation Zarb-i-Azb, Asim Bajwa tweeted saying 2,763 suspected terrorists have been killed in the North Waziristan operation, 837 hideouts have been destroyed, and 253 tons of explosives have been recovered. These claims, however, have not been independently verified.

The military has lost nearly 350 soldiers in the year-long operation.

Read more: Nearly 350 military men killed in Zarb-e-Azb: ISPR