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‘The forgotten hero’

September 23, 2015


IT was indeed a gratifying to read Aamir Aqil’s letter (Sept 15). I do not know him nor have I ever met him, but I gather he must be a merchant mariner who went to the Pakistan Marine Academy.

He is absolutely right that no mention was made by the Pakistan Navy on the 50th anniversary of the Dwarka Operation show, of the then COMPAK Commodore S.M. Anwar who led the Dwarka Operation. Over the decades, I have seen many naval officers take credit for the operation.

In the 1990s, a programme was aired by STN Television, and an officer went on the air saying how he conducted the operation. Several letters were written to Dawn about the show, and one letter by Commander M. H. Askari said that the officer had failed to mention who was actually responsible for conducting the operation.

In another letter to Dawn by M. Ahmed (I gather a retired naval officer), described the Dwarka Operation as a “meticulously planned and executed operation in the best traditions of the silent service” and stating it was ‘officer rivalry’ that prevented Commodore S.M. Anwar from receiving the highest bravery medal for the operation. My father died nearly 37 years ago, at the age of 58.

As mentioned above, I am grateful to Aamir Aquil and his letter, but I must correct an error that he mentioned, stating that my father, Commodore S.M. Anwar, belonged to a religious minority. He was not part of a minority religious community but a Sunni Muslim.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Pakistan Marine Academy for naming an auditorium in my father’s name.

Omar Anwar



ONE of the forgotten heroes of the 1965 war is Shakil Ahmed, a newscaster of Radio Pakistan, Karachi. Besides Nur Jehan’s songs, news bulletins by Shakil Ahmed were morale-boosting.

While sitting with my friends, I used to narrate the news bulletins emulating his voice at the time. I can still produce the same kind of voice and style.

I request the electronic media, particularly Dawn, to highlight Shakil Ahmed’s services during the 1965 war.

Nadeem Shafi


Published in Dawn, September 23rd , 2015

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