Major Raja Aziz Bhatti (1928 – September 10, 1965) was a Hong Kong-born Pakistan Army’s Staff officer who received Pakistan’s highest award for valor. He was born in Hong Kong in 1928. He moved to Pakistan before it became independent in 1947, living in the village of Ladian, in the district of Gujrat. There he enlisted with the newly formed Pakistani Army and was commissioned to the Punjab Regiment in 1950.
Early life and army career
He was from a Muslim Rajput family. His father’s name was Master Abdullah Bhatti, and his mother’s name was Bibi Amna. . . He had four brothers, Nazir, Bashir, Sardar and Rashid, and two sisters, Rashida and Tahira. His brother Bashir was killed during the Second World War by the Japanese while leaving Hong Kong. He himself had six children, four sons named Major Zafar Javed Bhatti, Dr Zulfiquar Ahmad Bhatti, Rafique Ahmad Bhatti, and Iqbal Javed Bhatti, and two daughters named Riffat Bhatti and Zeenat Bhatti. Throughout his career, he was a brilliant officer and stood out in his class. He did very well at the Academy and was awarded the Sword of Honour best in his year’s batch of 300 officers, and the Norman Medal. He received his honours from Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, who was later assassinated.
Indo-Pak War 1965
Major Raja Aziz Bhatti was posted in the Burki area of Lahore sector. As the company commander, Major Bhatti chose to move his platoon forward under constant firing from Indian tanks and artillery. For three or more days he went without rest. He resisted for five days and nights defending a Pakistani outpost on the strategic BRB canal.
Martyrdom and Legacy
On 6 September 1965, as a Company Commander in the Burki area of the Lahore sector, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti choose to stay with his forward platoon under incessant artillery and tank attacks for five days and nights in the defence of the strategic BRB Canal. Throughout, undaunted by constant fire from enemy small arms, tanks and artillery. He was reorganizing his company and directing the gunners to shell the enemy positions. In order to watch every move of the enemy, he had to place himself in an elevated position, where he was exposed to Indian fury. He led his men from the front under constant attack from Indian Artillery batteries. Although he tried to counter every Indian offensive in his area, he was hit by an enemy tank shell in the chest while watching the enemy’s moves, and embraced martyrdom on 11 September 1965.
A day before his Shahadat (Martyrdom), the commanding officer had sent to him word that since he had been fighting untiringly for the last five days and nights, he should take a little rest and that another officer was being sent to replace him. Major Aziz, who was filled with a battle spirit and the will for martyrdom replied, “Do not recall me. I don’t want to go back. I will shed the last drop of my blood in the defence of my dear homeland”.
He is buried at his village in Ladian in the Gujrat district.
Each year, Major Bhatti is honoured in Pakistan on 6 September, also known as Defence Day of Pakistan. Major Raja Aziz Bhatti was awarded the Nishan-e-Haider, the nation’s highest military award for gallantry for the exemplary courage he displayed till his Martyrdom.