by Florian Flade
Most nations treat their soldiers fallen in wars as noble citizens, heroes in some way, men and women wearing the uniform to protect their country, people and interests. That however does not mean the fallen are praised as „martyrs“, at least not in the Western hemisphere and in every case of a soldier killed in war. In Pakistan this is different. The Islamic Repulic of Pakistan regards its fallen military servicemen as martyrs who died fighting for nation and faith.
On the website of the Pakistani Military there is a special section devoted to the heroes that were killed fighting in the India-Pakistan Wars, the internal fight against the Taliban or military intervention in Swat or Waziristan. „Shuhada´s (Martyrs) Corner“ is that martyr-gallery called and it hails the rough details of hundreds of fallen soldiers sometimes even including their portrait.
A few days ago the list of killed Pakistani soldiers was updated. One of the newly added soldier profiles was No.1726016, a soldier of the engineer rank serving in the ranks of Pakistan´s intelligence agency ISI. Nk Zulfiqar Ahmed died November 16th 2007. Nothing unusual so far, if there weren´t the location of his death and his alleged operation given. Zulfiqar Ahmed died at Ganga Ram Hospital in the Indian capital New Delhi and despite his cause of death apparently was a kidney failure, his actual operation task was a rather unusual one: „Suicide Attack“.
Today India´s Army chief General Singh was asked by reporters about the Pakistani ISI „martyr“ that had obviously tried to carry out a suicidal operation. „I have nothing to say on what they have put up on their website“, Singh said about the Pakistani military, „But if they have, then it clearly show what their intentions and ways are and what their next move will be.“
Meanwhile the profile of the ISI suicide attacker has been removed from the Shuhada Corner of http://www.pakistanarmy.gov.pk. No explanation has yet come up from the Pakistani Defence Ministry on what Zulfiqar Ahmed was tasked to do in India and why he died in an Indian hospital. Checking the date reveals that there has been no suicide bombing in India on November 16th so it seems the ISI agent was either captured or just hospitalized as a regular patient at the New Delhi hospital.