Karnal Sher Khan

Colonel Sher Khan
Born 1 January 1970
Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Died 5 July 1999(1999-07-05) (aged 29)
Mushkoh Valley, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1994–1999
Rank Captain
Unit 27 Sind Regiment
12 Northern Light Infantry
Battles/wars Kargil War
Awards Nishan-e-Haider

Karnal Sher Khan (1970–1999)[1] (Urdu: کرنل شیر خان) was a Pakistan Army officer. He was one of only ten recipients of the Nishan-e-Haider. He was a captain in the 27th Sindh Regiment of the Pakistan Army. He was posted to 12th NLI Regiment during the Kargil Conflict. His name is the localised form of the rank Colonel.

Early life

Khan was born in Naway Kiley (Shewa Adda), a village in Swabi District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Khan was the youngest of two brothers and two sisters.[2][3] His mother died in 1978 when he was eight years old. He was brought up by his paternal aunts. His family is religious and claim that Sher was "an embodiment of piety and Islamic teaching".


After completing his intermediate schooling at the Government College Swabi, Khan joined the Pakistan Air Force as an airman. On completion of his training, he was appointed electric fitter (aeronautical) at Primary Flying Training Wing Risalpur.

He twice applied for commission in the Pakistan Army. He succeeded the second time. He joined the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, in November 1992 and graduated in the 90th Long Course in 1994.

His first posting was at Okara in 27th Sindh Regiment. In January 1998 he volunteered to serve at the LoC in Kashmir. He was posted in 12 NLI from 27 Sind Regiment.

Kargil conflict

Captain Sher Khan was posthumously awarded Pakistan's highest gallantry award, the Nishan-e-Haider, for his actions during the Kargil Conflict with India in 1999.

The responsibility of defending posts around gultari and mukosh valley in Kargil area was on the shoulders of Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed. The Indian troops had an elevated position with support from both their air force and artillery units. They attacked Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed. Most of his men got wounded and Indians were advancing nearer. But Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed decided to counterattack Indians. He had good observation of the whole Dras sector. During night he strategically placed his 21 brave men against hundreds of Indians with light artillery weapons. The wise Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed advised his men to change positions while attacking Indians so that they cannot identify the exact location of Pakistani individuals. A single man was assigned to change up to eight positions as the brave Pakistani soldiers were outnumbered. The trick worked and the 21 men managed to capture an Indian post in the elevation as the Indian troops retreated with fear to the Indian base camp. Meanwhile Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed without fearing of death was chasing Indians alone and reached almost nearer to their base camp. The commanding officer of Indian base camp was stunned when he saw Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed, a single man charging towards the Indian base camp with more than 400 soldiers. The commanding officer of Indian Army warned Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed of death as he was the only one among the whole Indians but brave heart never stopped his charging towards Indians. At the same time Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed was left up with an empty gun as all of his bullets were used in piercing nearby enemy soldiers. The Indian Army Commanding Officer when approached near Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed tried to smash him with his empty gun. Upon realizing that this Pakistani Lion will never say die the Indian Commanding officer ordered his men to fire Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed to death. During final moment of his life Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed recited Kalma loudly until he got martyred. After war the same Indian Commanding Officer recommended Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed for highest military award by writing a citation. The Government of Pakistan acknowledged Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed contribution and awarded him with Nishan e Haider for his valorous fight against enemy

The following is the official statement by the Pakistan Army:[4]

Khan counter-attacked the enemy at Tiger Hill during the day when the enemy could easily see his movements, taking the Indian Army by surprise. This was considered to be a suicidal counter-attack, but, being familiar with the importance of that post, Karnal Sher Khan chose this method and embraced martyrdom in the process.[1] Tiger Hill was later recaptured by the Indian Army.

Awards and decorations

Nishan-e-Haider (NH)


Karnel Sher Khan's home village of Naway Kiley ("New Village") is now named after him as Karnal Sher Kally ("Village of Karnal Sher Khan").


  1. "Captain Karnal Sher Khan". Pakistan Army Web Portal. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  2. "legends:Sher Khan". Daily Times, Pakistan. September 12, 2015.
  3. "Capt Carnel Sher Khan Shaheed - Nishan-i-Haider - 5th July 1999". Pak Army Museum.
  4. "Captain Karnal Sher Khan". Pakistan Army. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/13/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.