I dedicate this story to the military force of my country, Pakistan.

Earsplitting screams of air raid sirens entered his ears. He ran, his shirt smeared in thick blood. A wave of pain originated from his injured arm but he did not care. He had to run; for life had brought him to the front line, transforming him into a savior, a protector. His heavy black boots produced thumping sounds as he ran and perspiration ran down his forehead. The intense heat had reddened his face and he was extremely parched but he had to run. A savior, a protector; these words echoed in his mind so he ran. This time with a heavy spirit and redeemed hope. With ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ on his lips, he ran…

The evening of 8th June had been no less than a shock; for the nation, for the protectors. Terrorists had attacked the Karachi International Airport! Within an hour or so, the terrorists had their total grasp on the airport. Threat lingered above the sovereignty of the state so there they were; to save, to protect. And there he was, right at the airport, leading his group.

“Operation 638 initiated. Attack!”, he whispered into his wireless. He was feeling a combination of emotions: extreme fear and extreme patriotism. In the dull light, his features looked strong and sculpted. Buildings erupted into showers of cement, bricks and dust before his eyes. His heart hammered against his chest as he realized that the time had come. He stepped forward, gesturing others to follow. Baby steps at first, then a little more quickly, and then he ran with bravery bursting out in his veins like never before.

“Allah-o-Akbar”, he recited, his voice louder now, he was sure that his voice was enough to shred out the clouds of terror. And then he attacked.

The sun of 9th June shone more brightly than ever as if it was trying to highlight his motionless uniformed body on the quite ground of the airport. His ‘khaaki’ colored uniform was now with stains of red. The operation had been successful, for he and all others had proved to be saviors, protectors by sacrificing what is most important: life. Now, several laid there, with the color khaki patched red but with integrity most high, most supreme.

A silent salute to those who neglected their own lives to save several others in such times of crisis, and above all, to save the integrity of Pakistan!

Huda Ehsan
Angels International College