Born in Baroh in 1915 ,Khushi Baba spent his childhood days at baroh ridge in a way that has not changed much even now in this village with children more attached to nature and outdoor games and very little of an entertainment at home.Khushi baba then moved out to take on the world the moment he realised he was strong and old enough to leave home.
In 1942,Khushi Baba enrolled himself in the BRITISH ARMY and mastered in Guerilla training at Pune(Indian) and joined 619 Field regt. He worked tenaciously under the command of English officers. However,during the time of 1940's, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was struggling for Pakistan and separate nation for Muslims. Khushi Baba resigned from the British Army and decided to return back to his village of Baroh.
1946- Kashmir was under the rule of king Dogar. Dogar was building up an Army of his own in Kashmir, owing to the political developments in the subcontinent and more likelihood of the creation of two countries ,Pakistan and India. Khushi Baba on hearing of the package Dogar army had to offer, which included pension at the end of retirement and better scale of wages, enrolled himself in the Dogar Army at Nowshera.( Nowshera is only two ridges to the East of village BAROH).But it wasnt all fairy tale for Khushi Baba joining the Dogar's Army as onset of 1947 brought with it fresh violence especially the burning down of Muslim villages by Dogar Army in the-presently- Indian Occupied Kashmir.Khushi Baba saw the burning,the killings of his fellow Muslims ,rapes of young women at the hands of hindu Dogars and prejudices of extreme nature. On realizing how biased the Dogars were ,Khushi baba couldn't convince his conscience, to be working under an Army that was going rampant on Muslims.
JUNE 1947-ESCAPE FROM DOGAR ARMY BASE CAMP
Pakistan was about to get independent .As Redcliff and his counterparts were busy dividing the subcontinent into two,words had reached Khushi Baba and his group of - planning to be deserters - of how hard the times were coming up for the Muslims of the region.He already had planned to take revenge for the spilled blood of his muslim brothers and sisters, by the Dogars.
So khushi Bada besides others ,decided to desert the dogars. They were at that time,living in the Base camp of Dogars in nowshehra .the only escape route through the base camp lay near the latrines and washrooms.one pitch dark night , khushi Baba along with others finally made a move .Through the small windows of the washrooms ,they jumped out of base camps and started running towards the ridge (Chai Ridge) that would lead them to Baroh.They knew they would be followed and killed as soon as the Dogars found out they had deserted.Khushi Baba tells of how long the night was and they kept on running and climbing the ridge through the darkness until they reached the other side of Chai ridge.
On reaching the safe zone ,it was dawn and sun was rising as Khushi Baba knelt and kissed the soil of Chai village.The moment he saw the Baroh ridge ,he started crying and promised His God that he would take revenge for all the Muslim killings he has seen.
|This picture was taken from the Baroh Ridge as sun rises from the CHAI RIDGE.The same ridge Baba Khushi crossed at dawn more than 60 years ago.Across this ridge lies the Indian city of Nowshehra ,once a base camp of Dogar Army|
Post 1947- ARRIVAL OF THE PATHAANS AND QUBAILEE PEOPLE
Qubailee people arrived to help out Muslims of Kahmir ,following Dogar's post independence annexation of Kashmir to India.In the region in proximity to Baroh, the qubailee Lashkars made their base camps in SAMAHNI and TANDAR villages. Khushi Baba knew the region very well and went to Tandar to help out the pathaans and qubailees.He served as a vital Asset to the qubailees ,showing them the various vulnerable areas and defiles and helped them understand the dynamics of the landscape around Baroh .On reaching Kartan ( a ridge on left end of Baroh) . The qubailees decided to camp before the fateful encounter with the dogars.They ate and danced for three consecutive days.(Khushi baba tells me of how the Pathhaans loved to eat meat and mutton and they spent three days eating and slept at Kartan to revitalize themselves for the upcoming encounter with the Dogar Army at CHAI RIDGE). After three days ,the commander of the Lashkar gathered his men and told them to take on the Dogars and occupy the ridge .(Khushi baba told me in a very candid way every word that commander spoke before the encounter with the Dogars.Khushi baba spoke in pashto and then translated for my convenience.He can speak urdu,pushto,punjabi,persian,all learnt over the period of a century) .
So the qubailees took on the Dogars and defeated them.The Dogars fled back to Nowshera Base Camp and even left their loadded trucks behind. However words had come of the huge Indian Army reaching Nowshera to rescue the Dogars .KHushi Baba suggested that the qubailees must not sit relaxed on the Chai ridge and move forward but nobody paid a heed to his words. On seeing how the Qubailees had given up any further advance,He left and went to the Pathaans and lashkars of SAMAHNI.
The commander of the Samahni LASHKAR was named Capt Khan.He was a wise man and a good tactician.On hearing Khushi Baba ,he took the news of Indian Army's arrival very seriously and planned out how to stop the indians from taking over Chai ridge. Khushi Baba knew the Indian side of Chai ridge very well ,he knew the most vulnerable points and tracks in the routes of Indian Army .Capt Khan gave 600 men to Khushi Baba to ambush Indian Army on its way to the ridge.
|This picture of KHUSHI BABA was taken in late 1947,at the time when he was working for Capt Khan,commander of the Pathaan Lashkar camped in Samahni.|
Throughout the 1950's and 1960's ,Khushi Baba continued to infiltrate the Indian Occupied Kashmir and was a very useful spy.He married in 1949 to a woman from a nearby village but spent next two decades away from home ,away from family and kept spying for his country.He still remembers how he would disguise himself like a shepherd and had once brought a herd of 30 cows from Indian territory and distributed them equally among his fellow villagers of Baroh.
But nothing comes easy.Every sacrifice has a price to pay. In Khushi Baba's case,his family left him owing to his long years of absence and his wife settled in Gujrat. This was the biggest price Khushi Baba had to pay for his country and the tragedy is that it goes unheard of.During his whole spying career. Khushi Baba had done eight successful infiltration and had once kept 20 men hidden in the jungle eating leaves and insects until the LOC finally became less hostile to cross .
Khushi Baba at present lives all alone and his kids are still settled in Gujrat. Little do they know how much sacrifices their father had carried out throughout his life in the name of Islam and Pakistan.Little do they realize their father is among the biggest 'unsung heroes' of Pakistan.
|Khushi baba still lives in Baroh village|