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Somewhere in the mountains, the terrorists had been hiding for very long time. Area had been so inaccessible that mules and footsloggers had to tread for days, climbing series of ridges and peaks, stopping every step to breathe in the diluting air. Place had been a favorite hideout for the miscreants due to its location. It took lot of time before this place could be discovered. There were not many options to neutralize this strong point but Army Aviation.

It had been raining all over the country for past many days in February 2010. The routine change of crew in the operational area had been delayed due to overstretched bad weather. Pilots at both places were uncomfortable ; at the home base and the forward base. Pilots on the home base were ardent to get into battle and pilots at forward base were sick of prolonged rain spell fixing them on ground.

Weather cleared on 9th February for change of crew. On that day forward base was in huge bustle. Pilots already there were packing up after missions, briefing the incomers on the run. Helicopters were being refueled and armed for quick turnaround. Clear weather had been un well come news for miscreants. Major Muddasir and Captain Asim had hardly stepped down on the flight lines that they were paired for an engagement. Both hurriedly prepared were airborne for battle. It was late after sunset that they could return to their quarters.

On 10th February the day was clear to fly and fight. Both were in a jubilant mood because they were tasked to complete the task assigned yesterday. Place was known, target was known, only ferocity of the prey was underestimated. As they reached the target area the number of miscreants had multiplied considering it as their safe heaven. Leaving the support helicopter on the top the pair of Cobras went down with blazing guns. Each dive to deliver cannon raised more of dust and debris on ground sending unfaithful to their eternal place in hell. Both Cobras were taking their turns to finish of the evil on ground that Muddasir decided for yet closer engagement of the target with missile. He put the helicopter in steady dive to give best possible launch parameters to Captain Asim who was fixing his missile sights on the hardest part of the target. And then suddenly hell broke loose. Cobra received a direct hit on the tail. Pilot on the top saw it swirling down the valley engulfed in the fire. Support pilot went down to see for survivors but was deterred by heavy fire. Cobra was fiercely burning down in the valley with bravest pilots still strapped to their seats. Palace was so remote that nearest body of troops would even take hours to reach the crash site right in the middle of a miscreant strong hold. Two brave pilots had gone down with their burning steed in the line of duty. Following hours took heavy toll on the rescue efforts. Officers, men an pilots with their helicopters made desperate efforts to recover them. Brigadier Abbas leading the rescue elements got fatal injuries along with injured men and damaged helicopters.

Captain Asim was flag bearer of a military tradition. His father had proudly served in Army Medical Corps for years to retire as lieutenant colonel. Asim had joined signals on the graduation with 106 PMA long course but his adventure instinct guided him to Army Aviation to fly Cobras. His raw courage had already earned him an Imtiazi Sanad.

Major Muddasir was from daring breed of lieutenants who had passed out at the peak of Kargil operations in 1999. Many of his coursemates had met their lucky destination soon after graduation during Kargil conflict. Commissioned in Punjab regiment his flying instinct brought him in Army Aviation. For last two years he had been in constant merry go around of IN and OUT of operational area every fortnight. His untiring stamina in filed had earned him the reputation of being “man on fire in the cockpit”. He went down with same burning desire in the line of duty.

Muddasir was blessed with a son two months prior to his Shahadat. Ammar is about ten months old who giggles like any child of his age but with a difference. He has not seen his father in the house but some where in his deepest mind is engraved colour of a flying suit. Seeing any one in flying suit he calls him ”PAPA”. Muddasir or his remains never returned form the crash site. His grave was dug and closed again to await his return. Ammar may be called lucky or unlucky that he will never find grave of his father but might be ardently waiting to wear the flying suit whose colour in so deeply engraved in his mind.