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Former Mujahideen’s son trains in India to join Afghan army

Father of Mohammed Raheb Rashid, who was among 49 Afghan gentleman cadets, fought as a Mujahideen commander against Soviet forces during Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

dehradun Updated: Dec 09, 2018 09:00 IST
Kalyan Das
Kalyan Das
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Raheb Rashid with his father Zarif Rashid.
Raheb Rashid with his father Zarif Rashid. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
         

Among the 80 foreign gentleman cadets (FGC), who passed out on Saturday from IMA, there was a 24-year-old Afghan soldier who is eager to carry forward his father’s legacy.

Father of Mohammed Raheb Rashid, who was among 49 Afghan gentleman cadets, fought as a Mujahideen commander against Soviet forces during Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

Raheb said: “I was always determined to join the army after listening the heroic tales of his father and former Mujahideen commander, Mohammed Zarif Rashid, on how he fought the invading Soviet forces with his AK47 and a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) on his soldier.”

“It was always my father’s dream to see me joining the army and I have grown up listening to the tales of his valour and courage while fighting the Soviets in our country. I am happy that I have been able to live his dream and don the uniform,” said Raheb who was in National Defence Academy, Pune, before joining IMA.

Remembering the tales that his father used to narrate while he was a kid, he said, “I was always fascinated with the war tales which he used to narrate to me during childhood. I can remember, how he used to get passionate about our Afghanistan while narrating the tales of fighting against Soviet Union forces. He wanted me to join army as he knows the importance of country’s sovereignty.”

Speaking to HT, Raheb said one of the major reasons why he wanted to join the army “is the fact that serving country is taken as matter of pride in our religion and country”.

Raheb was also aware of his country’s war against Taliban in Afghanistan. “I am fully determined to fight them and defend my country. They are not Muslims as they are killing innocents in the name of Islam. I will fight them till the last drop of blood in my body.”

To witness him becoming an army officer, his father Zarif, 63, had come all the way from Kabul to Dehradun along with Raheb’s two cousins.

First Published: Dec 09, 2018 09:00 IST

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