Pakistan just appointed its first Hindu Major in the Pakistan Army. It is historic but it is also eye-opening as to the opportunities afforded to the minorities. With not much representation and support for them into the mainstream, incidents like this are still making news after more than 70 years since the birth of Pakistan.
Dr. Kelash Garvada is from Hyderabad Tharparkar, Sindh and was recently appointed as the first Major from the Hindu community the Pakistan Army
After graduation from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences , he got selected as a Captain in the Pakistan Army.
He is the first Hindu officer of the Pakistan Army to get selected for the Emergency Medicine course in University Hospital Birmingham.
Dr. Kelash has also served the Pakistani population through medical camps set in remote areas like Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Tharparkar and Hunza.
Dr. Kelash has represented Pakistan in Uganda, Egypt, Dubai, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland and won a Tamgha-e-Dafa (a medallion given to personnel posted at Siachen) for staying 36 days in Baltoro Sector near K2, which is the world’s highest post saddle, and a major tension point between India and Pakistan.
He has also won a Tamgha-e-Baqa; and Tamgha-e-Azam for his anti-terrorism acts.
Dr Kelash has served Pakistan by participating in Operation Aimeezan in Waziristan and Operation Rah-e-Nijat in Swat.
He presented a study on the civilization of Indus valley and won a UN medal. He has also served as a Senior Pakistani Army Officer (SPAO) in a United Nation peacekeeping mission.
Currently, Dr. Kelash is posted in Quetta in the 86 Medical Battalion of Pakistan Army as in charge of health services delivery.
Hindus have been allowed to join the Pakistan Defence Forces, and many have joined and served the country, rising to top-posts like Air Commodores and Naval Commanders in the Air Force but this is allegedly the first high-ranking Army appointment from the community.
In the wake of the tensions in Kashmir, this news is a breath of fresh air and a positive towards acceptance and diversity by Pakistan.
Cover image via: @garvada via Instagram / newsin.asia