In search of true Afghan heroes, Sada e Azadi interviewed a soldier of the Afghan National Army (ANA) who defused several hundred mines in the last few years. The committed and brave man wants to serve in the ANA for as long as he can. Let's read more about him.
SeA: Please introduce yourself.
Answer: My name is Sergeant Bakhtawar, and I am serving in the Mine Clearing Unit of ANA.
Sgt. Bakhtawar: As we all know the continuous war against terrorism in our beloved country has affected every aspect of our lives by destroying properties and livelihoods. But we weren't discouraged to give up, and I decided to join the ANA to help bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. I know that progress and prosperity will follow. I enlisted in the ANA eight years ago and for the last seven years I have served in the Mine Clearing Unit.
SeA: How many mines have you cleared, and was there any particular incident you can share with us?
Sgt. Bakhtawar: In the last seven years I have defused around 400 mines and unexploded devices. Defusing every mine is an incident that requires attention, calmness, and skills.
SeA: Do you think you have saved lives by defusing that many mines?
Sgt. Bakhtawar: The enemies of peace, planting mines, do not care about the civilian lives. With the help of the Almighty God, hundreds of innocent lives are saved each time I defused a mine.
SeA: What do you feel when you defuse a mine or explosive materials?
Sgt. Bakhtawar: When I defuse a mine I feel I did great work. We know that the Almighty God gifted the life to someone, and we are not allowed to take that away. By saving an innocent's life, I feel that I please the Almighty. I believe that those people in the community that helped me in my duty when defusing the mines will also be rewarded by the Almighty God's mercies.
SeA: What have you achieved in your personal life since you joined the ANA?
Sgt. Bakhtawar: My family enjoys a better lifestyle, and we don't experience financial difficulties because I receive an honest Halal salary and other benefits like medical care. I have travelled throughout the country and abroad; seen many places that without joining the ANA, I couldn't have done.
I participated in various training in Afghanistan including a six-month course in Mazar-e Sharif. I also travelled to Turkey to attend a three-month training program which was a valuable experience as well as visiting different people and culture.
But the greatest achievement I have is the pride, honour, and the recognition that the ANA, and particularly the mine clearing duty, have given me.