18th Battalion – The Frontier Force Regiment (18 FF)

This was a war-raised battalion and while the Army Order to raise it was issued on September 16th, 1965, it was not until September 19th that it was actually on the ground. Four officers and 534 J.C.O.s and other- ranks, all ex-servicemen/reservists, were seen wearing their own local mufti on the first parade. However, they were all Piffers and had come from various FF units. Such was the spirit at the time that the battalion on September 22nd, 1965 actually moved to Kharian. The first Commanding Officer of the battalion was Lieutenant-Colonel Ghaus Muhammad Malik, who took over on September 24th, 1965.

It will be recalled that the cease fire took place on September 23rd but there were still some small actions in the Sind area which had to be completed.

18 FF moved on the morning of September 29th for Khokrapar in Sind, a distance of over 700 miles from Kharian. The battalion arrived at Khokrapar on the night of September 30/October 1, 1965, having changed over to the meter gauge railway at Hyderabad. It should be noted, especially by old soldiers who must wonder at this feat, that the battalion since its raising had been entrained and detrained some six times and had moved over almost one thousand miles without losing any personnel or equipment. A remarkable achievement by any standards.

The following officers were present with the battalion;

Lieutenant-Colonel Ghaus Muhammad Malik
Major Muhammad Iqbal Badar
Major Jan Gul Khan
Major Sardar Muhammad Saif Ud Din Khan
Major Syed Muhammad Muslim Zaidi
Captain Muhammad Saeed Butt
Captain Zia Ud Din
Captain Sajjad Akbar
Lieutenant Abdul Badih, A.M.C.
Lieutenant Khawaja Ali Abbas

Soon 18 FF took over responsibility from 8 FF of a portion of the forward line with a front of some 35,000 yards. On October 10th, 1965 a patrol confirmed that the enemy had occupied the high ground south of Harsal with a company group of their regular army.

Having obtained the necessary permission the battalion went into action by attacking this enemy company on October 11 th. Harsal was taken and the enemy left behind some eight prisoners, four dead bodies and a large dump of ammunition and rations. The enemy retaliated by counter-attacking but all such attacks were beaten off. This was an excellent start to the life of a new battalion which had only been raised some three weeks ago.