Dr. Kelash Garvada, Pakistan’s first Hindu Army Major
Pakistan once again set an historic example of equality. Remember when Quaid e Azam said, “You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” Following the statement, Pakistan appointed its first Hindu major in the Pakistan Army.
A Hindu from Hyderabad Tharparkar, Sindh Dr. Kelash Garvada is the first from his community who has appointed as a Major in Pakistan Army.
Although, Hindus are allowed to join forces to serve 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.
Garvada got selected as a Captain after he graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences and became the first Hindu officer of the Pakistan Army to get selected for the Emergency Medicine course in University Hospital Birmingham.
Major Garvada has served people of the remote areas of Pakistan like Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Tharparkar and Hunza through army medical camps. Not only this, he had stayed in in Baltoro Sector near K2, which is the world’s highest post saddle, and a major tension point between India and Pakistan and for this, he had won a Tamgha-e-Dafa (a medallion given to personnel posted at Siachen).
Other than Tamgha-e-Dafa, Dr. Kelash had won a Tamgha-e-Baqa; and Tamgha-e-Azam for his anti-terrorism acts. He had also won a prize from the United Nations for his work on the civilizations of Indus Valley.
He was the first Hindu officer who also served as a Senior Pakistani Army Officer (SPAO) in a United Nation peacekeeping mission. Currently, Major Garvada is posted in Quetta in the 86 Medical Battalion of Pakistan Army as in charge of health services delivery.