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September 7, 2018

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Defence Day: Nation pays tributes to martyrs

By our correspondent

ISLAMABAD: The nation celebrated the Defence and Martyrs Day on Thursday to pay tribute to martyrs on the 53rd anniversary of the 1965 war.

The day dawned with a thirty-one gun salute in the federal capital and twenty-one gun salute in provincial capitals. Celebrations were scheduled across the country to mark the day with the main event taking place at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa were the chief guest on the occasion. The ceremony was held at 8pm.

A change of guard ceremony was held at the mausoleums of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi and at Allama Iqbal in Lahore. Special events to pay homage to the martyrs were also held at all district headquarters. Families of martyrs participated in the events to commemorate their sacrifices.

Wreath laying ceremonies were also held at the mausoleums of the recipients of Nishan-e-Haider and attended by senior officials of the respective areas across the country. After Fajr, special prayers were offered in mosques for the country's progress and prosperity. Fateha prayers and Quran Khwani events for the martyrs were also held later in the day.

On this day, 53 years ago, Indian forces had crossed the international border in the darkness of night to attack Pakistan, but the nation foiled the nefarious designs of the enemy.

During a ceremony at the Quaid's mausoleum, a smartly-turned-out contingent of Pakistan Air Force assumed guard duties. In Lahore, Garrison Commander Major General Muhammad Aamir laid a wreath and offered Fateha at Allama Iqbal’s mausoleum.

Meanwhile, a special ceremony to mark the Defence Day was held at the Fortress Stadium in Lahore under the aegis of Pakistan Army. Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar was the chief guest on the occasion. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Corps Commander Lahore Lt. Gen Aamir Riaz attended the ceremony.

President Mamnoon Hussain said that the people of Pakistan demonstrated unsurpassed national unity. In his message, the outgoing president added, "The sacrifices rendered by our valiant armed forces and the nation calls for carrying on the spirit of September by forging unity among our ranks and fostering collective consciousness and wisdom as these traits are imperative to defeat the evil designs and conspiracies of the enemy."

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his message to the nation on the Defence Day, said the Pakistan would leave no stone unturned in defending their motherland. “We stand side-by-side with valiant armed forces of the country,” the premier said.

"We will face all challenges while following Quaid-e-Azam's principles of unity, faith and discipline," he continued. PM Imran also paid rich tribute to the martyrs for their sacrifices in defending the motherland and assured their families that every possible step will be taken for their welfare. "Pakistan believes in peaceful coexistence and wants to promote mutual cooperation with the world, including neighbours on the basis of equality," PM Imran added.

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa paid tribute to the martyrs and their relatives on the occasion. In a promo released by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief said, "The death of a martyr has kept the country alive."

Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted, "It’s ‘Defence and Martyrs Day today. Let’s visit homes of our martyrs. Let’s salute them and their great families. Let’s thank them for their great sacrifices for our country. Great nations never forget their martyrs; we are a great nation."

Meanwhile, several politicians and ministers paid tribute to martyrs of the 1965 war. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Defence Day serves as a reminder to the enemies that the "armed forces and Pakistani nation were, are and will stay united for the sake of country's defence, progress, dignity and sovereignty". "Today, we will also have to reaffirm our resolve to make Pakistan a welfare and impregnable power whilst emulating the spirit of September war," Chaudhry added.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal reiterated the pledge to revive the spirit of unity of September 1965 in confronting new challenges. "Pakistan Army is now writing a new chapter of gallantry in the war against terrorism for the stability of the country and are rendering invaluable sacrifices for purging the country of the menace of terrorism," he added.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that those who sacrificed their lives for the nation are our heroes and will forever be remembered.

Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa on Thursday said the sacrifices of martyrs is a golden chapter in the history of Pakistan. An impressive wreath-laying ceremony was held at Yadgar-e-Shuhada in Quetta Cantt on Thursday to mark the 53rd Defence Day.

Pakistan Navy celebrated 53rd anniversary of Defence Day of Pakistan and Martyrs Day with due solemnity and reverence. The day was observed to commemorate supreme sacrifices of our Armed Forces and Shuhada, Ghazis and national heroes who stood against the aggressor and thwarted designs of numerically superior enemy with unprecedented display of unity and resolve during 1965 Indo-Pak War.

In his message on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi paid tribute to the Shuhada and Ghazis who rendered immense sacrifices while the nation stood united behind its soldiers, sailors and airmen in the defence of our motherland. The Admiral said that we need to remind ourselves that as a nation, we have been tested on numerous occasions whether on account of aggression from across the border or by extremist elements. Yet, we have always emerged more resolute by adhering to the spirit of Quaid’s golden principles of Faith, Unity and Discipline.

Flag hoisting ceremonies were held at all Pakistan Navy units and establishments wherein Commanding Officers of all units and establishments addressed special gatherings of officers and men and highlighted significance of the day. All ships and establishments were decorated and illuminated in accordance with Naval traditions. In addition, Sports activities and Declamation/ Quiz/ Milli Naghma competitions were also held at various Navy units/ establishments and PN administrated schools/ colleges.

Besides various ceremonies/ events, the hallmark of the day remained the mega display of professional acumen by Pakistan Navy Aviation, Pak Marines and Special Forces at Sea View Beach Clifton Karachi. Imran Ismail, Governor Sindh graced the occasion as chief guest.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) celebrated Defence Day of Pakistan with customary enthusiasm at all PAF Bases and installations. In his message on this auspicious occasion, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force said, “Defence Day of Pakistan symbolises the exemplary courage, sacrifice and unity of the Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan. The day holds a special significance in our history, as it revives the memory of our nation’s resolve in the face of aggression, thus showing the world that Pakistan knows how to safeguard its territorial integrity. Undoubtedly, Pakistan Air Force, in unison with sister services, delivered a knock-out punch to its rival during the ensuing air battle. Many brave sons of the soil embraced Shahadat or returned with a glow of pride as Ghazi.

This epoch making day was celebrated with a renewed pledge and determination to make “Fazaia” even more stronger and potent force to confront any challenge. The day started with special Dua and Quran Khawani for the Shuhada at all PAF Bases.

A static display of PAF aircraft and ammunition was likewise held at PAF Base, Nur Khan (Rawalpindi), PAF Base, Masroor (Karachi), PAF Base, Peshawar, PAF Base, Samungli (Quetta) and PAF Base Lahore. PAF’s fighter aircraft including F-16, JF-17 Thunder, Mirage and F-7 PG performed aerobatics to pay tribute to the warriors of 1965 and 1971 wars. Students form Fazaia schools and colleges presented national songs at the occasion which were highly applauded by the audience.

With the nation celebrating Defence and Martyrs Day Thursday to pay tribute to martyrs of the 1965 war, Pakistani cricketers also took to social media to post their messages.

Former Pakistan captain and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik paid tribute to the martyrs with a simple tweet. While all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez saluted the martyrs of the nation with a "Pakistan Zindabad."

Meanwhile, fast bowler Hasan Ali posted a picture of the martyrs of the 1965 war. Bowler Wahab Riaz tweeted, "There is no power on earth that can undo Pakistan."

Wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal also posted a message on the occasion of Defence and Martyrs Day.

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi in his message to the nation said, due to the sacrifices made by the Pakistan army there is peace in the Tirah valley. He added, he himself belongs to the valley and he is thankful that terrorism has been eliminated from there.

 

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