As the country paid homage to the fallen war heroes of 1965 on Thursday, Lahore celebrated the 47th Defence Day through various ceremonies commemorating the sacrifices made for Pakistan’s defence.
The day was marked by flag hoisting ceremonies on all army formation headquarters, units and installations, prayers for martyrs, and various other gatherings in different areas of the city. Posters of soldiers were put up on the Mall and at the Liberty roundabout.
The main services were held at the Lahore Garrison and Town Hall which commenced with flag hoisting. Day-long celebrations at the Lahore Garrison started with the recitation of the Holy Quran and special prayers were offered for the sovereignty, solidarity and integrity of Pakistan.
A ceremony was held at the Mazar-i-Iqbal to pay homage to the national poet which was attended by various civil and military officials. Garrison Commander Brigadier Mujahid Hussain laid a floral wreath and offered prayers as a contingent of Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) presented the salute.
A special ceremony was held at the grave of Major Shabbir Sharif, one of the ten recipients of the Nishan-e-Haider, Pakistan’s highest military award for bravery. DCO Noorul Amin Mengal, speaking at the ceremony, said that Major Sharif was a brave and heroic man who sacrificed his life for the country.
Similar ceremonies were held at various monuments around the city including Batapur and Gunj-i-Shuhada near Kasur.
A reception was hosted by Lahore Corps Commander Lieutenant General Rashad Mahmood in honour of war veterans.
DCO Mengal, while addressing the ceremony at the Town Hall, said that the nation would not forget sacrifices of the September 6, 1965 martyrs and the bravery shown by the army in defending the country, particularly Lahore.
DCO Mengal, MNA Pervaiz Malik, Commodore Akbar Naqvi and Group Captain M Z Faisal jointly hoisted the Hilal-i-Istaqlal flag and volunteers of the Civil Defence Department presented a guard of honour to Mengal.
The ceremony was marked by national songs and anthems sung by students of the Government Model School for Girls, Model Town and by a band of the Punjab Police.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2012.
More in PunjabNGO backs campaign against sheesha