Commemorating Sept 1965: Nation celebrates Defence Day with fervour

Ceremonies held to honour the fallen and victors of the war.

Defence Day in Pakistan marked by flag-hoisting ceremonies on all formation headquarters, units and army installations. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK

The Defence Day of Pakistan was observed with traditional fervour on Friday to pay homage to the martyrs and victors who rendered supreme sacrifices in defence of the motherland. Special prayers were offered for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of the motherland in all mosques.

Army brass and civilian dignitaries laid floral wreaths and offered fateha at the graves of the recipients of Nishan-e-Haider, the highest gallantry award.

Hilal-e-Istiqlal was hoisted in the cities of Lahore, Sargodha and Sialkot where citizens alongside armed forces braved  the enemy’s aggression with valour and honour. The three cities were awarded the medal for valour in the 1965 war when they were the target of the enemy’s advances. Among the three, Lahore and Sialkot were part of the battle theatre while Sargodha was the base of Pakistan Air Force.

In Lahore, the main festivity of the day was the display of armament and other Army events at the Fortress Stadium which included band display and acrobatics by the Army Aviation Aircraft.

A change of guard ceremony was held at Mazar-e-Iqbal where jawans of Pakistan Army took charge of security duties from the Punjab Rangers.

The Defence Day celebrations remain unfulfilled without the mention of Chawinda where one of the biggest tank battles after World War II was fought. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid on Friday visited graves of the Shuhada in Chawinda, Pasrur tehsil.

The minister narrated that the brave people of Sialkot and Chawinda while battling shoulder to shoulder with the armed forces of Pakistan had repulsed the biggest attack of the Indian army with 600 tanks at Chawinda.

In Azad Jammu & Kashmir, special ceremonies to mark the day were held under the auspices of various social, political and public organisations to highlight the importance of the day.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa a special ceremony was held at the grave of Captain Karnal Sher Khan, the recipient of Nishan-e-Haider, at his native town in Swabi district to pay homage to the courageous hero of the 1999 Kargil War.

Meanwhile in Karachi, on the occasion of the Defence Day of Pakistan the cadets of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Academy Risalpur mounted guard duty at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

The ceremony was keenly witnessed by common people including a large number of students from various schools and colleges who had gathered at the Mazar.

Wreath laying ceremonies were also held at Shuhuda’s memorials at Pakistan Navy Dockyard. Commander Submarines laid wreath and offered fateha at the monument built in memory of the martyrs of submarine Ghazi at PNS Abdoze. PNS Ghazi was the only submarine in the 1965 war.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2013.

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