Pakistan Army observed April 30 as “Day of Martyrs” to pay tribute to its soldiers who laid down their lives for the country’s defense. GHQ Rawalpindi and in all the Corps Head Quarters Functions are arranged. COAS General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani laid wreaths on the graves of martyrs in GHQ; he mets their families, and listened to their problems as well. Similarly, senior army officers in Military Garrisons visited Shuhada-e-Yadgars, laid wreath on them. Functions were arranged to greet families of Shuhada. Reportedly, more than forty nine thousand Pakistanis have lost their lives in the ongoing war on terror. Among them sixteen thousand personnel are soldiers and officers of the army. Pakistan is suffering a loss of one billion dollar monthly and has also far suffered a total of 80 billion dollars to its economy so far.

The Army started celebrating ‘Day of Martyrs’ since 2010, the Army is keen to resolve problems of its personnel and help them. The message is that the family members of the martyrs are not abandoned. The army, if possible, also provides jobs to family members of the martyrs in its different institutions. Students seeking admissions in universities or professional institutions are given admissions on a priority basis. Respective Regiments of martyrs keep record of their martyrs’ families. The regiment keeps close contact with them and even daily routine matters of families are resolved. 140 soldiers and civilian were martyred on April 7, 2010 in Gayari sector. Up till now, 123 bodies of the martyred have been recovered from the ice and still search is on to recover the remaining 17 bodies.

Pakistan Army has fought on two fronts simultaneously, the eastern border and the western border. More than this, it’s also fighting against the enemy within. It has also undertaken nation building tasks in the country and contributing to the economic development of Pakistan. It’s also lending support in field of education as the army is running a network of 126 schools and colleges all over the country under the banner of APSACS. It has been noted that fee structure is affordable and about half than that of other educational institutions in Pakistan.

The US invaded Afghanistan in a bid to contain Pakistan, dismantle its nuclear program, assign India an important role in the region and make Pakistan a vassal state. Also, America aimed at grabbing central Asian reserves. Pakistan Army is ranked one of the best armies of the world, despite the economic disasters; it has countered American and Indian threats that lead US to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan. USA has suffered a military defeat at the hands of bare footed Afghans. Surprisingly, neither US government nor its media malign American forces and CIA’s activities in the world.

As Elections are drawing near, terrorist activities in Pakistan have intensified to sabotage the political process. India and America are behind terrorist activities to destabilize Pakistan and seek concessions in Afghanistan. Pakistan is the soil of martyrs and Ghazis: we have the traditions that the mother does not weep on the martyrdom of her son but receives congratulations from visiting guests and offers sweets to them. Let us express solidarity with our soldiers, pay homage to our martyrs.

PEERZADAH ABDUL HAFEEZ,

Multan, April 28.