Muhammad Latif - The term “Defence Day Celebrations” is synonymous to the resolve of Pakistani nation to defend the territorial integrity of its Motherland from external and internal aggression while preserving the Ideology of Pakistan. Commonly celebrated on 6th September to commemorate the great sacrifices rendered by the Pakistan Armed Forces against the Indian display of its military might, the Defence Day actually denotes each and every occasion when the Pakistani armed forces, supported by all segments of the society, defeated both covert and overt attempts by our adversary to inflict damage to the core interests of Pakistan.

Since the creation of Pakistan, India has always been conspiring to weaken the newly born state by employing all available means at its disposal. The first act of aggression committed by India was to invade the Muslim-majority State of Jammu & Kashmir, which remains the bone of contention between the two arch rivals in South Asia to date. Today’s Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan are the living legends of the bravery and resolve of the people of the newly founded nation. United uprising and response generated by all segments of the Pakistani society against this act of external aggression was the first display of the “Defence Day”. Baffled by the spirit of the Pakistani nation to not only defend its territorial integrity but the ability to regain Indian Occupied Kashmir, India took shelter of the United Nations.

Misconstrued by its military might India once again ventured to challenge the integrity of Pakistani Nation by attacking West Pakistan in 1965. Indian Generals had fantasised to swiftly brush aside the comparatively small and ill equipped Pakistan Army and have dinner at Lahore Gymkhana. To their surprise entire Pakistani nation rose against this act of external aggression and fought side by side its Armed Forces to defend each and every inch of its motherland.

The Indian Strategists had wrongly appreciated the Centre of Gravity of Pakistan as lying only in its Armed Forces whereas it actually lied in the unanimous support of entire Pakistani Nation for its Armed Forces. Ability to get united against any external threat is the hallmark of Pakistani Nation which is acknowledged by all and sundry. From the great sacrifices of Major Aziz Bhatti and Lance Naik Muhammad Hussain at the front line to the morale boosting ever green melodious songs of Noor Jehan to the spirit of Cities of Sialkot and Sargodha all contributed to defeat the nefarious designs of our enemy; this is the true spirit of the celebrations of Defence Day.

In 1965, Indian planners had thought that by capturing vital spaces in West Pakistan they would be able to isolate East Pakistan. Having been thoroughly defeated in the West India shifted its focus to East and ultimately succeeded in dismembering Pakistan in 1971 due to short sighted approach of the then Political and military leadership. On the Western front Indian efforts to capture sensitive spaces were foiled by brave sons of the soil like Major Shabbir Sharif. Though enemy was able to cause severe damage to Pakistan by cutting off one of its arm, India could not succeed in lowering the spirit of the Pakistani Nation as rest of Pakistan stood firm on its stance on vital Kashmir issue.

Russian invasion of Afghanistan in late Seventies and its desire to reach to the warm waters forced Pakistan to become a frontline state. Duly funded by US led allies Afghanistan attracted Jehadis from across the Globe through Pakistan. Huge influx of Afghan refugees brought along Kalashnikov and drug culture and Pakistani society got introduced to bomb blasts and sectarian violence.

Taking advantage of the prevailing environment notorious intelligence agency of India, RAW supported proxies in Balochistan and the then NWFP and carried out sabotage activities in Pakistan, recent being the Quetta carnage post-RAW operative Kulbushan Yadav’s arrest. The resilient Pakistani society stood firm in response to testing time. Remembering the sacrifices of unsung heroes who laid their lives for the cause of Pakistan is essential part of Defence Day Celebrations.

Indian enmity to Pakistan is perennial as its policy makers are always on the look out to cause damage to our national interests and   never miss a chance to embarrass Pakistan. Indian occupation of un- demarcated Siachen Glacier in 1984 was also continuation of same design which generated a coordinated response by Army and the local populace to check its further ingress and ultimate goal of severing our road link with China.

Pakistan is fighting a war in the highest battle field of the world for last 32 years. Sacrifices of great sons of the soil like Captain Karnal Sher Khan and Havildar Lalak Jan are testimony to the strong will of our nation to defend every inch of the sacred motherland. Shahadat of 140 soldiers and civilians in Gyari in 2012 and Pakistan Army’s determination to recover each and every dead body is the true reflection of the strength of our national character; commemorating Shuhada of Gyari by the people of Pakistan is the true reflection of the spirit of Defence Day Celebrations.

Following the overt nuclearization of South Asia, India unveiled its Cold Start Doctrine to keep space for limited conventional war which failed to accrue the desired results during 2001-2002 standoffs between the two belligerents. In the aftermath of Mumbai attacks, India threatened to resort to Hot Pursuit Operations and Surgical Strikes to coerce Pakistan to regress on its Kashmir Policy. On ground India resorted to Proactive Strategy in an effort to impose a swift, short duration war remaining below the perceived nuclear threshold of Pakistan to embarrass Pakistan Army.

Pakistan checkmated with a superior strategy and denied victory to the enemy as India had to pull back its forces without achieving its military aim. Through a series of War Games Pakistan evolved and matured New Concept of War Fighting to counter Indian Pro Active Strategy further narrowing the space for Limited War. Moreover, Pakistan has been able to develop long range missiles capable of engaging every corner of India which has deterred India to wage war. Acquisition of second strike capability by Pakistan has established credible nuclear deterrence and is major factor in maintaining peace in the region. Defeating Indian design to impose war on Pakistan is a victory attributable to superior Pakistani art of war necessitating expression of joy at national level as part of Defence Day Celebrations.

India is always seeking an excuse to violate the ceasefire agreement to keep LoC hot and volatile with a view to maintaining large number of regular and paramilitary forces in Kashmir Valley to quell the indigenous uprising in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Brutalities of Indian Armed Forces have not been able to suppress pro Pakistan sentiments of Muslim and Sikh population of Indian Occupied Kashmir and the Valley keeps on echoing with the slogans like “Kashmir Baney Ga Pakistan“. Pakistan Army deployed along LoC and Working Boundary is steadfast to deter any aggression by the India Armed Forces.

Remaining within the limited fiscal space Pakistan Army is well configured to face much superior adversary on our eastern borders. Entire Pakistani nation is standing shoulder to shoulder with its Army to defend our sacred Motherland; this feeling of national solidarity symbolizes true spirit of Defence Day Celebrations.