Our staff reporter/Agencies

ISLAMABAD

Pakistanis are observing today Defence and Martyrs Day to pay tributes to the shaheeds and ghazis, and to reaffirm the commitment to defend the motherland against all threats.

On September 6, 1965 Indian forces crossed international border in the darkness of night to attack Pakistan but the valiant armed forces and the people foiled nefarious designs of the enemy.

This year the Defence and Martyrs Day is also being marked as Kashmir Solidarity Day to express support of Pakistani nation to the oppressed people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) who have been under lockdown for over a month now.

Special prayers will be offered after fajr in mosques for the progress and prosperity of the country and independence of Kashmir from the cruel clutches of India. Fateha and Quran Khawani will also be held for the martyrs.

The day will dawn with 31-gun salute at the federal and provincial capitals. Main ceremony of the day will be held at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

According to a notification issued by the interior ministry, the offices throughout the country will be closed by 3pm to mark the day and show solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Thursday said national courage is a must for country’s defence. He said great nations always remember their martyrs. He requested all Pakistanis to reach out to the families of those who laid their lives in the line of duty.

Talking to Dunya TV, ISPR DG said Pakistan has sacrificed more than 81,000 lives in the fight against terrorism.

About Kashmir, he said, the issue has become an international matter now because of Modi’s illegal actions. He said he has already briefed that we know how to fight, adding that the incumbent government is active on diplomatic front to beat Indian moves on Occupied Kashmir.

Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan Army is standing with Kashmiris from last 72 years and it will continue supporting them until they get freedom.

He said Pak army has a keen eye on LoC situation and a reply like given on February 27 would be given if India tried a mistake again.

ISPR DG said ceremony for September 6 would be held at GHQ and public is requested to watch it. He said PM Imran Khan has praised Pak Army for taking care of the families of the martyrs and a big part of our welfare funds goes to martyrs’ families.

 

 

President’s message

In a message on the occasion, President Dr Arif Alvi said, “September 6 dawns every year with remembrance of national spirit and for renewal of our resolve to lay down our lives for our beloved motherland.”

He added, “54 years  ago, our valiant Armed Forces, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the nation, immortalized this day as a symbol of courage, bravery, sacrifice and national integrity by thwarting the evil designs of the enemy.”

The President further said, “Inspired by those proud moments, we have successfully confronted various internal challenges and defeated external conspiracies and by imbibing us with the passion for self-sufficiency, September Spirit has made our independence and sovereignty invincible”.

He emphatically stated that in addition to being fully modernised, Pakistan’s Armed Forces were imbued with the spirit of patriotism and sacrifice, and were capable of defeating any internal and external adventurism.

“The world has already witnessed their capabilities in February this year, when they effectively and swiftly responded to Indian intrusion and made it clear to the world that their hearts are still charged with September [1965] Spirit and they will go to any extent to safeguard the freedom, integrity and sovereignty of the motherland,” he said.

The President on this occasion also reiterated country’s solidarity with Kashmiris “We will continue raising their just struggle for freedom at all levels and platforms,” he added.

Dr Alvi said Indian brutalities and cruelties could not suppress their spirit of freedom. Undoubtedly, “Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory.”

The President said there were many Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir dispute and it should be resolved according to those resolutions. “Therefore, Indian unilateral actions in this regard have no significance and we do not accept these fascist actions.”

He said that the serious notice by Security Council of Indian barbarism in IOK was a reflection of that fact. “Surely, the world has realized that this conflict is the biggest danger to the world peace.”

The President said, “Pakistan is a peaceful nation and has rendered enormous sacrifices for world peace. We are desirous of friendly relations with all our neighbours. Moreover, sustainable peace in Afghanistan is our biggest desire and for this we fully support the ongoing reconciliation efforts.”

He added, “Today, apart from external threats, Pakistan is also facing various internal challenges. Remember, strong economy and economic prosperity alone can guarantee a prosperous Pakistan.”

Dr Alvi said, “We will eradicate poverty and deprivation from the country by strengthening our economy with the same determination and endurance, with which we fought against terrorism and responded to the foreign aggression”.

In the end, he said, “I would like to reiterate that the spirit of safeguarding the motherland should not be restricted to 6 September alone; rather we should incorporate this passion in our everyday life”.

He went to say, “Along with paying tribute to our martyrs and war veterans, let us renew our resolve that, following in their footsteps, we will not leave any stone unturned for the realization of right to self-determination of Kashmiris and for progress, prosperity and stability of Pakistan.”

PM’s message

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his message, said that the Pakistani nation was fully alive to any kind of misadventure by the enemy and was prepared to give the enemy the fullest possible response.

“I have informed the world that Pakistan does not want war, but at the same time, Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the challenges posed to its security and integrity. We are prepared to give the enemy the fullest possible response,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that the armed forces, the Pakistani nation, the political leadership, both the houses of Parliament, the mainstream and social media all were in one voice against India’s illegal, unilateral, reckless and coercive attempt to alter the disputed status of Indian occupied Kashmir.

He said September 6, the Defence Day of Pakistan, stood out in the history of Pakistan as a symbol of enduring display of unity, indomitable courage and unmatched sacrifices by our gallant soldiers.

He said the Pakistani soldiers, on this day, years ago, had proved to the world that the country’s defence was unassailable and the valiant armed forces were ever ready to defend every inch of the motherland.

In the 1965 war, the valour of our armed forces and the spirit of the people presented a true picture of oneness and coordination, discipline and perseverance.

“Both the people and the men in uniform proved that it’s not the size that matters but what matters the most is the courage and devotion to duty,” the prime minister remarked while paying compliments to the brave forces who have ensured the safety and security of the motherland in all testing times and offered exemplary sacrifices in the pursuance of peace.

“Our shuhada and ghazi are our heroes and the nation owes them gratitude and respect. I salute the gallant sons of soil who laid down their lives while defending Pakistan, and pay respect to their families for unparalleled sacrifices they rendered for our tomorrow,” the prime minister said.

He said even today, Pakistan was facing a similar situation with the enemy once again showing aggressive postures on the Line of Control and had unleashed reign of terror on innocent and unarmed people of the Occupied Valley after changing the status of Kashmir by abolishing Articles 370 and 35-A in violation of the UN Charter.

He said for Pakistan, Kashmir stood as its jugular vein and altering its status posed challenges to Pakistan’s security and integrity.

“The fascist government is hell bent upon suppressing the Kashmiri people’s just struggle against India’s illegitimate occupation, denying them their right to self-determination permissible under the UN Resolutions,” the prime minister said.

Besides, he said the Muslims across India faced detention camps and cancellation of citizenship because of the Hindutva ideology.

He told the nation that he had called upon the world community to take note of the doctrine of hate and genocide and push India to stop it forthwith.

He also urged upon the international community to seriously consider the safety and security of India’s nuclear arsenal that was in the control of a racist and Hindu supremacist government because this was an issue that impacted not just the South Asian region but the whole world.

Prime Minister Imran said Pakistan had launched a proactive diplomatic activity in the world capitals as well as in the UN to expose the true face of today’s radicalized India.

“Failing, the world community will be responsible for the catastrophic aftermath. We will never leave our Kashmiri brethren alone, come what may; we will continue our moral, political and diplomatic support for their inalienable right to self-determination within the framework of UN resolutions,” the prime minister resolved.

He said he had full confidence in his valiant armed forces which were capable enough of giving befitting response to any kind of aggression by the enemy.

He said Pakistan had already displayed a very high standard of professionalism in the recent past and it continued to do so when challenged.

“While remembering today the 1965 War heroes, we pay homage to our shuhada and ghazi and draw inspiration from their iconic acts of valour and sacrifices,” he said.

Under the same September Spirit, the prime minister said the nation and the armed forces were determined to defend every inch of the motherland and safeguard the security and sovereignty of Pakistan at all costs.