LAHORE - The nation celebrated 44th Defence Day on Sunday to commemorate the great sacrifices for defending the state against Indian aggression and renewed the pledge to make countrys defence unshakable. The day dawned with Quran Khawani for the souls of martyrs in all the main mosques in the provincial metropolis. Special prayers were offered after Fajir prayers for the solidarity, prosperity and integrity of Pakistan and for occupied Muslim territories including Kashmir and Palestine. The day was observed with national flag hoisting ceremonies on all the formation headquarters, units and installations. The change of guards ceremony was held at the mazar of Allama Muhammad Iqbal where Garrison Commander Major General Shafqat Ahmad also laid floral wreath. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) celebrated the Defence Day with traditional fervour to pay tribute to its warriors and heroes who laid down their lives in encounters with the enemy on September 6, 1965. Air Vice Marshal Sohail Aman inaugurated the celebrations during a ceremony held at PAF. Air Commodore Mumtaz Ahmad Shahi, other PAF officials and children of different schools attended the ceremony. The PAF also exhibited different stalls to remember the sacrifices of warriors who laid lives to defend their homeland during the war. On the occasion, PAF veteran pilots also presented magnificent air show besides a solo flying display by PAF F-16 aircraft, which drew the attention and admiration from the visitors present at venue. The Commander Lahore Corps, Lieutenant General Ijaz Ahmad Bakshi at flag hoisting ceremony at Formation Headquarter, paid rich tributes and homage to the valiant soldiers who laid down their lives for the defence of our sacred motherland. Another special ceremony was held at the grave of Major Shabbir Sharif (Shaheed) Nishan-e-Haider, to pay homage and commemorate his sacrifices. Similar ceremonies were also held at Army Graveyard Lahore and Gunj-e-Shuhda near Kasur, where floral wreaths were laid on the memorial of Brigadier Ahsan Rashid Shami. Special Durbars were held at Formation Headquarters and Units, where message of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani ware read out to the troops and Commanding Officers highlighted significance of the day. District Nazim Lahore, Mian Aamir Mehmood at a flag hoisting ceremony at Jinnah Hall said that it was an unprecedented day as the Armed Forces defeated the foes by rendering their lives. He said it was for the first time the arrogated enemy come to know that it was not easy to defeat the 'The lions of God. While the speakers from the minorities organisations like Ibtadai Rasooli Kalisia also pledged that as the beloved country was achieved after rendering huge sacrifices, it would be defended in future at all cost. The speakers at different seminars expressed their feelings besides pledging to make our defence more stronger, that how, on this day in 1965, our valiant armed forces and the entire nation stood united to foil the nefarious designs of the foes, which had dared cast an evil eye on the sovereignty of Pakistan. Pakistan Army makes the nation proud of its service with honour, dignity, dedication and commitment. Huge billboards were also displayed to mark the Defence of Pakistan Day. Armed officials visited the graves and monuments of the war heroes to pay tribute to their services for the country. Radios and televisions aired special programmes on the day and screened that how 17-day fiercely fought war, Pakistani forces not only repulsed the attack but also gave a crushing defeat to four-time larger rival forces. The Pakistan Army and Air Force personnel wrote the history books with unforgettable episodes of gallantry and valour, which mystified the whole world. Meanwhile, apart from satellite channels and famous radio channels, FM 104.6 of Punjab University and FM 96.6 of Lahore College for Women University also presented special programmes and interviews of war veterans to celebrate the memorable day. It is important to mention here that 44 years ago the enemy, India, dared to attack our motherland in the dark like cowards and had to face a humiliating defeat. Today (Monday) the nation will celebrate as Air Force Day to pay tribute to the PAF which had demonstrated its skills by defeating the Indian Air Force. APP adds: The nation paid homage to the heroes of September 6 besides Change of Guards ceremony at the Mazar of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of the nation was held in Karachi. Pakistan Air Force cadets presented the Guard of Honour and hoisted the national flag, while assuming the Guard duty at the Mazar-e-Quaid. Meanwhile, a ceremony was held at PAF Base Chaklala to celebrate the Defence Day of Pakistan-2009. Air Vice Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, Air Officer Commanding, Northern Air Command, was the chief guest on the occasion. The chief guest inaugurated the proceedings of the day by cutting a ribbon, said a PAF press release issued here Sunday. The auspicious day was observed with a renewed pledge and determination to make Fizaia even more stronger and potent force to face any challenge. The day started with special prayer (dua) and Quran Khawani for the Shaheeds. The special feature of the day was a static display at PAF Base Chaklala. Various PAF aircraft in addition to ground support and other auxiliary equipment were put on display. Large stalls were set up where visitors could buy calendars, souvenirs and literature pertaining to PAF. A solo flying display by PAF F-16 aircraft was also performed which drew the attention and admiration from the visitors present at the venue. Aviation Cadets of PAF Academy Risalpur also displayed their skills on Para Motor Gliders at the venue. A special parade was also held in the morning where the Air Commodore Khalil Ahmed, Base Commander, PAF Base Chaklala, read out the Chief of Air Staffs order of the day.