LAHORE - Like other cities, the Defence Day was marked with national fervour in the Lahore Garrison to pay tribute to heroes of Pakistan Army and reiterate resolve to sacrifice for the motherland.

The day dawned with special prayers, followed by flag-hoisting on all the Formation Headquarters, Units and Army installations.

A ceremony was held at Mazar-e-Iqbal to pay homage to the national poet, which was attended by civil and military officials. Lahore Garrison Commander Major General Shahid Baig Mirza laid wreath and offered fateha. A contingent of Punjab Rangers presented salute.

A special ceremony was held at the grave of Major Shabbir Sharif (Shaheed), to pay homage and commemorate his sacrifice for the country. General Officer Commanding Major General Bilal Akbar along with family members of martyr laid floral wreath and offered fateha. A contingent of Frontier Force Regiment presented salute. Members belonging to different walks of life kept on visiting the grave throughout the day to pay their respect to the Great War heroes. In the afternoon, a programme for war veterans was held at Yadgar-e-Shuhada, Batapur, where Major General (r) Asif Akhtar and DIG Sikandar Shaheen were as chief guest.

Later, in the evening a reception was hosted by Commander Lahore Corps Lieutenant General Maqsood Ahmad in the honour of war veterans. 

Punjab Rangers celebrated the Day with full zeal. Punjab Rangers Deputy Director General Brig Mohammad Jamil laid wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuahda and offered special prayer for martyrs. Rangers special squad exhibited special drill to pay homage to shuahdas. Students of Rangers Public School and Rangers Institute of Special Education sang national songs to pay tribute to martyrs.

Speaking on the occasion, Brig Jamil threw light on the achievements of the Shuhadas and said that objective of the celebration of the Day was to remember the Shuhadas and create awareness among the youth about the love of country and importance of Shahdat.

Another ceremony of ‘Halal-e-Istaqalal’ was held at Town Hall to pay tribute to the bravery of Lahorites for which they were being awarded Halal-e-Istaqalal in 1965 war. Pakistan Navy Lahore Station Commander Akbar Naqi participated in the ceremony as chief guest. Wing Commander Pakistan Air Force Gulzar Ahmad Khan, Chief Warden Civil Defence Col (r) Mubashar Javed, Additional Chief Warden, District Officer (Civil Defence) other CDGL officers and a large number of schoolchildren and citizens also participated in the ceremony.

The chief guest also hoisted a national flag after parade of the Civil Defence volunteers. The students of a local school also sung national songs.

The City District Government decorated the city by fixing colourful banners, steamers and the hoardings of national heroes, being awarded Nishan-e-Haider.       

In Karachi, various functions were held in the city to mark the Day, while the day was commenced with the graceful change of guard ceremonies held at the mausoleums of Quaid-e-Azam. The cadets of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Academy Risalpur mounted guard’s duty at the Mazar. Air Vice Marshall Rashid Kamal inspected the parade and laid wreath on the Mazar and offered fateha.

Various private channels, especially Pakistan Television have broadcast special programmes to remind the people about the sacrifice of their heroes.  On the other hand, Pakistan Navy also observed the Defence of Pakistan Day with due solemnity and reverence. The day is observed to commemorate supreme sacrifices of our heroes who stood to the challenge and defeated a much bigger enemy during 1965 Indo-Pak war.

In his message, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila paid rich tribute to Ghazis and Shuhuda and said that Pakistan Navy held an unchallenged supremacy at sea throughout the September war and made the nation proud.