LAHORE - Like other parts of the country, Defence Day was marked in the city with zeal on Wednesday.

The Lahore Garrison organised an exhibition at Fortress Stadium where weapons were put on display and a colourful demonstration of military actions was held. Lahore Corps Commander Lieutenant General Sadiq Ali was the chief guest.

Speaking on the occasion, the Lahore corps commander said that the bravery, courage and dedication demonstrated by the soldiers bear testimony to the commitment and resolve for the defence of country.

“Defence Day reminds us of our pledge and obligations towards our motherland. The Army has always remained in the forefront to serve the country with dignity and pride.  Wars are only won through national solidarity and it is the support, unity and joint resolve of the nation as a whole that we have persevered against all odds," he added.

He said that the families of martyrs are the most valued asset of the country and the nation will continue to stand by them.

The commander urged the officers and soldiers to follow in the footsteps of veterans to ensure impregnable defence of the motherland. The ceremony was attended by veterans, civil and military personnel, dignitaries, media persons, representatives  from cross section of society and the families of martyrs.

The main events of the demonstration that enthralled the audience included fly past and aerobatics by F-16 jetfighters and Cobra gunship helicopter, free fall from 10,000 feet by SSGs, a demonstration of attack by light commandos, quick deployment and quick action by Artillery, besides tent pegging.

The mass band display by the Army, Navy, Air Force and immaculate drills by Reds of Pakistan Rangers further captivated the crowd.

Serving and retired military officers, junior commissioned officers, jawans, their families, the officials of the civil administration, the students of Lahore Garrison Education Institutions besides a large number of general public also visited the exhibition.

Earlier, Sadiq Ali laid wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada at Ravi Syphon to pay homage to the martyrs of 1965 War.  The smartly-turned out guard presented the salute.

The Punjab Rangers marked the day at its headquarters and sectors. Director General Major General Azhar Naveed Hayat Khan laid wreath at the memorial. Families of martyrs also attended the event.

Addressing the ceremony, the DG said: “We are proud of our martyrs who sacrificed their lives to protect the nation. It is their supreme offerings that we are breathing in air of freedom. Indeed their oblations can never be repaid but this memorial will be a proud symbol for their families and all of us.”

Another ceremony to mark the day was organized at Town Hall by the local government.  Mayor Col (R) Mubashar Javed was chief guest. Siren was rung and 2 minutes of silence was observed as a gesture of honour for the martyred soldiers. A flag hoisting ceremony with national anthem was also held. Deputy Commissioner (DC) Lahore Sumair Ahmad Syed was also present.

The Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust (NPT) arranged a seminar at the Aiwan-e-Karkunan-e-Tehreek-e-Pakistan to mark the day.  NPT Chairman Rafique Tarar, Vice Chairman Professor Dr Rafique Ahmed, SM Zafar, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Rana Muhammad Arshad, renowned columnist Dr Muhammad Ajmal Niazi and others highlighted the importance of the day.  Secretary NPT Shahid Rasheed moderated the programme.

In his address, former President Tarar said 6th September 1965 was a historic day when Pakistan army took the enemy to the task. The sacrifices laid down by the brave Pakistani soldiers are a precious asset of every Pakistani, he added. He said the enemies of Pakistan are making efforts to create divide but they would fail.  He urged the people to get united against terrorism. Professor Dr Rafique Ahmed recalled how the whole nation had taken to the streets during 1965 war in support of their army. He urged the participants of the seminar to stay united in the larger national interest.

SM Zafar also stressed the need for forging unity and highlighted the miseries of Muslims in Myanmar.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Rana Muhammad Arshad said Pakistan has become undefeatable after nuclear tests under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

The PML-N Young Lawyers Wing also held Quran Khawani here at district and sessions court for martyrs of 1965 war.

The office-bearers also visited the grave of Major Shabbir Sharif (Nishan-i-Haider) and laid floral sheet at the grave. They paid rich tribute to all the martyrs of the war and prayed for rest of their souls in eternal peace.

On the occasion, PML-N Lawyers Wing President Shehbaz Bhatti termed lawyers guardian of the Constitution of Pakistan same like the Pakistan Army who, he said, is guardian of geographical boundaries of the country.

 

He said that protection of the ideological and geographical boundaries of Pakistan is linked with adherence to the Constitution. He stressed the need for unity to fight external and internal enemy.