KARACHI - Like other parts of the country, Karachiites Wednesday celebrated 52nd Defence Day to mark the anniversary of the 1965 war with traditional fervour.

The day dawned with 21-gun salute in the provincial capital while special prayers for the safety and prosperity of the country were also offered. Fateh and Quran Khawani were also held for the martyrs.

CHANGE OF GUARD

A change of guard ceremony was held at the mausoleums of Father of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam. Aviation Cadets from Pakistan Air Force Academy, Asghar Khan assumed guard duties at the Mausoleum to honour the Father of the Nation. Air-Vice Marshal Imran Khalid, Air Officer Commanding, PAF Academy Asghar Khan laid the wreath at the grave of the great leader. A number of events are being held in the city like other parts of the country to mark the day.

Two major events of the day were held at Sea View and Masroor Base organised by Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force.

NAVY CELEBRATION

Besides various events, the hallmark of the day remained the mega display of professional acumen by Pakistan Navy Aviation and Special Forces at Sea View Beach Clifton Karachi. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah graced the occasion as chief guest.

The event included stunning demonstration of coordinated assault to rescue hostages by PN Commandoes. The Special Service Group (Navy) was inserted close to simulated target utilising fast roping insertion technique by PN Seeking helicopters. The assault was followed by splendid exhibition of aerobatics and Search and Rescue (SAR) drills by PN helicopters.

During the event, fly past by PN fixed wing aircraft and rotary wing (helos) elements were also demonstrated. In the end, Special Services Wings of all three services presented a Free Fall Jump display and landed amidst chanting crowds present at the venue.

Earlier, flag hoisting ceremonies were held at all Pakistan Navy units and establishments wherein Commanding Officers of all units and establishments addressed special gatherings of officers and men and highlighted significance of the day. All ships and establishments were decorated and illuminated in accordance with Naval traditions. In addition, sports activities and declamation, quiz, national songs competitions were also held at various Navy units and establishment.

The unique moment of the whole ceremony was the free fall jumps happening for the first time in the city from 10,000 feet in the sky. Paratroopers from all three armed forces, Navy, Army and Air force took part in the show mesmerizing the crowd who kept their head high looking into the sky until they reached the ground holding national flag. A fly past by fixed wing aircraft and rotary wing aircraft was also demonstrated.

In his message on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah paid tribute to the martyrs and Ghazis who rendered immense sacrifices while the nation stood united behind its soldiers, sailors and airmen in the defence of our motherland.

The Admiral said that notwithstanding our earnest desire for peaceful co-existence, we need to remain alive to the challenges and developments taking place in our region. As hegemonic and domineering mindset prevails in our eastern neighbourhood, we cannot be oblivious to the threats to our sovereignty and national security.

The Naval Chief highlighted that Pakistan is making steady and determined progress on all fronts. However, this does not come without its share of challenges. In the maritime domain; piracy, maritime terrorism and organised crimes continue to pose security challenges to the peace and stability of the region.

The Admiral reiterated that Pakistan Navy is playing a vital role in strengthening maritime and coastal security through various initiatives including raising of a dedicated Task Force - 88 as well as Coastal Security & Harbour Defence Force.

Besides, Pakistan Navy is also playing its due role as part of ‘Operation Radd-ul-Fassad’ in collaboration with Pakistan Army, PAF and other Law Enforcement Agencies in combating security challenges on the internal front.

PAF CELEBRATION

Pakistan Air Force celebrated Defence Day of Pakistan with traditional fervour at all PAF bases and installations.

In his message on this auspicious occasion, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force said, “Defence Day of Pakistan reminds us of the supreme sacrifices of our intrepid heroes who responded to the enemy’s aggression with exemplary courage and professionalism. In a remarkable show of unity, both the people and the armed forces of Pakistan stood firm and inflicted a crushing defeat on the enemy, many times larger in size. The unprecedented challenges facing the country call for reviving the same spirit of nationhood. I am confident that together we will rise to the occasion and take the country forward. Our sustained efforts and countless sacrifices in the War against Terrorism for restoration of global peace are matchless and as such must be globally recognised. I assure you that PAF is ever ready to foil the nefarious designs of the enemy and, as always, will live up to the nation’s expectations.”

This epoch making day was celebrated with a renewed pledge and determination to make “Fazaia” even more stronger and potent force to face any challenge. 

A static display of PAF aircraft and ammunition was also held at PAF Base, Masroor Base. PAF’s fighter aircraft including F-16, JF-17 Thunder, Mirage and F-7 PG performed aerobatics to pay tribute to the warriors of 1965 & 1971 wars.  Students form Fazaia schools and colleges presented National songs at the occasion which were highly applauded by the audience.  A large number of people including women and children keenly witnessed the PAF’s aircraft and arsenal. To pay tribute to Shuhada and veterans of PAF, a special programme “Mujahideen-e-Aflak Ko Salam” has also been produced by Pakistan Air Force which would be aired on electronic media on the eve of 7th September 2017.

CHIEF MINISTER

Addressing the Defence Day celebration programme of Pakistan Air Force at PAF Masoor Base as Chief Guest, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the terrorism is a big challenge for his government and the country and our law enforcement agencies are fighting against them bravely.

The people of Pakistan are united and have given full support to the police, rangers and other agencies to fight against them. “We have destroyed them to a considerable extent but still lot of work has to be done,” he said.

Replying to a question he said that some issues and lethargy of the local bodies in lifting offal on first and second day of Eid was reported. “I have warned the local bodies to work dedicatedly in the interest of the cleanliness of the city, otherwise I would take strict action,” he said. He added that he has been told that over 2 million cattle were sacrificed this year which is a big number.  Therefore, the arrangements for keeping the city clean would have been made accordingly.

The chief minister said that September 6, 1965 is the day, when the nation stood like a wall and its sons in the uniform as soldiers, sailors and airmen wrote the golden chapters of our national history with their blood. “They fought with courage, valour, dedication, determination and exceptional professionalism. They set the highest standards of commitment, dignity and bravery,” he said.

Murad Shah said that Pakistan Air Force, being at the forefront in that war as well, fought aggressively and remained on the offensive throughout the 17 days of war in two independent theatres of Operations. He added that it provided support to land operations from Kashmir in the North to Run of Kutch in the South, including support to Maritime operations.

“The PAF thus earned the distinction of creating a saga of matchless heroism, a never-ending source of pride for the nation,” he said and went on saying the selfless dedication of all airmen, highest level of professionalism, and unparalleled commitment towards our motherland proved to the world that PAF indeed is ‘Second to None’.

The chief minister said that the history of 65 War not only testifies the unprecedented sacrifices made by our worthy predecessors in the defence of our country, but also gives the distinct message, that material aspects are not the only indicator of success, rather the unflinching faith and unwavering determination with professionalism and rugged training prevails over all advantages that any enemy may possess.

The PAF undoubtedly emerged instrumental in saving Lahore and a number of PAF heroes like MM Alam, Sarfraz Rafiqui, Sajjad Haider, Alauddin and many more committed themselves to the defence of our mother land. Some lived to tell the story while others sacrificed their day for our tomorrow.

Murad Ali Shah said “today, as we are celebrating 52ndanniversary of the Defence day of Pakistan, let us re-pledge that we will devote our best endeavours to live up to the aspirations of the nation by devoting ourselves to our sacred mission and will spare no sacrifice in the fulfillment of our duty to safeguard our sovereignty and independence,” he concluded.

Earlier, the chief minister inaugurated the celebrations by cutting the ribbon. When he reached at PAF Masoor he was received by Air Officer Commanding, Southern Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Haseeb Paracha SI (M). He visited all the stall set up there and also sat on the pilot seat of F-16 and learnt its functions and method of operation.

 

 

TALHA MAKHDOOM