KARACHI - Pakistan Defence Day was observed with due solemnity and reverence as many ceremonies were held to mark the 53rd anniversary of the day and to remember the martyrs who laid their lives for the sake of the country.
The celebrations began at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah where the change of guard ceremony was held. The cadets of Pakistan Air Force’s Asghar Khan Academy assumed the guard duties. A 73-member of the cadets included some female cadets as well.
The PAF’s Air Vice Marsal Nadeem Sabir, who attended the ceremony as the chief guest, offered Fateha and laid floral wreath on the mausoleum of father of the nation. The ceremony was keenly witnessed by common people including a large number of students from various schools and colleges.
Speaking on the occasion, Air Vice Marsal Nadeem Sabir warned the enemies of Pakistan not to see it with evil eyes or else they would be taught a memorable lesson. “Not only military and paramilitary forces but also the civilians are standing shoulder to shoulder for the defence of our beloved country. We all will not hesitate from scarifying our lives for the sake of Pakistan,” he added.
The representatives of three armed services also visited the mausoleum to offer Fateha and lay floral wreath.
Another ceremony was held to mark the defence at Malir Chaowni in which the march was passed by Pakistan Army. Al-Khalid, Al-Zarrar and other heavy weapons were also exhibited during the show. The ceremony was also attended by the current and retired army officers, the martyrs’ families and a large number of the public.
Separately, the PAF’s JF-17, Mirage and F7 PG Aircraft performed air show which drew the attention and admiration from the visitors present at PAF Base Masroor. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail was the chief guest and Air Vice Marshal Ahsan Rafiq, Air Officer Commanding, Southern Air Command was also present on the occasion.
Ismail inaugurated the proceedings of the day by cutting a ribbon. The special feature of the day was a static display at PAF Base, Masroor. Various PAF Aircraft in addition to ground support and other auxiliary equipment were put on display.
Speaking on the occasion, Ismail said that all three armed services of the country — Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy — are as strong as forces of any other country.
Besides, Pakistan Navy also commemorated supreme sacrifices of Shuhadas, Ghazis and other national heroes who stood against the aggressor and thwarted designs of numerically superior enemy with unprecedented display of unity and resolve during 1965 Indo-Pak War.
The day dawned with special prayers in Naval mosques for solidarity and integrity of the country. Quran Khawani was held for eternal peace of Shuhada of the country. Wreath laying and Fateha Khawani were also held at Shuhada’s memorials across the country.
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.
On the eve of the martyrs’ day, the Sindh police issued the details of policemen who embraced martyrdom since 1971.
According to a database prepared by Sindh police’s welfare department, a total of 2,111 police officials and personnel have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty in the last 47 years.
These included four superintendents of police (SPs), one assistant superintendent of police (ASP), 14 deputy superintendents of police (DSPs), 40 inspectors, 156 sub-inspectors, 196 assistant sub-inspectors, 357 head constables and 1,339 constables, two lady police constables and two ministerial staff, according to the database prepared by the Sindh police’s welfare department. The policemen belonged to Karachi remained on the top of the list with 787 martyrs, followed by 418 in Larkana Range, 286 in Hyderabad Range, 176 Sukkar, 167 Nawabshah and 31 Mirpurkhas.
At least 97 personnel of Traffic police, 54 from Sindh Reserve Police, 33 Counter-Terrorism Department, 23 Special Branch, 16 Crime Branch, 11 Technical and Transport Department, five from Rapid Response Force, four from training department and three from the Central Police Office had also laid their lives in the line of duty.
According to the database with The Nation, constable Lal Khan was the first martyr of the Sindh police who embraced martyrdom in the line of duty on December 19, 1971 in Sanghar district.
‘Youm-e-Shuhada’ programmes were also held to pay homage to the martyred policemen as various activities such as establishing free medical camps, Quran Khwani, candle light vigils and visits to homes of the martyred policemen with gifts and sweets as a sign of remembrance were conducted throughout the day.
The provincial police chief Amjad Javed Saleemi who was flanked by Additional IG Karachi Dr Amir Shaikh and Zone South DIG Javed Alam Odho also visited free medical camp established by District South police at Reti Lane. He said that Defence Day is basically a day to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the martyrs, vowing to protect the country till the last drop of his blood.
Separately, the Director General (DG), Pakistan Rangers- Sindh Major General Muhammad Saeed laid a floral wreath at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada at the Rangers Headquarters on the occasion and offered Fateha. The DG Rangers, sector commanders and officers were present on the occasion.
DG Rangers also visited Quaid-e-Azam mausoleum and laid a floral wreath and offered Fateha. He also visited the home of Shaheed Maryam Mukhtar, the Pakistani fighter pilot, and DSP Majeed Abbas and met their family members.
Defence Day was also celebrated in Kashmore with great enthusiasm like other part of the country.
Citizens of Kashmore paid homage to heroes (martyrs) of Pakistan who had sacrificed for their beloved homeland. In this connection dozens of rallies, events, programmes and seminars were organised across Kashmore to highlight the significance of the day.
However special prayers were offered for progress and prosperity of the nation and Fateh and Quran Khawani were also held for the martyrs.
Whereas different schools and colleges of the district organised various programmes where the students sang patriotic songs and also prayed for the country.
Defence Day was also celebrated here.
Officers of district administration including SSP Mirpurkhas Abid Ali Baloch, social welfare officer, office bearers, and social workers held flower wreaths at the graves of the martyrs in Fauji Graveyard, Satellite Town.
Besides, a ceremony was also held in Ajrak Club in which speakers have paid rich tribute to the martyrs.
Citizens paid homage to the martyrs on Defence Day .
They took out a rally in the connection of the Day at Shahnawaz Chowk Badin. The rally was led by Deputy Commissioner Asif Jan Siddiqui which was participated by SSP Hassan Sardar Niazi, Additional Deputy Commissioner Dr Ali Nawaz and officials of health, social welfare and other departments.
While addressing the participants of the rally, Badin DC said that soldiers of Pak Army sacrificed their lives for the cause of beloved country. He said that they salute the courage and bravery of the martyrs.
Badin DC and others officers donated blood in Thalesimia care centre where blood camp was arranged in connection of the Day. They also met with the families of the martyrs of Badin district and presented gifts to them.