LAHORE - Like other parts of the country, Defence Day was marked with national zeal in the city on Thursday. The day dawned with special prayers for prosperity followed by different functions to pay homage to the 1965 War heroes. Electronic media aired special programmes while print media published special supplements to mark the day.

An impressive ceremony was held at the mausoleum of Allama Muhammad Iqbal. Lahore Garrison Commander Major General Muhammad Amir laid a wreath on the grave of Allama Iqbal, offered Fateha and recorded his impression in the visitor's book.

Army officers and jawans also visited Miani Sahib graveyard where they offered Fateha at the grave of Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed.

To mark the day, a prestigious ceremony was held at Fortress Stadium, which was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Lahore Corps Commander Lieutenant General Amir Riaz. National anthem was played at the start of the ceremony. Later on, different special performances were presented. The army also presented special performances on this occasion, which mesmerised the spectators.

Addressing a graceful ceremony at PAF Airbase, Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that those are the real heroes who sacrificed their lives to save the motherland.

“6th September would be remembered for all time and written with golden words when our able soldiers proved their abilities,” he said. Air Vice Marshal Irfan Ahmed and high ranking officer of Air Force were present on the occasion.

“We all salute to every martyr who took part in the war on September 6 and fought with national spirit,” the senior minister observed, adding that beloved motherland was in safe hands at the moment and no one could look at Pakistan with bad intention.

Aleem Khan also visited different stalls and inspected the arms and ammunition displayed there. He also viewed the air show and appreciated the performance of Air Force.

Later, he visited Batapur and Munawaan and laid floral wreath at the graves of martyrs. He offered fateha for all those who lost their lives in the war.

Senior PTI leaders including Ejaz Diyaal, Jamshaid Iqbal Cheema, Hafiz Farhat Abbass, Mansab Farmaish Awan and party workers in large number were present on this occasion who chanted slogans in favor of Pakistan, Imran Khan and Pak Army.

A special flag-lowering ceremony was held at Wagah border. A good number of people attended the event. The Rangers positioned at the Pakistani side looked into the eyes of their Indian counterparts as they lowered the flag. The roaring moves of paramilitary personnel were cheered immensely by people. National songs were played on the drumbeats. Special security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward incident.

Addressing to police officers on an event in connection with Defence Day, IGP Kaleem Imam paid tribute to martyrs.

He said: “The sacrifices of armed forces for the defence of country are unforgettable. The Defence Day is marked to renew our resolve to defend the motherland.”

The IGP said his team was fully prepared to protect the life and property of citizens.  On his directives, the police officer also visited families of martyrs and graves of the veterans.

The Government Islamia College, Railway Road, celebrated the day with a flag-hoisting event followed by playing national anthem. Principal Prof Tahir Javed, Prof Sarfraz Ali and Prof Dr Amjad Tufail and a good number of students attended the event.

Punjab University College of Art and Design held a seminar to mark the day at its Main Hall, old campus. Addressing the seminar, Lt Gen (r) Arshad Mahmood said that he saw practical implementation of Quaid-i-Azam's message of unity, faith and discipline in the 1965 War. PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmed paid tribute to the martyrs.

The Government College University Lahore decorated its buses with pictures of martyrs. GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said Pakistan was a peace loving nation and it never preferred war but they believed in dignity and honour and kept its defense strong to ensure their liberty and sovereignty. He said that the civilians should support their armed forces for defense of the country by performing their duties honestly and justly. He also shared his memories of 1965 war, and the enthusiasm which the nation had at that time.

The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore held a seminar at its auditorium to pay homage to the war heroes. The seminar comprised English and Urdu speeches, national songs and short video of ISPR. UVAS Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Masood Rabbani chaired a seminar, while UVAS Senior Tutor Prof Dr Kamran Ashraf, a large number of faculty members, staff and students were present there.

The seminar was aimed at creating awareness among the young generation about the sacrifices of Army and the people for the defence of the homeland. Prof Dr Masood Rabbani highlighted the sacrifices of the armed forces for the defense of the country. He urged students to play their role in national development.

In his special message, Chairman and CEO of PIA Muhammad Saqib Aziz said the PIA salutes the defenders of country and will always be ready to serve the nation. As a mark of respect for their great sacrifices, PIA adorned its Boeing 777 aircraft with photographs collage of Nishan-e-Haider recipients. PIA also recorded and played a song dedicated to the Shuhada and heroes on its flights. The airline employees also held special prayers at PIA Head Office mosque.

The Youth Forum for Kashmir (YFK) organised the Defence of Kashmir rally to express solidarity with Kashmiris on the Pakistan Defence Day. YFK Chief Organiser Tariq Ehsan Ghuari led the rally, which started from Aiwan-i-Kashmir and terminated at Liberty, reported APP. The participants were carrying banners and placards inscribed with different slogans about their demands.

Speaking on the occasion, Tariq Ehsan Ghauri said that defence of Pakistan is in strong hands. Armed forces had the capability to defeat the enemy, he added. He said that the Youth Forum for Kashmir was continuing protest movement for exposing the Indian atrocities and terrorism.  "Our struggle will continue until Kashmiris get their right to self-determination," he added.

Also, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) organised special events to mark the day. Secretary Tariq Wazir, Additional Secretary Sanaullah and other officials, besides a large number of officers and employees, attended the ceremony.

The Railways organised a ceremony at the Lahore Railway station. Railways police contingent presented salute to the Shuhada and guard of honour to special guests of the ceremony. Musical band played beautiful national songs and paid homage to the martyrs.

Pakistan Railways Chief Executive Officer M Aftab Akbar and PR Police Inspector General Dr Mujeebur Rehman said in their separate address that Shuhada made the nation proud by sacrificing their lives for the country.

Earlier, candles were lit to pay homage to the martyrs. Divisional Superintendent Lahore, M Sufyan Sarfaraz Dogar and other officers were also present.