BAHAWALPUR  -  The Defence Day was celebrated with full zeal and zest in Bahawalpur, Okara, Bahawalnagar, Dera Nawab Sahib, and Mailsi garrisons on Thursday.

The day started with special prayers for the homeland and martyrs in all mosques of the garrisons. An exhibition of weapons was arranged by Pakistan Army Bahawalpur Corps at Polo Ground of Noor Mahal Bahawalpur.

General Officer Commanding Major General Rahat Nasim Ahmed Khan inaugurated the exhibition where different regiments of Pak Army Bahawalpur Corps displayed the weapons. The families of the martyrs of Pak Army, students, and civil society members also visited the exhibition and paid hearty tribute to the Pak Army and the martyrs.

General Officer Commanding Tariq Mehmood laid floral wreaths on the grave of Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed, Nishan-e-Haider, on behalf of Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Corps Commander Bhawalpur Lt Gen Javed Mehmood Bukhari.

Major Shabbir Sharif was born on 28 April 1943 in Kunjah, Gujrat District. He was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment on April 1964.

Major Shabbir Sharif, as commander of a company of 6 Frontier Force Regiment, was ordered in December 1971 to capture high ground near Sulaimanki Headworks defended by more than a company of the Assam Regiment supported by a squadron of tanks.

In a well organized action, for the next three days and nights after crossing a minefield and massive obstacles and killing forty-three soldiers and destroying four tanks, Major Shabbir Sharif and his men held two enemy battalions at bay. During the battle he took over an anti-tank gun from his gunner and started firing on enemy. He embraced martyrdom by a direct hit in the afternoon of 6 December 1971.