Islamabad - Colonel Adham Ahmed El-Mahallawy, the defence attaché of the Egypt embassy, and his wife Tuesday hosted a reception to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the Great October War Victory, also called Egyptian Armed Forces Day.

A large number of diplomats, senior serving and retired officials of armed forces of Pakistan, political leaders and elites of twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi attended the reception.

The October 1973 War constructed a major turning point in the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It evoked immense interest by military leaders, strategists and study centres all around the world due to the fact that it had far-reaching repercussions and impacts on the Middle East region, not only on the military and strategic level, but also on the overall political and economic spheres.

The 1973 war had been the fourth round in the Arab-Israeli armed struggle since 1948. In 1967, Israel occupied Syria’s Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the city of Jerusalem in addition to the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula; and for six years spent millions on fortifying its positions on the East Bank of the Suez Canal, in what later came to be known as the Bar Lev defence line.

Preparations for the October victory began during the War of Attrition which was subsequent to the 1967 Israeli aggression on Arab territory. After the Israeli rejection of the Rogers Peace Initiative, it was imperative that Egypt embarks upon a military battle to liberate the occupied Egyptian territory. 

On October 6th, 1973, 222 Egyptian fighter airplanes flew over the Suez Canal with the target to strike Israeli military installations along the Bar Lev line. Meanwhile, the Egyptian artillery orchestrated a military show of force that shall never be forgotten. Some 10,500 rockets were fired in the first 60 seconds and subsequently, 1,000 rubber boats crossed the Suez Canal carrying 8,000 soldiers that bravely began the destruction of the Bar Lev defence line and stormed into enemy defences.

What happened on the 6th of October 1973 was a military miracle by all means. Crossing the Suez Canal and successfully demolishing the Bar Lev Line which Israel believed to be the most fortified, unbreakable defence line in the history of mankind marked a paramount military victory and later resonated in the Egyptian consciousness as “The Crossing”. Our Armed Forces engaged in a crucial battle of dignity to liberate the Egyptian land and to compel the commencement of peace negotiations to put an end to hostilities.

Of all Arab countries, Egypt bore the brunt of three decades of warfare with Israel. Seeking peace, Egypt was sincere out of unshakable conviction that peace should prevail in the long volatile Middle East region. The October victory unleashed immense vigour for construction and modernisation. Egypt embarked upon an unprecedented process for improving infrastructure, increasing production and providing high living standards and achieving positive growth rates.

This may explain why Egypt has been in the forefront of countries striving to achieve peace in the region to brighten up prospects and consign animosity in the region to history, out of genuine belief that any plans for economic prosperity and cooperation in the Middle East without durable, long-lasting peace would be far-fetched.  Egypt remembers with pride the sacrifices of its martyrs while looking ahead to its future.  The faith and determination of the Egyptian people to continue the victorious march that started on October 6th, 1973 was illustrated during the January 25th, 2011 and June 30th, 2013 Revolutions which saw the Egyptian people take to the streets calling for their inalienable right to see Egypt prosper and thrive.