As a kid I remember September being a month where most of the students head back to school after a long summer break. Being used to all the fun and the relaxed schedule, everyone finds it very tough and depressing to get into the school routine. There is dullness and lack of excitement all around. But then comes September 6, which we as a Pakistani nation celebrate as the Defence and Martyrs’ Day, commemorating the sacrifices and the awesome display of valour of the Pakistan armed forces. This day primarily focuses on the War of 1965, where an offence from the Indian army much larger in size and capability was spectacularly humbled by our men in uniform. It is a proud moment in our history which is relived each year in the media through intriguing documentaries and heart-touching biopics of the greatest martyrs of our armed forces. And then there is this exclusive list of patriotic songs that are played all day, instilling more love and pride for our brave men in our hearts. This sense of pride goes a long way in lifting our spirits, the excitement comes back and heading back to school does not feel like an ordeal anymore.

One such song that always used to resonate in my mind was this song of the late 1970s called “Har Ghari Tayar” sung by Khalid Waleed. The lyrics by Zafar Ullah Poshni encompasses the role of the Pakistan armed forces in its entirety. The basic theme of the song is that our armed forces are always on their toes. Regardless of any situation, they are up for the challenge without any hassle. The video was pretty well made for its time and follows the lyrics well, showing the different training routines of the men in uniform. The armour, the weapons and the missiles show the preparedness of our armed forces for any anticipated incursions. In the final part of the song, one of the most critical peacetime roles of the army is mentioned, being always called up to help local authorities to handle the fallout of any natural calamity or disaster. They excel in helping their own people at a time when the people need it the most. This is one of the main reasons why a vast majority of the Pakistani people genuinely love and respect this great institution.

Fast forward to the year 2020. Now I am no longer a student, but my kids are. With the never-ending pandemic saga, it is definitely a year which has drastically drained us emotionally. September is here and we are more stressed than ever with the kids going back to school in a world full of unknowns. And then comes September 6 with a bang. A song with the title, “Har Ghari Tayyar Kamran”, a remake of one of my favourite patriotic songs, is released; a song full of passion, energy and patriotism. Just the perfect antidote to all the gloom that has surrounded us for so many months. The renowned music maestro, Ali Hamza (Noori) has put his heart and soul into this song, giving a contemporary spin to its composition. The energy infused by the vocals from the top voices; Ali Hamza, Ali Azmat, Asim Azhar and Ali Noor just gives you one goosebump after another. Ali Hamza, with his unique creativity, has composed a first of its kind blend of modern techno music and the military instruments of the Army School of Music that just pumps up your adrenaline to its highest level.

The video begins with the shot of the passing out parade that is the first and foremost milestone in the career of an army officer. The singers then appear showing all their energy and the passion they have put into this song.

The next part of the video emphasises the fact that as time has progressed, the dynamics of our region have evolved, the role of our armed forces has evolved as well. The conventional forms of confrontation have given way to more complex covert tactics where the enemy is not obvious yet is still quite capable of inflicting a lot of damage. In the last two decades, our country has borne the brunt of the global war on terrorism. It has left deep scars on our society. This is well depicted in the fresh lyrics of the song and the perfectly shot visuals. It pays a tribute to all the military and civil personnel that we lost in the fight against terrorism and delivers a strong message that all these sacrifices have not gone in vain and we are emerging out of these dark clouds much stronger and resilient. The expression of the Pakistani Ranger depicts this resilience in the most emphatic way.

The highlight of the video is when they show lady cadets training on the Burma bridge the same way they showed the army men in the old video. It goes to show the transition that our armed forces have gone through over the years where the role of females has extended from just being part of the medical core, to being part of frontline army ranks, ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.

Overall, the video highlights the vigilance of and contentment within all ranks of Pakistan Armed Forces, its contributions in various nation building tasks including disaster management missions. The exclusive shots of the LYAD missile in operation, convey a subtle but strong message of caution to the other side.

In conclusion, all I would like to say is that this video and its exquisite composition does an excellent job in countering the various elements in the society and the media casting shadows of doubts in our people’s minds relating to the state’s policies and institutions. At this crucial juncture, the critical role played by our armed forces both on ground and through the media has helped us come out of this dark era and we are all set to take on all the modern challenges out there. This is most definitely a very special composition, which helps us look forward to a much brighter and much more secure future and can rightly be called, “A Melody of Pride”.