Pakistan pays tribute to 1965 heroes to today

Soldiers of Pakistan Army Defence Day 6 September Picture

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Indo-Pak war across the country with fervour and zeal. The day will begin with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital, and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals.

Then, at 9:29am, a minute’s silence will be observed in memory of the fallen heroes who rendered great sacrifices to protect the nation’s frontiers. Sirens will be sounded countrywide, and all trains and road traffic come to a halt. All television and radio channels will broadcast the national anthem from 9:30am to 9:32am.

The main ceremony, held to honour martyrs, will take place on Sunday evening at the Yadgar-i-Shuhada at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. For this purpose, traffic around the GHQ and CMH Rawalpindi will remain closed. The ceremony will be attended by Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif as well as other services chiefs, senior government functionaries and dignitaries.

Prayers will be offered for the solidarity, integrity and prosperity of the state in mosques across the country. Wreaths will be placed and fateha offered at the graves of Nishan-i-Haider recipients and other war heroes.

Private TV channels are expected to join Pakistan Television and Radio Pakistan in broadcasting special programmes related to the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war.

In his message on the Golden Jubilee of Defence Day, President Mamnoon Hussain said: “In the successful Zarb-i-Azb operation, Pakistan Army has proved that any kind of threat posed to country’s security and existence will be frustrated. Pakistani nation and its armed forces can go to any extent in securing its borders and safeguarding its sovereignty.”

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in his message, said: “The exemplary unity demonstrated by the political and military leadership in curbing terrorism is yet another splendid chapter of our national history.”

He saluted the courage and valour of all those who laid down their lives and lost their loved ones in the war against terrorism, or were forced to leave their homes.

“We desire to have good and peaceful relations with all our neighbours on the basis of sovereign equality,” he said.

In his message, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said that though the defence forces of Pakistan had faced many challenges over the past 50 years, they never faltered in the sacred mission of national defence.

“Though, [we are] a peace loving nation, but we know how to thwart the heinous attempts that disrupt our peaceful way of life and certainly, our strength is in this resolve,” he concluded.

In a tweet on Saturday, military spokesperson Maj Gen Asim Bajwa said, “[The] Spirit of 1965 remains kindled today as we move towards a stronger, more stable and prosperous Pakistan.”

Former president Asif Ali Zardari, in his message, called on people from all provinces to join hands to defeat aggression. “We need to demonstrate the same level of national unity to overcome our problems,” he said.

While Mushahid Hussain Sayed, head of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, in a similar statement said that Pakistani people had faith in the future due to the successful campaign against terrorism and extremism.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2015

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