PESHAWAR: The Defence Day was marked across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday with national zeal and solemnity.
The armed and paramilitary forces, provincial and local governments, different institutions and private organisations held events to highlight the sacrifices rendered by the armed forces in the 1965 war with India.
Gifts were distributed to relatives of the martyred law-enforcement personnel and civilians on the occasion.
Large-size portraits of the martyrs were displayed at prominent places across the province.
A special wreath laying ceremony was held at the grave of Kargil war hero and Nishan-i-Haider recipient Captain Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed in his native town in Swabi district.
Brigadier Mohammad Ameer laid the wreath there and offered fateha. A smartly-turned-out contingent of the Pakistan Army saluted the deceased.
Events held to highlight sacrifices of armed forces
Corps Commander Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmad Butt inaugurated the exhibition of the latest arms and equipment used by the Pakistan Army.
The visitors were briefed by the army officers at the stalls of infantry, armour, artillery, engineers and signals, air defence, logistic and frontier corps.
The people appreciated the performances of folk dancers and army band, and the Army Aviation’s fly past. The corps commander met the family members of martyrs and laid wreath at the Shahuda Monument.
The daylong celebration began with Quran Khawani and special prayers for the country’s sovereignty and solidarity in the unit mosques after Fajr prayer.
Special darbars were held at the units where the army chief’s Defence Day message for troops was read out. The commanding officers highlighted the significance of the day.
Also, a flag-hoisting ceremony was held on the Peshawar High Court’s premises. Chief Justice of the high court Waqar Ahmad Seth hoisted the national flag and spoke about the significance of the day.
In the day, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman attended the Defence Day function at Younis Stadium in Miramshah, North Waziristan, and paid tribute to Pakistani martyrs in the 1965 war. He also gave away gifts to the relatives of martyrs. The governor said neither the nation could forget its heroes nor would it allow anyone to harm the national security.
“Ensuring peace and stability and security is the top most priority of the new government.” The present leadership, he added, also views the services and role of the Pak Army in this respect with great regard.
The governor later went to the house of Shaheed political moharrar Hameedullah and paid tribute to him.
“Families of martyrs should never consider themselves to be alone as the entire nation stands staunchly along them,” he said.
The governor laid wreath at the monument of martyrs and prayed for them. He said the government had prioritised the development and progress of tribal districts.
The governor said thousands of youths and elders had sacrificed life for the country’s security and the entire nation would always view their sacrifices with respect.
CM PAYS TRIBUTE TO MARTYRS: KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan also paid homage to the 1965 war martyrs.
During a Defence Day function at the Pakistan Airbase in Peshawar, he said the armed forces’s gallantry in the 1965 war did the nation proud, sovereign and independent.
He appreciated the success and transformation of the PAF and said the force had successfully braved all challenges whether it’s the 1965 war or security operations against terrorism.
“They are our heroes, who set new examples of patriotism and sacrifices for the coming generation. Their bravery and achievements is an asset for us,” he said.
Air Vice Marshal Sarfraz Khan, Air Officer Commending Northern Air Command Air Commodore Nasir Janjua, former and present Pakistan Air Force officers, and others attended the function.
The chief minister also visited stalls displaying arsenal, war equipment and PAF jets. The Defence Day was also marked by Peshawar’s district administration by holding different functions.
The administration announced the launch of ‘DC Respect Card for the heroes of Peshawar’ saying the card entitles its holders to numerous perks and benefits.
Posters and banners were displayed by the district, police and cantonment board administration, traders association and other members of the civil society across the city.
Officers of the district administration visited the houses of those, who were martyred and injured in fight against terrorism, and offered prayers for them.
Also, the Civil Aviation Authority celebrated the Defence Day at the Peshawar, Parachinar, Laram Top, Swat and Chitral airports. The day was marked in Swabi, Shangla, Mansehra, Bahaur, Timergara, Kohatr, Chitral, Dir upper, Mingora, Battagram, Batkhela, Ghalanai and Haripur, too.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, the people’s elected representatives, politicians, students, civil society members, officials and people from other walks of life attended the Defence Day functions. Force Commander Northern Areas Major-General Saqib Mehmood Malik laid wreath at the grave of Nishan-i-Haider recipient Havaldar Lalak Jan Shaheed in Hundar village of Yasin, Ghizer district, while the Special Communication Organisation launched a tree plantation campaign in Gilgit.
Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018