Nation stands united alongside armed forces to thwart ‘evil designs’ against Pakistan, says PM on Defence Day

Published September 6, 2023
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar speaks at a ceremony held at Pakistan Monument to mark Defence Day on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy PMO
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar speaks at a ceremony held at Pakistan Monument to mark Defence Day on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy PMO
A floral wreath was laid at the Yadgar-e-Shuhda in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV
A floral wreath was laid at the Yadgar-e-Shuhda in Lahore. — DawnNewsTV

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said on Wednesday that the entire nation stood united alongside the country’s armed forces to thwart “evil designs” against Pakistan’s prosperity and integrity.

The premier made the remarks as the nation marked its 58th Defence Day to commemorate the sacrifices of fallen heroes during the 1965 war.

The day dawned with 31-gun salute at the federal capital and 21-gun salute at provincial capitals. Change of guard ceremonies were also held at the mausoleums of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal in Karachi and Lahore, respectively.

In his message for Defence Day, Kakar said that September 6 was remembered as a day of vigour, bravery, courage and resilience.

A report by Radio Pakistan quoted Kakar as saying, “This glorious day, where the entire Pakistani nation stood side by side with its armed forces, calls upon us to make a pledge to renew the spirit of loyalty and service to Pakistan and pay tribute to valiant sons of the soil who embraced martyrdom while ensuring security of the nation.”

The premier further said that the country’s defence was not limited to September 6 and stretched “an entire lifetime and encompasses all dimensions of physical and ideological frontiers which need to be guarded”.

He said that at a time when Pakistan was confronted with multiple security challenges, in the form of extremism, terrorism and external aggression, the entire nation “stood united alongside their defence forces, to thwart evil designs against the integrity and prosperity of Pakistan”.

Separately, the premier laid a wreath and offered prayers at the Pakistan Monument in Islamabad. Speaking to the media on the occasion, Kakar said, “We come here to pay tribute to the valiant sons of the soil who embraced martyrdom while ensuring the security of the nation.”

“Our martyrs who embraced shahadat for the sake of their people and the country can never be forgotten and will always remain in our hearts,” he said, as he highlighted the importance given to martyrs in the Holy Quran.

1965 war symbol of unwavering national resolve, says Alvi

Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi said that Defence Day was observed to pay tribute to those who had sacrificed their lives for the country.

“On this day, 58 years ago, our armed forces and the entire Pakistani nation displayed extraordinary courage and indomitable spirit, and thwarted the evil designs of the enemy. The 1965 war stands out in our history as a symbol of unwavering national resolve, preparedness, professionalism, patriotism and sacrifice,” he said in his message.

“Our Ghazis deserve respect for giving a tit-for-tat response to enemy’s attacks on Lahore, Sialkot and other sectors. Our soldiers and the nation fought with passion in 1965 and they continue to display the same courage, commitment and professional excellence in all testing times,” the president said.

He went on to say that the armed forces had displayed the same spirit during the two decade-long war against terrorism and extremism.

“Our successes in this asymmetrical war are [a] testimony to our armed forces’ capacity to evolve into a unique force having the ability to match the modern-day combat requirements. On this day, we reiterate Pakistan’s commitment to peace and its policy of peaceful coexistence.”

Alvi also talked about occupied Kashmir, saying that the region was awaiting the resolution of the issue.

“This dispute has to be resolved as per the UN Security Council Resolutions for ensuring peace, security, and development in the region. Today, we also remember the sacrifices of Kashmiri people, women and children, which they have rendered during the decades-long struggle for their right to self-determination. Pakistan will continue to extend its moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people’s just struggle for their right to choose their own destiny,” he said.

He further said that the day called for keeping the state’s sovereignty, integrity and honour first. “Pakistan is the centre of our hopes. On this Defence and Martyrs Day, we continue to honour and respect the sons and daughters of soil, who never hesitate in giving their own life for the defence of motherland, its development and prosperity,” he said.

Separately, the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, Services Chiefs and Armed Forces of the country paid rich tribute to martyrs, their families and war veterans, Radio Pakistan quoted the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) as saying.

In its message, the country’s military leadership said that on September 6, 1965, it was displayed yet again that a “smaller but righteous force overcame a numerically larger enemy with professionalism, determination and faith”.

The military leadership said this day continued to inspire generations. “Pakistan armed forces remain committed to ensuring the defence of the motherland against all internal and external threats,” the ISPR said.


Additional input from APP

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