ISLAMABAD: Pakistan commemorated the 56th Defence Day on Monday to pay homage to the martyrs of the 1965 war against India.
On September 6, 1965, the people of Pakistan and the country’s armed forces thwarted attack across the international border and a full-scale war broke out, which concluded with a ceasefire on September 22.
During the war, 1,617 square miles of territory was occupied by Pakistan as compared to 446 square miles of Pakistan’s open and undefended territory occupied by India.
According to Pakistan’s statement, the Pakistan Army had captured 20 Indian officers, 19 junior Indian commissioned officers and 569 other ranks.
The day began with a 31-gun salute was in Islamabad and 21-gun salutes in the provincial capitals, reported Radio Pakistan.
A change of guard ceremony was held at the Naval Headquarters in Islamabad in the morning to pay tribute to the armed forces.
An investiture ceremony of change of guard was also held at the Quaid’s mausoleum in Karachi. Air Marshal Qaisar Khan Janjua was the chief guest on the occasion, and the cadets of Pakistan Air Force took over guard duties at the mausoleum.
events were also being organised in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
‘India stands exposed’
In his message, Prime Minister Imran Khan recalled the sacrifices of the country’s soldiers, officers, pilots and sailors who fought bravely in the 1965 war and defended the frontiers by offering supreme sacrifice.
He said, “India today stands exposed before the world community for its bid to hamper peace in the region, especially with reference to Pakistan.”
The prime minister said that due to the Pakistan government’s proactive diplomacy, the international community was now convinced that the persecution of minorities across India and atrocities unleashed on innocent Kashmiris in the occupied valley must end forthwith.
He added that India will have to give the Kashmiris their due right to self-determination under the UN Security Council resolutions.
‘Prepared to thwart any plot hatched to hamper peace’
President Dr Arif Alvi said in his message that Pakistan was fully cognisant of developments in its neighbourhood and committed to securing peace.
He said Pakistan was “prepared to thwart any plot hatched to hamper peace” in the region.
The president commended the country’s security agencies for their relentless efforts towards exposing the enemy carrying out covert activities.
He stated that Pakistan would never back away from its principled stand on the Kashmir issue.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif recalled the “unprecedented show of national unity” during the 1965 war,
“Today, the people and armed forces of Pakistan came together to defend their motherland against the Indian military aggression. This unprecedented show of national unity thwarted the nefarious designs of the enemy. We will always remember the sacrifices of our brave soldiers!” he said.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also saluted the armed forces, stating that “the bravery, courage and sacrifice of these brave soldiers is the guarantee of survival and security of Pakistan.”