Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said any individual intending to "hurt the bond" between the people and the armed forces of the country is "not a friend of Pakistan".
In a tweet commemorating Defence and Martyrs’ Day, the premier urged the nation to "summon the spirit of 1965" as the country grapples with historic floods and other challenged.
The whole nation comes together today in paying homage to our martyrs & Ghazis who put their lives on the line to defend the motherland against the Indian aggression. Together our armed forces & people thwarted the Indian machinations to undermine our territorial integrity.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) September 6, 2022
In a veiled reference to former premier Imran Khan's controversial remarks regarding the selection of the army chief, the premier said we should "fortify" the bond between the army and the people as "one nation".
As Pakistan grapples with the historic floods & other challenges, we need to summon the spirit of 1965. National unity is our greatest strength. Anyone intending to hurt the bond between our armed forces & people is not a friend of Pakistan. Let us fortify this bond of One Nation
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) September 6, 2022
The country is observing Defence and Martyrs’ Day to pay homage to the country's martyrs and victors and to reaffirm its commitment to defend the motherland against all threats.
Prayers were offered nationwide after dawn today for the country’s progress and prosperity and for the independence of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) from India.
On September 6, 1965, Indian forces crossed the international border in the darkness of night to launch an attack on Pakistan. However, the country managed to beat back the Indian attacks.
On the occasion, President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also issued separate messages, remembering September 6 as a symbol of courage, a display of unmatched resilience and the spirit of supreme sacrifice by the valiant sons of the soil.
In their messages, the head of state and the premier lauded Pakistan’s armed forces for fighting fearlessly to safeguard the country in testing times, and also saluted every citizen that stepped forward to defend their homeland.
Referencing Pakistan’s success in the two-decade-long war on terror, they acknowledged that the armed forces’ contribution to peace missions across the globe, and the recognition it receives from the international community because of it, is a matter of great pride for the country.
The president and the prime minister reiterated Pakistan's commitment to peace and said the country will continue to follow its policy of peaceful coexistence.
However, they said at the same time, our desire for peace must not be misconstrued as our weakness, adding that we are well aware of our national as well as international obligations.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said the day "symbolises the unwavering resolve of Pakistan's armed forces backed by the great Pakistan nation to defend the motherland against all odds".
6 Sep symbolises unwavering resolve of Pak Armed Forces backed by great Pak Nation 2 defend motherland against all odds.Nation salutes our heroes. “We owe our freedom & peace to unprecedented sacrifices of martyrs 2 keep the flag high” COAS.#OurMartyrsOurHeroes#JurratKeNishaan
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) September 6, 2022
He added, that Pakistan salutes our heroes. “We owe our freedom and peace to unprecedented sacrifices of martyrs to keep the flag high," he said in his statement posted on DG ISPR's Twitter.
Armed forces pay tribute
The nation's armed forces paid tributes to the martyrs for their ultimate sacrifices on the occasion of Defence and Martyrs Day.
Prayers were held at army bases, naval establishments, and air force bases for the country’s progress and prosperity, while a special prayer was also held for the martyrs who laid down their lives for their homeland.
Wreath laying ceremonies were held at the monuments of the recipients of the Nishan-e-Haider, the country’s highest gallantry award as well as other martyrs.
Major General Kamran Nazir Malik laid a floral wreath and offered fateha at the monument of Captain Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed, the first recipient of the coveted Nishan-e-Haider who embraced Shahadat at Tilpatri (Azad Kashmir) in 1948.
Major General Tabbassum Haris laid a floral wreath and offered fateha at the Mazar of Major Tufail Muhammad Shaheed, at Tufailabad in Tehsil Arifwala, for his sacrifices in East Pakistan in 1958.
Furthermore, Major General Haroon Ishaq Raja laid a floral wreath at the grave of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed, who embraced martyrdom in 1965 in Burki, Lahore. Major General Nadeem Ashraf laid a floral wreath at the monument of Major Muhammad Akram Shaheed in Jhelum, who embraced martyrdom at District Hilli in East Pakistan.
Major General Malik Amir Muhammad Khan laid a floral wreath and offered fateha at the monument of Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed in Lahore. He embraced martyrdom while defending the motherland in 1971.
At Mehfoozabad, old Pind Malkan, Major General Mumtaz Hussain laid a floral wreath at the monument of Lance Naik Muhammad Mehfooz Shaheed and offered fateha. Lance Naik Muhammad Mehfooz embraced martyrdom while defending the motherland at Atari, Wagha border in 1971.
Major General Amjad Ali Khan Khattak laid a floral wreath at the monument of Sowar Muhammad Hussain Shaheed at Dhoke Muhammad Hussain near Gujar Khan and offered fateha. Sowar Muhammad Hussain Shaheed embraced martyrdom while defending the Zafarwal Sector in 1971.
Chairman Senate Standing Committee for Defence and Defence Production Mushahid Hussain Syed along with honourable members laid a floral wreath at the monument of Lance Naik Sowar Muhammad Hussain Shaheed and offered fateha.
Major General Muhammad Umer Bashir laid a floral wreath and offered fateha at the grave of Captain Karnal Sher Khan who embraced martyrdom while defending the Gultari Sector during the Kargil war.
Major General Jawad Ahmed Qazi laid a floral wreath and offered fateha at the monument of Havaldar Lalak Jan Shaheed, who embraced martyrdom while defending the motherland during the same war.
A floral wreath ceremony was also held at the Nakial sector to pay homage to Naik Saif Ali Janjua Shaheed, Hilal-e-Kashmir (equivalent to Nishan-e-Haider). Major General Muhammad Irfan Khan laid a floral wreath and offered fateha.
A graceful wreath-laying ceremony was also organised at Mazar-e-Iqbal, Garrison Commander Major General Muhammad Shahbaz Khan offered fateha and paid his respects to the great poet and philosopher.