Nation celebrates 54th anniversary of Defence day

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan is observing Defence and Martyrs Day in solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Kashmir today.

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Legislators, senior officials of the government, armed forces, police and other departments, as well as notables from different walks of life will pay tribute to the martyrs of the nation today. Special prayers would be offered at the Friday congregations for security of the country and IoK.

Final preparations for the different events planned for the occasion across the country were made yesterday.

This year marks the 54th anniversary of the 1965 war with India when the Pakistani forces repelled Indian attacks on Pakistani soil despite being heavily outnumbered. Defence Day is celebrated to pay glowing tribute to the martyrs of that war.

Celebrations kicked-off with a 31-gun salute in memory of the martyrs in capital Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in all the provincial capitals. Offices throughout the country will be closed by 3pm to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that federal and provincial ministers, governors, chief ministers and members of the National and provincial assemblies would visit the families of martyrs throughout the day.

This year, Defence Day is being observed as a day to express solidarity with oppressed people of occupied Kashmir. Prime Minister Imran Khan is also expected to visit the families of martyred soldiers today, suggest reports.

Kashmir solidarity rallies are also planned in different cities to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people facing atrocities of Indian security forces in the occupied valley.

Since August 5, residents of the occupied valley have been living under strict military curfew, after the Indian government scrapped the special constitutional autonomy of the valley. Friday marks the 33rd day of the clampdown in occupied Kashmir.

In his message, Prime Minister Imran Khan said September 6 stands out in the history of Pakistan as a symbol of enduring display of unity, indomitable courage and unmatched sacrifices by our gallant soldiers who, on this day, years ago, proved to the world that the country’s defence is unassailable and the valiant armed forces are ever ready to defend every inch of the motherland.

“My compliments to the brave forces who have ensured the safety and security of the motherland in all testing times. They have offered exemplary sacrifices in the pursuance of peace. Our shuhada and ghazis are our heroes and the nation owes them gratitude and respect,” PM Imran said. “I salute the gallant sons of soil who laid down their lives while defending Pakistan and pay respect to their families for unparalleled sacrifices they rendered for our tomorrow.”

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