Defence Day, a tale of spirit and glories

The Pakistani nation observed its 58th Defence Day on Wednesday, commemorating the valour of its brave soldiers with high spirit, traditional zeal and zest. The day started with a gun salute in the national capital and all four provincial headquarters, traditional military parades, commemoration sessions, political rallies and walks were held in all cities across the country. The political and military leadership expressed its resolve to defend each inch of the country’s landmass with all vigour, and resources till the last breath. The nation paid rich tribute to its Shuhadas and Ghazis who fought the enemy with utmost courage and bravery and laid their lives in defence of their motherland.

Almost six decades ago, the Pakistani nation faced surprise aggression from a staunch enemy four times its size with limitless resources and an abundance of lethal arsenal and ammunition, however, the Pakistani military defended the nation in an offensive style and sabotaged the enemy’s nefarious designs at multiple fronts that were stretched over 2400 KM long Pak-India border. Historically, Pakistani troops not only defeated the biggest enemy at several locations but also captured a large chunk of enemy territory in Wagha, Chowinda and Sulmaniki sectors during the September War in 1965.

The war of September 6, 1965, symbolises resilience and determination for the Pakistani nation. Pakistan’s Defence Forces effectively defended the country’s borders on the ground, in the air and the seas in a proudful manner, proving the mettle of the Pakistani nation to the world. Pakistan Army defeated the Indian military in the land battle, Pakistan Air Force established its air superiority throughout the Indo-subcontinent during the 17-day-long Pak-India war while the Pakistan Navy governed across the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal after the successful accomplishment of Operation Dwarka during the early phase of the war. Although, the September 1965 war was a very tough but glorious phase of Pakistan’s history that not only projected Pakistan’s military might and national strength globally but also highlighted the need for an early resolution of the Kashmir issue which was the real contention behind weeks-long war between South Asian neighbours.

The events of the 1965 war not only remind us about the unity, strength and glory of our forefathers but it also sensitises us about the current issues confronting our nation. After seven and half decades of independence and at the 58th anniversary of the 1965 war, Pakistan faces even more gruesome multifaceted challenges to its territorial integrity and national sovereignty at this time. The menaces of extremism and terrorism pose a high level of risk to our national security, while rapidly evolving geo-strategic dynamics and an external threat of aggression from across borders present a serious challenge to Pakistan which is already embattled with chronic economic ailment and worsening energy crises. Meanwhile, persistent political unrest and ethnic polarization provide fertile ground for anti-state elements and foreign Intelligence to achieve their nefarious plans against our country.

The current situation merits the revitalization of 1965’s spirit, re-energising of the same unity and strengthening of national bonds that assemble the whole nation on a single-point agenda. Pakistan is a 230 million-strong nuclear and missile-armed state that made its defence invincible. However, economic degradation, political polarization, religious intolerance and institutional corruption are those impediments which seriously resist Pakistan’s journey toward a sustainable and prosperous future. There is a dire need that our political and religious leadership must work on that manifesto to initiate a nationwide drive to realize the longstanding dream of an economically viable and prosperous Pakistan.