Defence Day spirit and latest challenge

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that as the nation marked Defence Day, a similar spirit of sacrifice and resilience was required to cope with the current grave challenges in the wake of floods. During the meeting of the federal cabinet, Prime Minister termed unity as the greatest strength of the Pakistani nation to deal with the challenges effectively. According to him, over 30 million people were facing the brunt of flash floods in the shape of loss of lives, infrastructure, and crops. PM Sharif paid rich tribute to the martyrs of the 1965 war who laid down their lives for the safety and security of the country. He noted that the Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan had thwarted the Indian machinations against their Country in 1965.

The Prime Minister mentioned that the flood-hit areas face numerous issues related to water drainage, infrastructure breakdown, Health and Social Services, and connectivity along with reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood-hit people. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif emphasized devising a joint comprehensive strategy chalked out by the federal and provincial governments for the restoration of infrastructure in flood-affected areas. According to him, it was time for all not to indulge in politicking, but to serve the masses.

The Pakistani nation has observed the 58th Defence and Martyrs Day with simplicity and respect. On this day, our brave Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan had thwarted the nefarious designs of their staunch enemy, four times bigger than their nation. Our soldiers fought bravely and defended the soil, Seas, and airspace of their motherland with valor, countless military men and civilian heroes laid their lives protecting their sacred motherland and marked an exemplary history of patriotism. Our iconic heroes including Maj Aziz Bhatti, Major Shabbir Sharif, Lance Naik Lalik Jan, Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, Captian Karnal Sher Khan Shaheed, and numerous others will always be remembered for their sacrifices and commitment to the defence of their motherland. Unfortunately, the entire nation grappled with floods on the eve of the 58th Defence Day and confronted colossal challenges of provision of relief to the flood-hit people, reconstruction of infrastructure and households, and rehabilitation of the flood victims across the country. The present-day situation demands the revival of national unity and the spirit of the 1965 war in the entire nation to cope with the destruction and miseries brought by the unprecedented catastrophe.

Currently, the Federal and provincial governments along with Tri-services Army, Navy and Air Force, NDMA, NGOs, and civil society are engaged in rescue and relief activities while the government is also conducting an assessment of the losses for the onward reconstruction of the infrastructure and rehabilitation of flood-hit people in flood affected areas. The government has also announced monetary compensation for the deceased and financial aid for the flood-hit people to help them resettle their households and restart their normal life, however, the magnitude of the disaster is so big that the government alone could not accomplish this task and needs assistance from all factions of the society.

Although, the entire nation is engaged in relief activities but political parties are still dragging their agendas, creating hatred, widening the gap, and manipulating the events for political gains which are highly condemnable. There is a dire need for the national consensus and spirit of 1965 to overcome the prevailing disaster, restore peace and stability, and put the national economy on the right track, to achieve a prosperous future.