This year the COAS dedicated the entirety of Sept 6 to visiting flood-stricken areas of Balochistan
Each year on September 6, Pakistan celebrates the its Defence Day – a day commemorating the selfless sacrifices and relentless resolve of the Pakistan Army. The day signifies Pakistan’s historic win against Indian forces without any declaration of war attacked Lahore, Sialkot and other areas of Punjab, with large contingents of tanks on September 6, 1965. However, the valiant efforts of the Pakistan Army, with the support of the nation, ensured that India’s attempts to capture Lahore were promptly thwarted. After about three weeks, following a United Nations cease fire call, the war came to an end. In the process, many lives were lost and countless sacrifices were made. For their outstanding bravery, the country observes Defence Day in honour of the shuhada and ghazis of the 1965 war. This year was no different. Pakistan’s Defence Day was celebrated with immense pride and fevor, with tributes paid to the fallen and special attention given to those in the country suffering from the recent natural calamities.
The day began with prayers for the progress and prosperity of the country, at all Army units, Naval sstablishments and Air Force bases. A special prayer was offered for the shuhada, who laid down their lives in defence of the country, and wreath laying ceremonies were held at all the monuments of the recipients of the Nishan-e-Haider, the country’s, highest gallantry award, as well as, other martyrs.
A floral wreath was laid at Yadgar-e-Shuhada at the Pakistan Army General Head Quarters in Rawalpind. Lieutenant General Salman Fayyaz Ghani Inspector General Arms laid a floral wreath and offered Fateha. Meanwhile, 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 martyrdom at Tilpatri in Azad Kashmir, in 1948. Major General Tabbassum Haris laid a floral wreath and offered Fateha at the monument of Major Tufail Muhammad Shaheed, in Tufailabad.
Major Tufail Muhammad embraced shahadat at Lakshmi Bridge in erstwhile East Pakistan, in 1958.Major General Haroon Ishaq Raja laid a floral wreath at the grave of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed, in Ladian near Gujrat and offered Fateha. Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed embraced Shahdat at Burki in Lahore, in 1965. Major General Nadeem Ashraf laid a floral wreath and offered Fateha at the monument of Major Muhammad Akram Shaheed at Jhelum. Major Muhammad Akram embraced Shahadat at District Hilli in erstwhile East Pakistan.
Major General Malik Amir Muhammad Khan laid a floral wreath and offered Fateha at the monument of Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed at Lahore. Major Shabbir Shareef embraced martyrdom while defending the motherland in 1971. Major General Mumtaz Hussain laid a floral wreath at the monument of Lance Naik Muhammad Mehfooz Shaheed and offered Fateha in Mehfoozabad. Lance Naik Muhammad Mehfooz embraced Shahadat while defending the nation at the 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 embraced shahadat while defending at Zafarwal, Sector in 1971. Senate Standing Committee for Defence and Defence Production Chairman Mushahid Hussain Syed also laid a floral wreath at the monument of Lance Naik Sowar Muhammad Hussain Shaheed and offered Fateha.
Major General Muhammad Umer Bashir laid floral wreath and offered Fateha at the monument of Captain Karnal Sher Khan, Nishan-e-Haider, at Swabi. Captain Karnal Sher Khan embraced martyrdom at Gultari Sector. Major General Jawad Ahmed Qazi laid floral wreath and offered Fateha at the monument of Havaldar Lalak Jan Shaheed, who laid his life for the nation during Kargil War. Major General Muhammad Irfan Khan laid a floral wreath and offered Fateha at Nakial Sector to pay homage to Naik Saif Ali Janjua Shaheed, Hilal-e-Kashmir, equivalent to Nishan-e-Haider. The contingents of the respective Regimental Centres and Units of the Shuhada presented the salute as a mark of tribute for the epic action of their great warrior.
Karachi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Muhammad Saeed visited the Mizar-e -Quaid to pay homage. The Corps Commander offered Fatiha and laid a floral wreath. The official also went to visit the grave of Captain Taha Murtaza Hashmi Shaheed, where he also offered Fatiha and laid a floral wreath. Later, Lt General Saeed visited residence of Nk Amjad Ali Shah Bukhari Shaheed, and met with his family.
In South Waziristan, the funeral prayers of shaheed Captain Abdul Wali Wazir were offered in his native town of Kari Kot in Wana. Wazir embraced shahadat during an intelligence based operation in against terrorists, four of whom were killed. A large number of civil and military officials, as well as, the general public attended the funeral of the fallen soldier. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa South IGFC Major General Muhammad Munir Afsar laid a floral wreath at the, young martyr’s funeral, while contingent of the Pakistan Army presented the guard of honour. Captain Wazir was buried in full military honours.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa spent the full duration of Pakistan Defence Day visiting far flung flood affected areas of Balochistan. On arrival, the COAS visited the army flood relief camp at Usta Muhammad in the Jafferabad district, where he was briefed about the ongoing rescue and relief operations. General Bajwa then met with the troops and strongly appreciated their efforts to aid flood affectees. He also visited flood relief and medical camps, where he spent time with locals to gain a clearer picture of the ongoing situation, as well as, to mitigate their problems.
The COAS also visited Sui, where he met with local tribal elders and inquired about their well-being and the issues they are facing following the floods. The local elders thanked General Bajwa for meeting with them during the most difficult time in their life. Later, the Army Chief visited Sui Military College where he was briefed about different training and educational facilities at the institute. He interacted with the faculty and students and appreciated the standard of institution.
Separately, Southern Command and Multan Corps Commander Lieutenant General Muhammad Chiragh Haider visited flood affected areas of district Rajanpur. He witnessed the ongoing relief efforts including the distribution of ration and provision of medical care by the Pakistan Army. Lt General Haider praised the efforts of officers and Jawans, helping the people in flood-affected areas round the clock. The Multan Corps Commander also visited the families of martyrs in the area and paid tribute to those who laid down their lives in defence of the motherland.