Commemorating Defence Day and Martyrs Day on Wednesday, Interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir and President Dr Arif Alvi paid tribute to valiant soldiers of the armed forces.
State media reported that Kakar laid a floral wreath at the Pakistan Monument in honour of Yadgar-e-Shuhada to “pay homage and tribute” to the brave soldiers of the country’s armed forces.
In his message on the occasion, PM Kakar said that the entire nation stands with Pakistan’s armed forces to defeat those with “evil designs” against Pakistan’s integrity and prosperity.
“Our martyrs who embraced martyrdom for the sake of their people and the country can never be forgotten and will always remain in our hearts,” he said, adding that the Holy Quran also mentions martyrs with great reverence.
Referring to the last moments of soldiers who lost their lives on the battlefield, Kakar said, “This is the moment that appears to be death but actually it is the moment of meeting with the immortal”.
The Prime Minister’s Office shared pictures of the ceremony on X, formerly Twitter.
In a similar statement made on X, President Alvi also honoured the sacrifices of the armed forces.
“On this day, 58 years ago, our armed forces and the entire Pakistani nation displayed extraordinary courage and indomitable spirit, and thwarted the evil designs of the enemy. The 1965 war stands out in our history as a symbol of unwavering national resolve, preparedness, professionalism, patriotism and sacrifice,” said Dr Alvi.
President Alvi lauded “our ghazis” for their efforts during the 1965 war and said that the armed forces had displayed similar levels of courage and commitment in the war against terrorism in the past two decades.
“Our successes in this asymmetrical war are [a] testimony to our armed forces’ capacity to evolve into a unique force having the ability to match the modern-day combat requirements. On this day, we reiterate Pakistan’s commitment to peace and its policy of peaceful coexistence,” said Dr Alvi.
Regarding Kashmir, the president said, “This dispute has to be resolved as per the UN Security Council Resolutions for ensuring peace, security, and development in the region. Today, we also remember the sacrifices of Kashmiri people, women and children, which they have rendered during the decades-long struggle for their right to self-determination. Pakistan will continue to extend its moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people’s just struggle for their right to choose their own destiny”.
Keeping the state’s sovereignty, integrity and honour must be prioritised, asserted Alvi. “Pakistan is the centre of our hopes. On this Defence and Martyrs Day, we continue to honour and respect the sons and daughters of the soil, who never hesitate in giving their own life for the defence of the motherland, its development and prosperity.”
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on the occasion, COAS Gen Munir lauded the efforts undertaken by the armed forces in the 1965 war. “A great sense of national unity and solidarity was seen [then],” he said, adding that “we thwarted the enemy’s aggression”.
“Pakistan Army occupies a prominent position in the world due to its discipline and high professional standards. Faith, piety and Jihad for the sake of Allah is our way of distinction,” said the COAS, adding that the Pakistan Army is always “ready to respond to any aggression of the enemy”.
“It is the commitment of every officer and soldier of Pakistan Army to put the defense of the country before his life,” he said, honouring the sacrifices of martyrs.
“Recently, some elements made a sinister attempt to attack the relationship between the people and the army,” said the COAS, adding that they failed as the armed forces’ fight against terrorism stands as an example.
He further stressed that a strong economy is indispensable to a strong defense. “With mutual cooperation, Pakistan will be on the path of economic development,” said the COAS.