Islamabad, 6 September 2023 (TDI): Every year, on September 6, Pakistan observes Defense Day, also known as Youm-e-Difa, to commemorate the valiant efforts of its armed forces during the 1965 war when they bravely defended the nation against Indian aggression.

Parades, airshows, patriotic songs, and TV shows are held on Defense Day to commemorate it.

Defence Day: Remembering the Heroes of the 1965 War

In 1965, Indian forces launched an attack on Pakistani Punjab, resulting in significant losses for Pakistan as they defended their homeland.

This war highlighted the importance of determination and ‘moral force’ in military success. As described by Clausewitz, “One might say that the physical force seems little more than the wooden hilt, while moral factors are the precious metal, the real weapon.”

Defender of Lahore Major Aziz Bhatti

Despite Indian forces crossing the international border near Lahore and capturing Batapore (Jallo), Pakistan’s Armed Forces, led by Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, responded with a counteroffensive, forcing the Indian 15th Division to retreat, albeit at the cost of Major Raja Aziz Bhatti’s life.

Ace of Aces – Squadron Leader M M Alam

In aerial combat, the Indian Air Force gained an advantage in the 1965 war, but the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) exhibited remarkable bravery.

PAF destroyed 100 Indian aircraft on the ground and in the air, with Squadron Leader M. M. Alam achieving a historic feat by downing five Indian aircraft in under sixty seconds.

Operation Dwarka – Defending Pakistan’s Waters

The Pakistan Navy played a vital role in securing Pakistan’s coasts during the war. Operation Dwarka, targeting the Indian town of Dwarka, was successful, disrupting the Indian Navy’s operations.

Ghazi, Pakistan’s submarine, successfully attacked heavy Indian Navy ships, contributing to Operation Dwarka’s success.

Heroes of Valor – The Courageous Defenders of Our Homeland

Numerous national heroes, including Brigadier Ahsan Rashid, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, Squadron Leader MM Alam, and Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Ahmed Rafiqui, demonstrated remarkable courage in their battles against Indian forces.

 58th Defense Day Celebrations

Pakistan’s 58th Defense Day celebrations were marked by a solemn changing of the guard’s ceremony at Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi.

Air Officer Commanding Air Marshal Ghazanfar Latif from the Pakistan Air Force’s Asghar Khan Academy had the honor of being the chief guest for this ceremony at Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi.

During the event, Chief Guest Air Vice Marshal Ghazanfar Latif paid his respects by laying a wreath at Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum. He recited Fatiha (a prayer) and also left his comments in the guest book.

Pakistan Celebrates Defense Day: Guards Take Over Duties

The changing of the guards’ ceremony featured 57 cadets, including seven women. As part of the ceremony, cadets from the Pakistan Air Force took on the responsibilities of guarding Mazar-e-Quaid.

Simultaneously, a ceremony took place at the shrines of Nishan-e-Haider recipients, Captain Muhammad Sarwar Shaheed and Major Shabbir Shaheed, as part of the Defense and Martyrs Day observance.

During this ceremony, flowers were respectfully laid at the shrines of these two martyrs, and Fatiha (a prayer) was recited in their honor.

Also Read: President Alvi pays tribute on Pakistan Defense Day

In Lahore, a dignified changing of the guards’ ceremony was conducted at the mausoleum of Allama Iqbal, the renowned poet of the East and a prominent figure in Pakistan’s history.

Corps Commander Lahore, Syed Amir Raza, had the honor of being the special guest at this solemn ceremony.

Pakistan’s Defence Day Celebrations Worldwide

Pakistan’s Defence Day on September 6, 2023, was celebrated with enthusiasm across its embassies worldwide.

Pakistani Ambassador Dr. Yousaf Junaid in Turkey while commending peace-loving nations’ resilience during the 16-day war, emphasized that such a nation cannot be defeated with force and belligerence.

Furthermore, Pakistani High Commissioner Syed Ahsan Raza Shah in Malaysia paid tribute to martyrs and Pakistan’s commitment to global peace. Additionally, Pakistani Ambassador Sajid Bilal in Egypt hosted a reception honoring the bravery of the armed forces.

In New York, the Pakistan Association held an event to honour their sacrifices, while simultaneously, the Pakistan Embassy in Tokyo marked the day, recognizing the significance and contributions of Pakistan’s armed forces.

National Leaderships’ Tributes

Addressing a ceremony held at the Pakistan Monument as part of the Defense and Martyrs Day commemoration, the Prime Minister of Pakistan expressed deep reverence for the valiant individuals who sacrificed their lives while ensuring the nation’s security.

Prime Minister said, “Martyrs sacrificed their lives for the sake of God by defending nation and country”.

On the 58th Defence and Martyrs’ Day of Pakistan, CJCSC, Services Chiefs, and the Armed Forces paid tribute to martyrs, veterans, and their families.

This day commemorates the victory of a smaller, righteous force against a larger enemy, inspiring generations with unity and sacrifice for the motherland.

The Armed Forces remain dedicated to defending against all threats, with the unwavering support of the Pakistani people.

Hostile efforts to disrupt peace will face the full might of the Armed Forces, backed by the nation’s resolve.

The President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, also shared a message on Defense Day. He stated, ‘On this Defense and Martyrs Day, Pakistan remembers the valour displayed 58 years ago during the 1965 War, symbolizing national resolve and patriotism’.

We salute martyrs and their families and remain committed to peace.

Shehbaz Sharif recognized September 6 as a historic day and, on Defense and Martyrs’ Day, paid tribute to the courageous individuals of Pakistan.

He underscored the importance of national unity, stating that it is the key to overcoming any challenge, drawing inspiration from historical lessons.

Pakistan’s Military Strength

In 2023, Pakistan’s Army ranks as the seventh most powerful globally, equipped with a diverse arsenal. This includes infantry weapons like the G3A3 assault rifle, M4 carbine, PK machine gun, RPG-7 rocket launcher, and mortars.

They also operate the main battle tanks Al-Khalid and Al-Zarrar, alongside armoured vehicles like the T-80UD tank, M113 APC, and BTR-80.

Furthermore, the Pakistan Army possesses a range of missiles, such as Ghauri I, Shaheen I, Ghauri II, Shaheen II, Babur, and Ra’ad, significantly enhancing its military capabilities.