Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif  (L) and President Dr Arif Alvi (R). Photo: Radio Pakistan.

Sept 6 termed ‘symbol of unwavering national resolve’ as President, PM pay rich tribute to armed forces

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Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif  (L) and President Dr Arif Alvi (R). Photo: Radio Pakistan.   

ISLAMABAD: Paying rich tributes to the armed forces, martyrs and ghazis, President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, in their separate messages, on Defence and Martyrs’ Day said that September 6 is remembered as a symbol of courage and unwavering national resolve, display of unmatched resilience and the spirit of supreme sacrifice by the valiant sons of the soil.

‘I salute the families of the shuhada’, says President Alvi

In his message, President Dr Arif Alvi said the Defence and Martyrs Day of Pakistan reminds one of the unprecedented courage and matchless valour displayed by the soldiers and officers of Pakistan’s armed forces who have support and backing of the entire nation.

“On this day, 57 years ago, we thwarted the evil design of the enemy and defeated it on all fronts. In that testing time, not only the Armed Forces of Pakistan fought fearlessly on ground, in air and in waters, but each and every citizen came out to defend and safeguard the motherland. 6th September, therefore, stands out in history as symbol of unwavering national resolve, absolute patriotism, profound professionalism and supreme sacrifice,” he said.

“It is the milestone that generations look upon to reinforce their resolve for keeping the defence of homeland dearer than their own lives. I salute the martyrs who laid down their lives while fighting for the safety and security of motherland; I salute the families of the shuhada for setting great examples of sacrificing their loved ones; and I also salute the valiant ghazis who heroically fought while defending every inch of our territory.”

The president said the nation as a whole and the jawans and officers of our Armed Forces have displayed the same ‘Spirit of September’, courage and commitment in all testing times – be it a war imposed by the enemy or a situation emerged out of a national calamity.

Our success in the two-decade-long war against terror and the Pakistan Armed Forces’ contribution in peace missions worldwide is a matter of great pride which is also rightly acknowledged by the international community, he added.

“Pakistan is committed to peace and will continue to follow its policy of peaceful coexistence. At the same time, I must emphasise that our desire for peace must not be misconstrued as our weakness. We are well aware of our national as well as international obligations,” he added.

He called upon India to abide by its international obligation of protecting human rights especially towards resolving the longstanding issue of Kashmir by following the UN Security Council Resolutions. Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of 1947 Partition.

“It has to be resolved to mitigate the sufferings of Kashmiri people and to ensure lasting peace in the region. Being the supreme commander of the Armed Forces of Pakistan, it is a matter of great pride and satisfaction for me that the nation has complete confidence and trust in the capability, commitment, professionalism and combat readiness of our civil and armed forces as well as the security agencies to meet any kind of eventuality and face any kind of challenge at the external or internal front. I commend their role in national development and saving precious lives during floods or other natural disasters.”

“I once again salute the valiant sons and daughters of soil who sacrificed their lives while defending the motherland. Let us make a resolve that while keeping alive the same ‘Spirit of September’ in our hearts, we shall continue to play our roles towards safeguarding the country as well as securing a prosperous future of the nation,” the president said.

PM Shahbaz Sharif calls upon nation to forge unity in their ranks

For his part, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that it is a matter of great pride that the valiant armed forces and the brave Pakistani nation have carried forward the proud legacy of the 1965 war by successfully defeating the monsters of terrorism and extremism in their two-decade-old struggle.

“Hats off also to the heroes and ghazis, the men and women in uniform, the personnel of police and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, who are vigilantly safeguarding the frontiers of the motherland from the external and internal threats in harsh weathers and hostile environments,” the prime minister said.

“We owe great respect to the parents and families of shuhada who courageously bore the loss of their near and dear ones,” he added.

While they were celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Pakistan’s Independence this year, the prime minister said his message on the day to the sons and daughters of soil was to keep the flame and the spirit of September 6 alive in their hearts.

“I call upon the nation to forge unity in their ranks, for no conspiracy and challenge can succeed if the people are united in their resolve to protect their freedom and defeat such nefarious elements,” he added.

He said the best tribute to the sacrifices of their martyrs was to rebuild Pakistan in line with the vision of the founding fathers.

“A country that is strong economically, stable politically and harmonious socially can better defend itself, and promote and safeguard its vital foreign policy objectives. This is what the coalition government is aiming to achieve,” he added.

“On this day, 57 years ago, the brave armed forces of Pakistan proved to the world that they were ever ready to defend every inch of the motherland, no matter what the cost,” he added.

The entire Pakistani nation, the prime minister said, while displaying unprecedented unity and resolute strength, came forward for the support of their armed forces.

The show of unprecedented unity and solidarity of the nation galvanized the officers and jawans, pilots and sailors in their fight to secure the motherland against the Indian aggression, he added.

“On this occasion today, I congratulate the military leadership on successfully bringing Operation Raddul Fasaad to its logical conclusion. I also commend the role of the security forces, especially the army and navy personnel in saving the lives of thousands of people during recent floods in Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Southern Punjab,” the prime minister said.

He said Pakistan’s armed forces’ role in maintaining peace in various countries under the United Nations banner was also being acknowledged worldwide. It showed their commitment to the establishment of sustainable peace, particularly in the region.

“This commitment is the hallmark of our foreign policy. However, with the desire for durable peace, Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the need for the strengthening of our defence and the procurement of modern-day equipment despite the difficult economic situation,” he added.

The Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir was a flashpoint between the two nuclear powers of South Asia, the prime minister said, adding the sooner it was resolved according to the UN resolutions, the better it was for the regional peace and development.

“I urge the international community to bring their influence to bear upon New Delhi to reverse the actions it took with respect to IIOJ&K on August 5, 2019. The ball to create a conducive environment for the resolution of the meaningful talks with Pakistan is in India’s court,” he added.

Owe freedom, peace to sacrifices of martyrs: army chief

In his message, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that Defence Day symbolises the unwavering resolve of the armed forces, backed by the “great Pakistani nation to defend [the] motherland against all odds”.

“We owe our freedom and peace to unprecedented sacrifices of martyrs to keep the flag high,” the military’s media wing quoted Gen Bajwa as saying.

— Additional input from APP.

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