August 14, 1947, marked the beginning of our journey as a nation, under one flag and the banners of Unity, Faith, and Discipline as coined by our great founder. However, our journey as a nation begins way back when our founding fathers conceived the idea and birthed the notion of a separate nation, the perilous efforts of our forefathers begin way back, even before 1947 when Pakistan was a mere dream. Even so, while the dream of Pakistan albeit remained only a dream, the idea, the notion, the hope, and the dream was enough to inspire passion, courage, and patriotism that the world would witness for ages to come.
It was that same neverending passion for this nation that allowed our forefathers to triumph atrocities during the dark moments leading up to 1947 and beyond, it was the same passion that aided them when they had lost all, when nothing was certain except “Pakistan Zindabad” and it was the same patriotism, the same passion, vigor, and courage during the dark hours of September 6, 1965, allowed the people of our nation to stand once again, united in the ceremony as we fended our attackers, eventually winning what would be known as the Indo – Pak war. It is a tale that we have romanticized, a tale, a story of courage, honor, passion, and love for this nation that we have been told and have celebrated ever since and rightfully so.
6th September 1965, Indian forces crossed the international border into Pakistan, amassing a massive army of not just troops but also tanks without any formal declaration of War. Their main objectives were to launch strong attacks on three centers of population, Lahore, Sialkot, and Rajasthan and it is famously known how the Indian General boasted to his troops that they would be in the Lahore Gymkhana, drinking and partying as they would celebrate their victory by the coming of the night. But nay, it was on that day when the sheer patriotism of not just the Pakistani army but also of the commoner rose to the occasion as in a united fashion, the people of this nation exhibited sheer passion, bravery, and courage in fighting off an army that was significantly bigger than ours. There are books dedicated to the great efforts of all men women and children combined who poured every ounce of their blood to defend the nation.
From mods lining up to donate blood to the soldiers to housewives volunteering as nurses to aid the wounded, to people singing and chanting praises to boost the morale of our soldiers, it was a war fought not just by those with weapons in hands, but by all who had the crescent and the star embossed in their hearts. It is the sacrifice, the exhibition of sheer honor, courage, and dignity that lasted not just those 17 days during which the war lasted but till eternity and beyond that which we celebrate in the name of Defence day. It is a day that marks a turning point in our history and shows us what we are truly capable of.
Often, we take our freedoms for granted not knowing that several thousand had to plunge their hands into the filth so that we can keep ours clean, that several thousand had to die so we can have the moment of peace we have attained. Defense day is the amalgamation of all those sacrifices that not just the soldiers but also the commoners laid down during the dark and horrendous moments of the Indo-Pak war. Even while being several outnumbered and at many points, outgunned, the display of Valor and courage was tremendous. It is said that the biggest tank battle after world war 2 took place during the Indo Pak war of 1965 and while being outgunned severely at some points, the people of our nation never ran out of courage. At some points, the only ammunition we had was our courage and our faith that eventually led us to our victory. It is these great and elusive moments that we celebrate, that we honor on Defence day and look back upon, to better learn and humble ourselves as we ponder upon the many sacrifices of our soldiers. It is also a day that serves to renew our pledge to our motherland, that we are resilient in our stride, unity, and discipline. That we value the sacrifices of our martyrs and that we honor them beyond measure.
The Day is broadcasted all over Pakistan as a series of military parades and events take place all over Pakistan. Our military showcases its immense prowess as many new weapons are also exhibited for the world to see and realize that Pakistan is a force to reckon with. Our flag is hoisted higher than ever as our national anthem unites all of us to rise as we commemorate the sacrifices that laid the foundation of our nation. It is a day that marks undoubtedly one of the Proudest moments as a nation and kindles our patriotism to try and shine even brighter as we try and reach even higher. Kids, adults, women, and men alike all join together to bask in patriotism as together they relive the moments of the past, reigniting the flames of courage and nobility as the stories of our national heroes are relived, such as Rashid Minhas and Aziz Bhatti amongst many others.
It is a day that is etched on our hearts, a day that teaches us so much and in light of our future teaches us to remain united, disciplined and faithful just as Quaid E Azam said all those years ago. It teaches us to be truly one and not let caste, color, monetary status, and religion let us segregate from one another. After all, this is our Pakistan and we won’t let anything or anyone let us divide. We stand together, strong and humbled by the sacrifices of the past as we venture into the future! Pakistan Zindabad!