The 6th of September marks the annual celebration of the great services provided by the Pakistani military against the war with India. Defense day commemorates the days when our nation successfully waded of the Indian army during the 1965 war. A small tribute to the grand sacrifices made by our soldiers on the field of battle, it is these sacrifices that later spoiled India’s attempt to threaten Pakistan’s sovereignty.
On 3 am of 9th September, Indian forces launched West Pakistan’s International border without any formal declaration of War. Their main strategy was launching an attack on 3 locations: Lahore, Sialkot and Rajasthan. With fierce tank battles taking place in Punjab the situation was deemed to escalate into an international conflict raising concerns about the superpowers. Perhaps when Indians commanders first set out towards Pakistan they would have imagined a celebration of Indian victory in Lahore. To them, they outnumbered us and had far more resources but the Pakistani army with these small number of men and scarce resources was still able to give a decisive response on more than 2000 miles of borderlines.
Even though the war lasted only 17 days it brought on a perpetual effect on the people. The entire nation joined together, working as a consistent unit. The nation was able to hold itself well, even though it was torn between a presidential election in between General Ayub Khan and Fatima Jinnah. All political matters were put aside as all parties gave full support to the army in this tough time. This national unity and trust that developed in this week is the true spirit that we celebrate on September 6.
People of all sects, languages and localities stood up to demonstrate the motto Muhammad Ali Jinnah had preached, Unity, Faith and Discipline. The elderly and the young, from Karachi to Khyber and Dhaka did their utmost efforts to both praise and aid the soldiers. Children would line up for blood donations even when they are not eligible and would insist on donating. The Indians would have never expected to see such a show of dedication and patriotism amongst the common folk of the country.
Time has passed, but the nation will not forget the contributions of its soldiers, it is these brave men that shed their blood so that we, the civilians of this nation could breathe in peace. These martyrs deserve the highest ranks of honor. We share the memory of this day among us to remember that we are a strong nation, and we will not be belittled by anyone no matter how powerful they may be. The events and the parades that take place this day are to remind the youth of this message, for it is they that will carry on the spirit. We should always stand proud of this nation, for it is due to it that we are free men.