Pakistan on Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of its second war with arch-rival India and paid tributes to the heroes of the 1965 war.
The major fighting of the war took place between August and September 1965, with both sides claiming victory after it ended in stalemate following the intervention of the United States and the Soviet Union.
Every year Pakistan celebrates September 6 as “Defence Day”. Sunday’s commemoration began with a 31-gun salute at dawn in the capital Islamabad and similar displays in other cities.
A minute’s silence was observed across the country to pay tribute to the almost 4,000 troops killed in the fighting, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif laying a wreath at the monument of war hero, Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, in Lahore.
Air Force fighter jets carried out aerobatics displays across the country.
Sirens were sounded at 9:29am to herald a nation-wide one-minute silence to pay homage to soldiers who lost their lives in 1965-war. Following this the national anthem will be aired on all broadcasting networks in the country.
The central event was held at General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi while Pakistan Air Force (PAF) presented a special air-show over F-9 Park in Islamabad.
The show, which began at 11:00am, featured fighter jets of the PAF, including JF-17 Thunder, F-16, Mirage and renowned aerobatic team of PAF, the Sher Dils. Besides this, Pakistan Army’s helicopters also participated in the event.
In Karachi, the day started with the change of guard ceremony at Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum where contingents of cadets of PAF assumed charge. Pillion riding has already been banned for Saturday and Sunday in the city due to security reasons.
The major event in Peshawar is an exhibition of aviation paintings and aircraft models arranged by the PAF at Nishtar Hall. The theme of the exhibition is “Pakistan Air Force – a saga of courage and sacrifice”.
In Multan, a two-day exhibition of Pakistan Army war weapons has been arranged for the general public at Ayub Stadium Garrison, while a major event will be held at Yadgar-e-Shuhada in Multan Cantt on Sunday evening to pay tribute to the martyrs of Pakistan Army.
The main function of Defence Day in Gilgit-Baltistan will be held at Corps Headquarters Force Command Northern Areas while a ceremony will also be held at the tomb of Lalik Jan Shaheed (Nishan-e-Haider) at Hundur village in Ghizer district.
The day in Azad Jammu and Kashmir started with 21 gun salute. AJK President Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan will be chief guest of the Defence Day function to be held at Neelum Stadium on Sunday.
Security is already on high alert in the country and mobile phone services will remain suspended in the twin cities of Rawalpindi-Islamabad.