The nation is celebrating 57th Defence and Martyrs Day today (Tuesday) in solemn and dignified manner in solidarity with the flood victims of the country.

The day dawned with gun salutes in the federal and provincial capitals and prayers in mosques for the solidarity and integrity of the country. Fateha and Quran Khawani were also held for the martyrs.

A change of guard ceremony was held at the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi in which cadets of Pakistan Airforce assumed the duty. The chief guest on the occasion was Air Vice Marshal Mohammad Qaiser Janjua.

In Islamabad, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif attended a ceremony at the Yadgar-e-Shuhada at Shakar Parian. He paid tributes to the Pak Army whose brave personnel defend the motherland and serve the nation during calamities like floods and earthquakes.

In Lahore, a ceremony was held at the mausoleum of thinker and poet Dr Muhmmad Iqbal.

However, the central Defence and Martyrs Day ceremony to be held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi was postponed by the Pakistan Army due to the prevailing floods that wreaked havoc in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Symposiums, seminars, school programmes and tableau will be organised in educational institutions whereas special documentaries and national songs will be aired by the television channels to revive the memories of the War of September 1965.

The Defence and Martyrs Day is celebrated every year on September 6 to revitalise the national spirit, remember and eulogise the sacrifices of the martyrs, who spilled their blood for the security of the sacred motherland and marked an exemplary history of patriotism.

PRESIDENT, PM MESSAGES: President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in their separate messages, have said the 6th of September is remembered as a symbol of courage, display of unmatched resilience and the spirit of supreme sacrifice by the valiant sons of the soil.

They said in the 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.

Referring to Pakistan’s success in the two decades long war against terror, they said Pakistan Armed Forces’ contribution in peace missions worldwide is a matter of great pride which is also rightly acknowledged by the international community.

The president and the prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to peace and said Pakistan will continue to follow its policy of peaceful coexistence.

However, they said at the same time our desire for peace must not be misconstrued as our weakness.

They said we are well aware of our national as well as international obligations.

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