Defence Day: Pakistani leaders hope for peaceful solution but prepared for consequences – Gulf News

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Air Force cadets march outside the mausoleum of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah to celebrate Defence Day, which marks the anniversary of the country’s second war with India between August and September 1965. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Pakistan’s civil and military leadership, on Friday, once again reiterated the wish for peaceful solution of Kashmir, however, there was a unanimous message that Pakistan is ready to face “any kind of misadventure” and “will respond” to it.

Pakistani President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa in their separate messages delivered on Defence and Martyrs Day echoed their strong support to Kashmiris in their right to self-determination.

“For Pakistan, Kashmir stands as its jugular vein. We will continue our moral, political and diplomatic support for their right to self-determination within the framework of UN resolutions,” Imran Khan said in his key speech on Defence Day.

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Army personnel pay tribute at the war monument, during Defence Day ceremonies at Wagah border, near Lahore. Image Credit: Reuters

Recalling Pakistan’s efforts for peaceful solution of Kashmir issue and diplomatic efforts, Imran said: “I have informed the world that Pakistan does not want war, but at the same time, Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the challenges posed to its security and integrity.” He added that Pakistan is prepared for “any kind of misadventure by the enemy and will respond.” Addressing the world leaders, PM Imran asked them to “take note of the doctrine of hate” in India and “seriously consider the safety and security of India’s nuclear arsenal.”

PM and army chief visit LoC

To honour the supreme sacrifices of martyrs and commemorate the Defence Day with front line soldiers, Imran along with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also visited the restive Line of Control (LoC) where cross border exchanges of fire between Pakistan and India have intensified in recent months.

Paying homage to Pakistani martyrs and veterans, Imran said, “I salute the gallant sons of soil who laid down their lives while defending Pakistan, and pay respect to their families for unparalleled sacrifices they rendered for our tomorrow.”

Pakistan believes in peace and dialogue: Bajwa

On the occasion of Defence Day, COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa addressed a special event at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi to pay tribute to martyrs and their families. In his speech, Gen Bajwa said “Pakistan has always emphasised on the importance of peace, prosperity and dialogue” citing Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace process.

Speaking about the regional tensions, army chief said, Kashmir issue is an “unresolved agenda” and would remain so until a solution is found on the basis of the United Nations resolutions and the will of the Kashmiri people. Bajwa assured Kashmiris that “Pakistan will never leave them alone. The hearts of Pakistanis and Kashmiris beat together. Kashmir is Pakistan’s jugular vein.” Pakistani nation and armed forces, he said, are ready to give every sacrifice for the people of Kashmir. “Pakistan would play its role to the last bullet, last soldier and last breath,” Bajwa proclaimed.

Pakistan urges for peaceful resolution of Kashmir

In his special message, President Dr Arif Alvi said that country’s “valiant armed forces immortalised this day as a symbol of courage, bravery, sacrifice” that inspired the nation to successfully confront internal challenges and defeat external conspiracies. On this Defence and Martyrs Day, he said “we reiterate solidarity with our Kashmiri brethren and renew our resolve that we will continue to support their right to self-determination.” Pakistan as a peaceful nation that has “rendered enormous sacrifices for world peace” urge that Kashmir dispute should be resolved according to the Security Council Resolutions, he added.

Proud of our martyrs: FM Qureshi

On Friday, several ministers and political leaders reached out to the families of the martyrs to pay their respects. In Islamabad, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited the family of Shaheed Captain Junaid Abbasi, who was martyred in September 2018 during an operation in North Waziristan. “We laud the exemplary bravery of Shaheed Captain Junaid and the thousands others who have laid down their lives in defence of their motherland. We also salute the courage and resolve of the mothers, fathers and families of our martyrs,” Qureshi said.

September 6 marks the 54th anniversary of the 1965 Pakistan-India war when the nation’s forces defended the country from an Indian attack. This year, the day is being observed to pay tribute to the country’s martyrs and to reaffirm commitment to defending Pakistan against all threats.

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