ISLAMABAD: The country will observe the Defence and Martyrs Day on Friday as the Kashmir Solidarity Day to reaffirm support of Pakistani nation for the oppressed people of India-held Kashmir.
Since Aug 5, residents of the occupied valley have been living under strict curfew and other crippling restrictions. This was even a day before the Indian government abrogated Articles 370 and 35A, revoking the special status of India’s only Muslim-majority state.
By stripping held Kashmir of its special status, New Delhi blocked its right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property in the valley. More than 4,000 people have been detained since Aug 5.
Friday will mark the 54th anniversary of the 1965 Pakistan-India war when the country’s valiant forces defended the country from Indian attack on Pakistani soil.
This year, the day would be observed to pay tribute to the country’s martyrs and to reaffirm the commitment to defending the motherland against all threats.
The day will begin with 31-gun salute at the federal capital and 21-gun salute at provincial capitals. Special prayers will be offered after Fajr prayer in mosques for independence of held Kashmir from clutches of India.
According to the interior ministry, the offices throughout the country will be closed by 3pm to mark the day and show solidarity with the Kashmiri people and martyrs.
People are encouraged to visit the families of the martyrs to assure them of full support.
Special events will be held to mark the day. Wreath laying ceremonies will be held at the mausoleums of recipients of Nishan-i-Haider (the highest gallantry award).
The national media, both print and electronic, have chalked out comprehensive coverage plans of the events to be held in connection with the day.
Meanwhile, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said on Thursday that great nations always remembered their martyrs as national zeal was must for a country’s defence.
He said that more than 81,000 security personnel had rendered supreme sacrifices for the country’s defence.
The main ceremony for the Defence Day would be held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Friday (today).
Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2019