BY: Khalid Taimur Akram
On September 7, 2023, a Defence Day commemorative event took place at the House of Elaan headquarters in Islamabad, organized by Elaan Research Centre.
The ceremony was presided over by notable individuals including Mr. Ovais Ali Khokhar, President Elaan Research Centre and CEO House of Elaan, Mr. Zaildar Ahsan Shah, Managing Director Elaan Research Centre, Mr. Obaid Ayub, Director of the House of Elaan, Mr. Khalid Taimur, Executive Director Elaan Research Centre and Mr. Zeeshan, Assistant Director Sales.
Defence Day in Pakistan is an annual commemoration of the 1965 Indo-Pak War, a pivotal episode in Pakistan’s history that unfolded from April to September 1965. This conflict holds immense historical significance, and Pakistan observes Defence Day on September 6th each year to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by its armed forces and civilians during this period.
The war’s commencement can be traced back to April 6, 1965, when confrontations erupted between Pakistani and Indian forces in the Rann of Kutch, a disputed region along their western border.
These initial skirmishes eventually escalated into a full-fledged conflict, with battles taking place in various sectors along the international border and the Line of Control in Kashmir. International diplomatic efforts played a pivotal role in facilitating a ceasefire agreement brokered by the United Nations on September 23, 1965. Ultimately, the Tashkent Agreement, signed on January 10, 1966, brought a formal end to the hostilities.
Air Marshall Waseem ud Din (Retd) was the Chief Guest, along with the guest of honour Mr. Naveed Malik, President Highcourt Bar Association, Qaiser Imam, President Islamabad Bar Association, Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen, Dr. Saleem Mazhar, DG National Language Promotion Department, Colonel Iftikhar, Strategic Planning Division and Colonel Ather Sultan.
The attendees were treated to a series of videos on patriotism and sacrifice, thoughtfully crafted by the House of Elaan team as a heartfelt tribute to the heroes of September 6th. Following this presentation, Mr. Zaildar Ahsan Shah delivered his opening remarks, wherein he eloquently elucidated the importance and meaning of Defence Day. September 6th holds particular significance as it marks the date when our armed forces executed a successful counterattack against India.
This day serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made during the 1965 Indo-Pak War. It underscores the importance of national unity and defence preparedness while honouring the courage and dedication of both the armed forces and civilians who played vital roles during this crucial period in Pakistan’s history. He also emphasized that “our armed forces are a source of great pride and honour for us. Therefore, we must always remember and honour their sacrifices, particularly those made on September 6th.”
He went on to provide insights into the Elaan Research Centre, detailing the various domains in which it conducts research, encompassing real estate, national and international affairs, as well as social issues. Following this, Mr. Khalid Taimur extended a warm welcome to the distinguished guests and conveyed his sentiments to those in attendance, underscoring that without our armed forces, our identity would be incomplete.
Air Marshal Waseem ud Din (Retd), the esteemed chief guest, provided a comprehensive account of the events surrounding the 1965 war. He further emphasized that as a united nation, we must once again come together to confront the economic challenges currently facing us. Mr. Naveed Malik conveyed a sincere tribute to the soldiers who made selfless sacrifices, enabling us to enjoy peace today.
He emphasized that the legal community of the nation would consistently support and stand alongside our armed forces. He expressed gratitude to Mr. Zaildar Ahsan Shah for extending the invitation today. Additionally, he shared their views on the Elaan Research Centre, noting that it is doing commendable work in addressing the social issues of Pakistan.
Mr. Obaid Ayub and Mr. Zeeshan contributed to the discussion on Defence Day by expressing their deep appreciation for the armed forces and affirming their pride in having such a robust backbone for the nation. Colonel Iftikhar emphasized the symbiotic relationship between the nation and its armed forces, stating that when there is a nation, there are armed forces. He stressed the importance of unity among the people, urging them to work collectively for the betterment of their country and to stand together as one cohesive nation.
Furthermore, he acknowledged the significance of the peaceful environment they were currently enjoying, attributing it to the sacrifices made by the armed forces during the 1965 war, where they risked their lives to safeguard the entire nation. He also expressed confidence that, in the current critical situation, the nation would stand firmly behind the Pakistani army, offering support and solidarity to pave the way for a brighter future for Pakistan.
Ambassador Fauzia Nasreen paid a heartfelt tribute to the soldiers who selflessly sacrificed their lives, allowing us to live in peace today. She also touched upon her involvement with a children’s NGO, expressing concern for their future given the current economic situation. She emphasized the need for proactive steps and sound policies to rectify the present challenges, as failure to do so could jeopardize our future generations.
Professor Saleem Mazhar emphasized that Pakistan possesses a wealth of cultural heritage and traditions, but these precious aspects are gradually diminishing. He noted that it is essential to pass down these values to the future generations, as they may not fully appreciate them unless we make a concerted effort to transmit these traditions.
Concluding the meeting, Mr. Ovais Ali Khokhar delivered his closing remarks by offering prayers for the martyrs and underlining the debt of gratitude owed to our armed forces, whose sacrifices have enabled our nationhood. Mr. Khokhar urged everyone to contribute, whether through research or social media platforms, to promote positivity and bridge the gap between the people and the military.