Pakistan Observes Defense Day Today On 6th September
Defense Day, known as “Yaum-i Difāʿ” in Urdu, is a national commemoration in Pakistan that honors the sacrifices made by Pakistani soldiers defending their borders. This observance is held on September 6th, which marks the date in 1965 when Indian troops launched an attack on Pakistani Punjab in response to Pakistan’s Operation Grand Slam targeting Jammu. While officially regarded as an unprovoked surprise attack by India, which Pakistan repelled despite its smaller size and fewer armaments, this narrative has been contested by Indian commentators as inaccurate history.
Context Of The War :
The context of the 1965 War began with Pakistan responding to increased Indian aggression in Kashmir by sending Indian Mujahideen into the Kashmir Valley to incite rebellion and disrupt local installations. Subsequently, on September 1st, Pakistan initiated Operation Grand Slam, a tank attack aimed at the Akhnoor bridge in the Jammu Division, with the intention of cutting off India’s communication with the Kashmir Valley. Despite warnings from the Indian Prime Minister that India would retaliate if Kashmir were attacked, the Pakistani generals pursued this course of action.
On September 6th, as part of their pre-declared strategy, the Indian Army crossed the international border into Punjab, seeking to cut off the Grand Trunk Road near Lahore and capture the Lahore Cantonment. This attack took the Pakistani commanders by surprise, and it was reported that the Pakistan Army had run out of ammunition early in the war. The conflict resulted in heavy losses for Pakistan, and a UN-mandated ceasefire was accepted on September 23rd.
Despite the historical fact that the war originated from “Indian aggression,” Pakistan established Defense of Pakistan Day to commemorate the day when Indian forces crossed into Pakistan. According to the narrative, Indian forces infiltrated the Wagah border, and the Pakistan armed forces, upon being alerted, valiantly defended the motherland and pushed them back, leading to the adoption of the name “Defense of Pakistan Day.” Air Marshal Nur Khan criticized this portrayal as a false account, stating that it was a misguided war and that the nation had been misled by a major falsehood, claiming that India had provoked the war.
The celebration includes parades and displays of Pakistan’s military equipment, including missiles, tanks, guns, helicopters, and armament used by various army corps. These displays are open to the public and broadcast on national TV channels. Special documentaries, national songs, and stories of those who sacrificed their lives on September 6, 1965, are also featured on television, emphasizing the responsibility of the younger generation as the future of Pakistan.
Additionally, a change of guard ceremony occurs at Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi, where cadets from the Pakistan Air Force Academy present the Guard of Honour and assume their duties.