KARACHI: National Defence Day celebrations marked their beginning in Karachi with a special change of guard ceremony at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on Wednesday. The day is observed to pay homage to the martyrs who gave the supreme sacrifice of their lives for the defence of the motherland during the Pakistan-India War in 1965.
A smartly attired contingent of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) cadets assumed the responsibility of security during an impressive ceremony with Air Vice-marshal (AVM) Imran Khalid as the chief guest on the occasion.
AVM Khalid along with other senior PAF officials offered Fateha and laid a floral wreath at Mazar of the father of the nation.
PAF, also celebrating the golden jubilee this year of its massive victory against a traditional foe, which was three times bigger in terms of size as well as capacities, has arranged a day long exhibition at its Masroor base in Mauripur.
Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah was specially invited to the event, which was also open to the public, offering them an opportunity to witness varied models of PAF aircraft and other accessories. There was a photo display of the PAF heroes, which also included Pilot Officers Rashid Minhas and Muhammad Younus, Air Commodore MM Alam and several others who laid their lives for the country, which particularly attracted the visitors.
Sindh CM on the occasion said that sacrifices made by armed forces for the defence of the country are a source of pride for the nation which can never be forgotten. Reiterating that all Pakistanis are equally committed to defending the country, he added that the challenge of terrorism currently faced by Pakistan demanded mutual trust among all sections of the society.
Meanwhile, a day long programme organised at Malir Cantonment also drew an increased attention of citizens who were keen to visit the site and be part of the celebrations.
Like others parts of the country, people of Hyderabad here on Wednesday also celebrated the 51st Defence Day with great enthusiasm, national spirit and pledge to strive for the progress and prosperity of the country.
The celebrations began at zero hours late on Tuesday night when thousands of youth welcomed the Defence Day with aerial firing, firecrackers and taking out big rallies from different parts of Hyderabad, Latifabad and Qasimabad.
Special prayers were also offered for solidarity, integrity and prosperity of the motherland in mosques across the country.
The local newspapers also brought out special supplements highlighting the struggle of the Muslim leaders particularly Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for the creation of Pakistan.
The Hyderabad District Police made strict security arrangements in order to avert any untoward incident.