Pakistan Defence Day (6 September 1965)


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In Pakistan, a national holiday known as Defence Day is observed annually to honour the Pakistani military personnel who have given their lives protecting the country’s frontiers. The date September 6th marks the day in 1965 when Indian troops crossed the international border to conduct an attack on Pakistani Punjab as a riposte to Pakistan’s Operation Grand Slam which targeted Jammu. This action was a riposte to Pakistan’s Operation Grand Slam which had targeted Jammu. Despite the fact that it is officially celebrated as an unprovoked surprise attack by India that was repulsed by the Pakistan Army despite the fact that it was smaller in size and had fewer munitions, the narrative has been criticised by Pakistani analysts for reflecting false history.

The year 1965 marked the beginning of the Indo-Pakistani War, which was kicked off by Pakistan’s deployment of 7,000–8,000 specially trained Mujahid raiders into the Kashmir Valley. Their mission was to incite the local population to rebel against Indian rule and to disrupt Indian Army installations. In the second stage, which began on September 1, it launched a tank attack on the Akhnoor bridge in the Jammu Division. This attack was given the codename “Operation Grand Slam.” This was supposed to be a “quick and painless fait accompli surgery.” Scholar Shuja Nawaz asserts that the Pakistani general’s plan was to seize control of the Akhnoor bridge before turning his attention to Jammu in an effort to sever links between India and the Kashmir Valley. The Indian Prime Minister had warned the Pakistanis that India would strike against Pakistan if Kashmir was attacked, but the Pakistanis disregarded his warnings. On September 6, in accordance with its “pre-declared policy” of retaliation, the Indian Army crossed the international boundary in Punjab with the intention of severing the Grand Trunk Road close to Lahore. This was the primary objective of the operation. The Pakistani commanders were taken aback by the raid, but they held their ground nonetheless.

When confronted with difficulties, living nations emerge even stronger and more resilient. When our very survival was put into question by the adversary in the 1965 War, the Pakistani nation showed itself to be stalwart and determined. When India began an undeclared war against Pakistan on September 6, the entire nation rallied to support its defenders; many even began marching towards the border with no weapons in their possession. A demonstration of national solidarity on such a scale served to further invigorate the already stalwart military forces in their brave conflict with the adversary, which has no historical precedent. These brave soldiers, officers, pilots, and sailors demonstrated to the rest of the world that they are always prepared to protect every square inch of their territory at whatever cost. They fought valiantly and showed little regard for their own lives as they offered the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve the frontiers.

This glorious day, September 6th, comes around every year so that we may be able to pay rich respects in particular to our heroes, the Ghazis and Shuhada, as well as the valiant armed forces overall, who have always been the nation’s hope and pride. We pay our respects to the brave sons of the soil who have given their life in the service of protecting their homeland. We pay our respects to the members of the families of the Shuhada who lost loved ones while fighting for the defence of their homeland.


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