Written By: Sadia Sattar
Is the forte of the armed forces of Pakistan,
Are their traits
When it comes to any evil eye towards the defence of the motherland!
On a beautiful morning of 23 March 2017, I uttered these words expressing my heart and soul. These were not the words of a routine TV commentary I was doing, but were articles of faith for me. Such is the depth and intensity of love I share with millions of Pakistanis that they feel for Pakistan Armed Forces. This emotional bonding, fervor and proud patriotism was all on abundant display in parade venue for Pakistan Day Parade. Never once did the thought cross my mind while doing anchoring in front of the mirror since I was a toddler that I would ever be a TV host of 23rd March Pakistan Day Parade. But I got this everlasting honor.
It was a position far more elevated than what I ever dreamt of in my whole career. All the childhood memories were alive as soon as I got a call to be one of the commentators for this very special event. I remember the days when Pakistan Day Parade was done near the Presidency. The sensational national tracks, enthusiastic commentary and marching steps of Pakistan Army always gave me goosebumps. 2015 was the first time that military parade was conducted after a gap of seven years and was historic for the very same reason. Being part of that memorable event is one of the most cherished memories of my career till-date. 2017 is the second one. Sitting in the commentary cabin from rehearsals to the final day was a unique and incomparable experience that could never be elaborated in words. Right in front were the portraits of the Quaid and Iqbal with green flag in the middle, fluttering high in the sky. There was the march past of the flag bearers with their immaculate steps and I could feel the resolve depicted in every step, while holding the green flag with utmost respect and love; I felt that their feelings were very relatable to mine feeling the same for the "parcham"... a feeling of doing everything possible and impossible to keep the green flag sky high till the last drop of blood. Each contingent one after the other marching with same pride and zeal touched the core of my heart.
All the valiant soldiers and officers who sacrificed their lives in Operations like Zarb-e-Azb, Raah-e-Rast, Rah-e-Nijat and others in the most treacherous and difficult terrain of FATA, those guarding the snow clad high peaks in Siachen, those ever-watchful along Kashmir border, those who fought and defended Pakistan in all wars with India, all those families and mothers I interviewed till date were flashing back throughout the march past. I could feel that this spirit is unstoppable and more resilient with every passing day to make Pakistan secure, peaceful and prosperous for those who would be living their lives on this beautiful land. Pakistan has defenders that are matchless, their will to defend the motherland is un-diminishing and unconquerable.
At the end of the parade, we met Maj Gen Tahir Bhutta, GOC SSG; who led tri-services SSG free fall paratroopers team carrying the green flag in high skies. Amazing when it came to the skill and precision! These are angels-defenders of my country who descend as a wrath from above on the enemies of my motherland. When we went to meet him, the way he greeted us is unexplainable, with the love and fatherly affection, the way he appreciated us for our minor efforts in the commentary cabin was extremely encouraging and memorable.
I asked him that he got injured a day prior and still managed to do free-fall jump on the final day, his response was: “I am their leader, and I ought to be leading from the front. No second choice!” Leadership is nothing but leading from the front for the officer corps of Pakistan Armed Forces.
I felt in the deepest core of my heart that Pakistan is in the safest hands as I saw leadership at its best.
Incontrovertibly no power on earth can undo Pakistan.