In Nation’s Defence (From Editor's Desk)

As he turned back and waved his hand to say Allah Hafiz to his mother, wife and daughter before mounting jeep to move to the operational area; none had the idea, it was the last time they were together as a family. He reached his unit, moved for the operation and embraced Shahadat. Wrapped up in the National Colour, his coffin was brought back home while his daughter, wife and mother sat quietly but proudly, knowing fully well that he would not return. He was given gun salute and buried forever; now his daughter has to live with his memories and may only see him in pictures. This is the story of one Shaheed, but is repeated every time a soldier embraces Shahadat; the pain is immense, loss is huge but the pride is forever. The nation celebrates 30th April as Yaum-e-Shuhada (Martyrs’ Day) each year.

The day is dedicated to pay special tribute to the brave and indomitable Martyrs, who laid their lives for the safety and security of Pakistan. The soil of this country is soaked with the blood of the courageous national heroes who fearlessly confronted the enemies; crushed their nefarious designs and guarded the motherland by willingly sacrificing their precious lives. The soldiers of Pakistan Army carry out their duties in most hostile and difficult terrain and under challenging environment. They undoubtedly reflect professionalism, formidable resolve and resilience demonstrated by our men and officers during these operations. The War on Terror has caused more suffering, deaths and destruction to the people of Pakistan than any other country in the world. More than 51,000 people including over 3,500 soldiers have sacrificed their lives while thousands others are injured.

This day not only reminds us to honour the sacrifices rendered by our Shuhada but also guides us to understand their spirit of martyrdom. It reminds us to continue with the mission of martyrs until all threats to Pakistan are completely neutralized. At this day, we also salute the families of Shuhada who are directly affected by these tragedies. The whole nation stands with these families and are putting all endeavours to take care of them, in all respects and in the best possible manner. Pak Army stands firm as an institution, is aware of internal and external enemies, and is fully prepared to defend Pakistan. The nation with an unflinching faith in the institutions has resolve to meet the immense challenges of today and the future.

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