There exist certain commonalities that foster the identity of a nation, and the resultant national unity. The citizens of a nation, united by this bond, owe a debt to the country that provides them a homeland, identity and most importantly, a sense of security and respect among the comity of nations. September 6, the day that has been marked as the Defence and Martyrs Day of Pakistan, is commemorated not only as a testament to India’s futile attempt to invade Pakistan in 1965 but being rendered useless in her effort by the gallant men of Pakistan Armed Forces; besides defending the country in 1948, 1971, 1999 wars and the War on Terror.
As we are living in the third decade of 21st Century, geo-economics rather than geopolitics, has taken the center stage; although wars still rage in the current age, the major battlefield is economic rather than military. Pakistan is cognizant of this fact and has undergone a transformation to shift its policies from geopolitics to geo-economics. The country is steadily working towards enhancing trade and economic relations with its partners. Peace, development partnerships and connectivity constitute the essential pillars of our new economic security paradigm wherein, besides other projects, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor forms a major part of our economic transformation plan. Recently, COAS, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, at Islamabad Security Dialogue said, “Today we are a nation with tremendous geo-economic potential. In order to carve a promising future for our people, it is important for us to embark upon a solid economic roadmap backed up by infrastructural developments and regional integration. Our choices with respect to the same have been clear and explicit.”
In the same vein, after having overcome terrorism, Pakistan is working towards the goal of improving economic conditions of underdeveloped areas and has launched programs for their economic revival. Pakistan Army has contributed towards the cause by rebuilding and launching development drives besides ensuring peace. In this precarious situation where the U.S. has withdrawn from Afghanistan, Pakistan has secured its borders in a timely manner through building fences, new posts and formally designated crossing points which immensely helped control mobility and movement of unwanted elements.
Our policy has always been to work hard towards the attainment of peace and stability but remaining prepared in case of a war. However, in this age and time of technological, economic and political developments, the lines have been blurred between overt conflicts and covert hostile acts that cannot be predicted. We find ourselves face to face with a modern paradox of gray area conflicts that form a major challenge to peace and stability. Therefore, it is imperative to always remain prepared to meet the threats from whichever direction and shape they may arise. As COAS reiterated, while addressing the Defence and Martyrs Day Ceremony, held at GHQ, "If any enemy wants to fight us, it will find us ready at every moment and on every front."
Pakistan has stood strong against its adversaries and has passed through numerous tests and wars in its 74 years of independence, a feat that has led many men to martyrdom in order to protect their motherland and its sovereignty. Its land, cities and towns have shared the burden of these wars and the two-decades-long war – the War on Terror; they’re dotted with the blood and graves of its martyrs that lay buried through the length and breadth of the country. The martyrs – to whom we shall be forever indebted – are revered for their bravery in order to retain the sanctity of Pakistan against all odds.
Despite the challenges we have faced, today’s Pakistan is strong, progressive and possesses the capacity to shape an even better future. As we celebrate Defence and Martyrs Day this year we must pledge to honor our shuhada (martyrs) and ghazis (warriors) by unanimously working towards the goal of peace, unity, stability and prosperity. As COAS highlighted in his speech, "No power can defeat this nation whose mothers raise their sons to sacrifice their lives for the honor of their country."
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