The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Wednesday observed September 7 as Martyrs’ Day at all PAF bases throughout the country.
The day started with special Dua and Quran Khawani for the martyrs of 1965 and 1971 wars and those who laid down their lives in action since the creation of Pakistan, a PAF news release said.
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu was the chief guest during a ceremony held at Air Headquarters, Islamabad.
Speaking on the occasion, the air chief said that PAF has proud history of sacrifice, valour and professionalism. Brave sons of the soil have always responded to nation’s call and marked glories with their blood during 1948, 1965 & 1971 wars, Ops Sentinel and Operation Swift Retort, he added.
“PAF has evolved due to great legacy of our forefathers, and we are striving hard for the advancement in space, electronic warfare, cyber, niche technologies and indigenous defence capability to ensure our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he mentioned.
The air chief appreciated the efforts of PAF personnel for relief and rescue operations during the recent floods. He further expressed solidarity with Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their indigenous and just struggle for self-determination. To pay homage to the martyrs, the air chief laid floral wreath at the martyrs monument and offered Fateha.
Earlier in the day, a wreath laying ceremony was held at the grave of pilot officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed, (Nishan-i-Haider) at Karachi. Air Vice Marshal Zaeem Afzal, the Air Officer Commanding Southern Air Command, offered Fateha and laid floral wreath at the grave of the martyr on behalf of air chief.
Separtely, PAF released a short documentary to pay tribute to the veterans and martyrs of the war of September 1965 on the occasion of the Air Force Day.
In a statement, the PAF Directorate General Public Relations said the unforgettable feats performed by the falcons of Pakistan Air Force will always be written in bold letters in the world’s defence history. The department released a short documentary film, paying homage to the veterans and martyrs of the 1965 war, in which the details of the air battle fought on September 7, 1965, have been described.
In the war of 1965, the soldiers of PAF defeated the enemy while defending the airspace of the motherland.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid tribute to the pilots of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for rendering immense sacrifices in the 1965 war and defending the aerial frontiers.
“The defenders of the country’s aerial frontiers always proved that any malice shown by the enemy would be thwarted effectively,” he said in a tweet on PAF Day.
PM Shehbaz said Pakistanis were grateful to squadron leader Sarfraz Rafiqui, flight lieutenant Younas Hassan, flying officer Muhammad Afzal, squadron leader Muniruddin, and all martyrs of the PAF.
“With their great sacrifices, these heroes crushed the nefarious designs of the four times bigger enemy,” he said.
Similarly, Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi said that the PAF falcons have authored great stories of courage, bravery and valour and defeated the enemy while defending the airspace.
In his message on the PAF Day, the chief minister said the force destroyed the air power of the enemy on Sept 7, 1965.
In the history of the Pakistan Air Force, unforgettable achievements of this force would always be recognised in the world’s defence history, he stated. The nation is proud of the professional skills of the PAF, he said, adding that “Sept 7, 1965, is a golden chapter of the defence history of the country, which is always ready to respond to any aggression of the enemy.”
The Pakistan Air Force, once again, demonstrated its professionalism by shooting down two Indian warplanes in February 2019, he said.