Pakistan Air Force cadets take part in a ceremony at the mausoleum of the country's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah to mark the country's Defense Day in southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Sept. 6, 2020. Pakistan celebrated the country's 55th Defense Day on Sunday to pay homage to the soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in the war with India in 1965. (Str/Xinhua)
ISLAMABAD, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan celebrated the country's 55th Defense Day on Sunday to pay homage to the soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in the war with India in 1965.
The defense day was celebrated amid escalating tensions between Pakistan and India over the latter's decision to revoke the Indian-controlled Kashmir's special status in August last year.
The day dawned with 31-gun salute in the federal capital Islamabad and 21-gun salute at provincial capitals, while special prayers were offered for the soldiers and civilians in the war.
On the occasion, Pakistani President Arif Alvi issued a message, saying that Pakistan has achieved self-reliance in the defense field and the armed forces are playing an active role in internal security as well as nation building while safeguarding the frontiers.
"We have thwarted external aggression. We have successfully defeated terrorism and extremism, and now we are on the path towards economic prosperity. Lastly, I would once again pay homage to our great heroes who sacrificed their lives for the motherland," the president said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in his separate message said Pakistan is for peace but this must not be misconstrued as the country's weakness.
"The world understands that our desire for peace is for economic wellbeing and prosperity of the people of this region," Khan said.
The Pakistani leaders mentioned India's decision to revoke the Indian-controlled Kashmir's special status last year and said that the move of India has violated the United Nations Charter.
The Leader of the Opposition in Pakistan's National Assembly or the lower house of the parliament Shahbaz Sharif said in his message that freedom is a precious asset that can be defended by building unity and working together in the pursuit of national objectives.
The main ceremony in connection with the Defense Day was held at the General Headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
On the occasion, Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa laid floral wreath at the memorial of martyrs and paid homage to them.
In the southern port city of Karachi, a change of guard ceremony was held at the mausoleum of the country's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in connection with the Defense Day. Enditem