Every year, the 6th September is being celebrated by every Pakistani to pay homage to our Shuhada and Ghazis who stood steadfast in wake of heavy odds to defeat India which had enjoyed overwhelming numerical and technological superiority.
This day holds an important place in the history of our country—when Pakistan’s courageous armed forces and the entire nation stood united in 1965 for the defence of the homeland in sabotaging the sinister designs of the enemy which had threatened the territorial integrity of our beloved country through an allout war. Pakistan’s forces not only retreated Indian army from Lahore sector, but also crossed the Line of Control, occupying various parts of Indian-held Kashmir—the root cause of the war.
This time, the defence day has come at a time when we are at war internally and externally, while enemy is different, waging a different war. Pakistan’s armed forces which have successfully achieved a landmark victory by dismantling the command and control structure of the Taliban in Swat, Dir, Buner and South Waziristan, forcing them either to flee or surrender, are now fighting in some other tribal areas.
The different war which every Pakistani has been facing is not confined to militancy only; there are a number of external elements like US, India, Israel whose secret agencies, CIA, RAW and Mossad are in collusion to destabilise Pakistan.
Unfortunately, it is due to lack of unity among our politicians, leaders and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by weakening the country. In the past few years, nefarious designs of foreign elements like US-led India and Israel can be gauged from a number of anti-Pakistan developments such as their support to insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, separatism in Balochistan and targeted killings, especially in Karachi coupled with subversive acts all over the country.
Besides, American double game with Pakistan, pressuring the latter to do more against the militants by ignoring the internal backlash, intermittent drone strikes, suspension of $800 million in military assistance, accusation of cross border terrorism, perennial propaganda against Pak Army, country’s intelligence agency, ISI etc. clearly show future aims of the US-backed India and Israel which want to ‘denuclearise’ Pakistan.
In this respect, on August 6, NBC TV channel disclosed that the “US has a contingency plan to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons…if it fears they are about to fall into the wrong hands.”
For this purpose, the US itself is creating unrest in Pakistan through CIA, RAW and Mossad as these secret agencies have deployed their collective networks throughout Pakistan. These agencies are backing violent acts in our country on daily basis. While, the US seems determined to shift Afghan war to Pakistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. In this regard, Obama administration which has already started its secret war in Pakistan, has planned a covert war which will especially include Karachi and Balochistan, where these foreign secret agencies are assisting the militants and their agents with money and weapons.
Internally, Pakistan’s economic crisis has intensified, bringing about other-related problems like load shedding, unemployment, soaring prices of products and dependence upon the US-led developed world.
Today Pakistan stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing internal and external threats to the national security of the country. Besides, Pakistan, its security forces and intelligence agencies are coping with suicide attacks, bomb blasts, sectarian violence and target-killings including sporadic battles with the militants who enter Pakistan from Afghanistan intermittently, while violence in Karachi has become the focus of attention.
No doubt, the ongoing multidimensional challenges to the security of Pakistan are themselves part of this new kind of war in the 21st century. At this critical juncture, the Defence Day serves as a motivating force for the civil and military personnel in giving new lessons in fighting the new dangers.
On this occasion, by imbibing the 1965 spirit of unity, if our defence forces can cope with internal and external threats which are not only worrying all the citizens, but also putting the very integration of the state at stake as to why every one cannot consider himself as a soldier.
For example, terrorist-experts agree that there is no way-out to control the suicide attacks. Although our army, ISI and other security agencies have broken the network of the terrorists owing to their coordination, yet all this demands cooperation of general masses. In this sense, every one is at war against internal and external enemies.
While the present multi-faceted crises have enveloped the country from all sides, during this Defence Day of Pakistan, we must reflect a greater spirit of cooperation and courage, learning lessons from the events of September 1965, when the major factor which led to our success was the fact that the nation and the armed forces stood as an united entity by displaying the principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline given to us by the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Nevertheless, the 6th September demands true national unity. We can also deduce it from the statement of Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani who, while taking note of the present critical situation on June 9, stressed upon national unity. Kayani especially explained, “Any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the country is not in national interest…the people of Pakistan whose support the army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists.”
This significant day demands that our political leaders must pledge that they will not exploit their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. In this connection, a blind dedication to one’s own race, tribe and creed should not be allowed to create hatred in one group against the other.
Notably, true unity against the foreign enemies requires that formation of alliances and counter alliances, based upon the principle of hostility for the sake of hostility should also be abandoned, while our politicians and leaders must create national cohesion among various segments of society.
Nonetheless, in wake of the different conflict of history, an impregnable defence of the country demands that there must be a strong coordination among our defence forces to cope with new threats to the security of Pakistan. In these terms, this day also demands sacrifices of individual and collective selfish interests from the citizens and politicians of every province including every religious and political organisation for the national integration of Pakistan.
There must be a true national unity among the general public, politicians and the security forces so as to castigate the conspiracy against the motherland. Learning a positive lesson from the past memories, the entire nation along with armed forces must pledge on the Defence Day to uphold the dignity and sovereignty of Pakistan at every cost as we are at war.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations