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Why is making new year resolutions important to you?
Helps me stay focused on my goals and vision in life
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Helps me evaluate my progress, success & failures
We are a Nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, values and proportion...We have our own distinctive outlook on life" -Quaid-e-Azam

Defense Day or Pakistan's Memorial Day!

The 6th of September is a golden chapter in the history of Pakistan, when Pakistan, its military and people stood united in 1965 in defense of Pakistan. Later in 1971, taking advantage of the civil war in East Pakistan, attacked and dismembered Pakistan in a humiliating defeat. In the first war the nation was united in the second war it was fighting with itself.

"Why is it, one may ask, that we still celebrate this day as the Defense of Pakistan Day when during the passage of 35 years since, we had another war thrust on us by India, with disastrous results and dismemberment of the country. In many ways people strongly feel that it is now more important to recall and remember the 6th of September as it was our 'finest hour' to borrow a famous Churchillian phrase. The 6th of September is important to us as a nation because the Indo-Pakistan war that followed was fought by Pakistan as a nation united in its determination and resolve to halt and beat back Indian multi-dimensional attacks against Pakistan," as Lt. Gen. (Retd) Sardar F. S. Lodi states in The Nation newspaper, on Sept. 6, 2000.

While a number of decisions made by the Army High Command during the four wars fought by the country have been the subject of controversy, what has remained unquestioned is the valour displayed by thousands of jawans and young officers in all these conflicts.

The following selection of thought-provoking articles and analyses would further enrich our discussion, lessons, and memories on this year's Defense Day, which we suggest should be renamed as memorial day:

Dual Deterrence: Pakistan's Strategic Bonus
The imposition of sanctions by the US and Japan, and the looming threat to our already fragile economy is indeed a blessing without disguise. Pakistan's historic decision to explode six nuclear warheads on 28th and 30th May 1998 in response to India's megalomanic power display by detonating five nuclear devices on 11th and 13th May 1998, are essentially courageous acts of strategic defiance.

Revealed: Official history of 1965 war
Thirty-six years ago on September 6, the Indian Army crossed the Wagah border at 4 a.m. and moved towards Lahore. This attack touched off the second Indo-Pakistan war. The Times of India has acquired a copy of the official history of the 1965 war, finalised by the defence ministry in 1992 after years of research, but suppressed ever since. Contemporary accounts, generated by a jingoistic press, saw the war as a spectacular victory on almost every front. But the truth -- which cannot be hidden despite the best efforts of the official historians -- is that the war was, in the words of one its most distinguished commanders, Lt. Gen. Harbakhsh Singh, "a catalogue of lost victories".

Towards Self-reliance in Armaments
July 20th 2001 was an important and significant day in the history of Pakistan's defence effort when the first batch of 15 Al-Khalid main battle tanks after lengthy factory and user trials were handed over to the Pakistan Army at a simple and dignified ceremony at Taxila. The tanks were issued to the 31st Cavalry Regiment of Pakistan's Armoured Corps. An amount of $20 million was spent on the indigenous development of Al-Khalid main battle tank, spread over a period of eight years. This shows the low development costs of the tank. As a comparison it must be noted that our neighbour India has invested over $500 million on its Arjun tank which is still not in production. Al-Khalid is an ideal blend of mobility, firepower and protection and its high agility and obstacle crossing capability. The final product is the outcome of dedication and selfless devotion to duty displayed by the Chairman and his team of officers both in uniform and mufti. The nation is proud of their achievements and hold them in high esteem.

The Legacy of Pakistan Air Force [PAF]
On 13 April 1948, the Father of the Nation, while addressing a small band of enthusiastic airmen at the fledging nation's Air Force Flying School, delivered the following historic message: "A country without a strong Airforce is at the mercy of any aggressor; Pakistan must build up her Airforce as quickly as possible. It must be an efficient airforce, second to none." Exactly forty nine years later, Air Marshall (Retd) Asghar Khan who spoke as the Chief Guest at the Golden Jubilee Parade of the PAF Academy, Risalpur, said: "It goes to the credit of the Pakistan Airforce that it took the Quaid's words with a heroic spirit, and has since lived up to its expectations. The PAF is known today, as it was then, for its discipline and professional competence. It has acquired itself with credit in both the wars in which it was called upon to participate. Remember the present conditions require you not only to be 'second to none' as the Quaid commanded you..."

Date/Time Last Modified: 6/18/2002 8:05:58 AM

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