Defence Day of Pakistan 6th September
Defence Day is commemorated as a national holiday in Pakistan to remember the troops who gave their lives protecting the nation’s boundaries. It is observed on September 6th, the anniversary of the historic event that took place in 1965 when Indian soldiers invaded Pakistani Punjab after crossing the international boundary in retaliation for Pakistan’s Operation Grand Slam, which was directed at Jammu.
Despite being officially acknowledged as an unprovoked surprise attack by India that the Pakistan Army, with its smaller size and armaments, successfully repelled, the storyline surrounding Defence Day has come under fire from Indian pundits who contend that it presents an inaccurate picture of history.
Significance of Defence Day in Pakistan
Defence Day’s Significance includes the following elements:
- Strengthening National Unity: Defence Day in Pakistan is a highly significant uniting event. It brings people together from all backgrounds to honor and remember the sacrifices made by the military services as a group.
- Tending Patriotism: This day is essential to Pakistanis developing a strong feeling of pride and patriotism in their hearts. It is a poignant reminder of how critical it is to preserve the country’s sovereignty and core principles.
- Honoring the Armed Services: Defence Day offers the public a chance to show their sincere gratitude and respect for the Pakistani armed services, who have demonstrated a resolute commitment to defending the country.
Context of the 1965 War: Defence Day of Pakistan
The disagreement over the territory of Jammu and Kashmir was the focal point of the second confrontation between India and Pakistan in 1965. While the conflict did not bring an end to this continuing dispute, it did bring the Soviet Union and the United States to notice, which had a major impact on future superpower engagement in the area.
The dispute surrounding this specific area has its roots in South Asia’s independence process. The British province of India was split into two separate countries when it gained independence in 1947: Pakistan, which is mostly a Muslim country, and India, which is a secular republic. The conflict over the area was sparked by this split.
Pakistan consisted of two geographically separate regions, East Pakistan and West Pakistan, with the Indian border acting as a dividing line. The state of Jammu and Kashmir, governed by a Hindu leader despite its predominantly Muslim population, shared borders with both West Pakistan and India. The first India-Pakistan War broke out in 1947 and 1948 as a result of the dispute over the state’s incorporation; it was ultimately settled through UN mediation.
Jammu and Kashmir, sometimes known as “Indian Kashmir” or just “Kashmir,” therefore joined the Republic of India. The Pakistani government, however, was certain that this primarily Muslim state belonged to Pakistan. Fighting over disputed territory along their border, Pakistani and Indian armies rekindled their combat in the first few months of 1965. When the Pakistani Army tried in vain to seize Kashmir by force in August, tensions increased.
The second India-Pakistan War that followed ended in a standoff, with neither side obtaining a clear advantage. The character of the struggle during this period was significantly shaped by the dynamics of the Cold War. There was a combination of caution and support in the relationship between the US and India. India’s leadership was seen with some suspicion by U.S. authorities in the 1950s due to its involvement in the nonaligned movement, which included a prominent role at the 1955 Bandung Conference.
To maintain the balance of power in the area, the US sought to stop India from having an excessive political effect on the advancement of other states. That being said, China emerged victorious from a 1962 border dispute with India. This resulted in the United States and the United Kingdom providing the Indian Army with military assistance. There were some tense moments in the relationship between the United States and India when India turned to the Soviet Union for support following the conflict with China.
In spite of this, the United States persisted in giving India significant development assistance in the 1960s and 1970s. The course of ties between the United States and Pakistan has generally been favorable throughout history. Pakistan was seen by the U.S. government as an example of a moderate Muslim nation, and it was appreciated for helping to restrain the spread of communism.
Pakistan demonstrated this by joining the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1954 and the Baghdad Pact (which became the Central Treaty Organization, or CENTO) in 1955, both of which the US found to be of considerable value. Pakistan’s need to improve its military and defense capacities—given its significant power differential with India—led it to participate in these agreements. Pakistan received armaments from the United States and the United Kingdom at this time to aid in this endeavor.
After Pakistani forces invaded Kashmir, India moved quickly to take the regional conflict global. In an attempt to terminate the ongoing conflict, it made a plea to the United Nations to step in, drawing comparisons to the body’s engagement in the First India-Pakistan War. The Security Council adopted Resolution 211 on September 20, demanding an end to hostilities and encouraging talks to settle the Kashmir dispute.
By cutting off weaponry shipments to both warring countries, the United States and the United Kingdom supported the UN’s resolution. Both countries were affected by the ban on arms shipments, although Pakistan was more severely affected than India because of its comparatively smaller armed forces. The United Nations resolution took immediate effect, as did the cessation of weaponry supply. On September 21, India swiftly embraced the truce, and on September 22, Pakistan did the same.
Although the ceasefire was a significant step, the status of Kashmir remained unresolved, which led to both parties accepting Soviet Union participation as a third-party mediator. Following the conclusion of negotiations in Tashkent in January 1966, both parties gave up their claims to the disputed territory and withdrew their soldiers. Though the Tashkent accord had some short-term successes, South Asian warfare would flare up again in the years that followed.
1965 Indo-Pak War | Defence Day
Being the most intensive since World War II, the tank engagements of 1965 had a lasting impression on military history. Almost a thousand tanks from both sides participated in the fights, waging heavy assaults and engagements. India had six armored regiments assisting infantry divisions, one autonomous armored brigade, and one armored division at the beginning of the conflict. Pakistan, on the other hand, possessed two armored divisions that were outfitted with cutting-edge M-48 Patton tanks. Although India had a tank that was similar to this, the Centurion, its might was restricted to four armored regiments.
India captured the most number of Pakistani tanks on September 10th, during the Battle of Assal Uttar. During this fight, Pakistan’s 1st Armoured Division’s onslaught was decisively stopped. During the battle, six Pakistani armored regiments took part: the 19 Lancers (complete with Patton tanks), the 12 Cavalry (with Chaffee tanks), the 24 Cavalry (with Patton tanks), the 4 Cavalry (with Patton tanks), the 5 Horse (with Patton tanks), and the 6 Lancers (with Patton tanks). Three Indian armored regiments—the Deccan Horse with Sherman tanks, the 3 Cavalry with Centurion tanks, and the 8 Cavalry with AMX-13 tanks—opposed them with tanks that were far less powerful.
The fighting was so intense that by the end of the war, the 4th Indian Division, popularly referred to as “The Fighting Fourth,” had taken possession of about 97 tanks in a variety of states, including intact, damaged, and destroyed. There were twenty-five Chaffee and Sherman tanks and seventy-two Patton tanks in this total. Thirty-two of the seized tanks—including twenty-eight Pattons—were in service. Thirty-two Indian tanks were lost in the Khem Karan region; the Pakistan Army captured about fifteen of them, mostly Sherman tanks.
India’s 1st Armoured Division fielded four armored regiments and launched an attack in the area throughout the fighting. The 6th Armoured Division of Pakistan fiercely resisted them. Some of the most intensive tank action occurred during the battles of Phillora and Chawinda. India claimed to have destroyed nearly 170 tanks by the end of the conflict, with 42 of those vehicles being taken prisoner in the I Corps region. Of the thirty-one tanks that were taken prisoner, eleven were destroyed or damaged. India alone lost 29 tanks to destruction and another 41 that were damaged during the conflict but were subsequently restored.
The Pakistani Official History of the 6th Armoured Division, sometimes referred to as “Men of Steel,” supports these numbers. This source states that nine of the 35 tanks—including 17 M48s, 9 M47s, and 9 M36B2s—that were still in Indian control were recovered after the war when Indian soldiers evacuated the territory they had controlled.
But the fierce fighting of 1965 went beyond the major engagements at Phillora, Chawinda, and Khem Karan. To prove their supremacy, the Indian soldiers also attacked Pakistani armor in other areas. One noteworthy incident was the back-and-forth battle for the town of Dograi, when seven Pakistani tanks were captured by Indian forces on the evening of September 22, only hours before the war came to a close. Under the watchful eyes of Pakistani soldiers, an EME (Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) Officer at Chamb bravely operated in the face of Pakistani artillery fire to rescue an abandoned Walker Bulldog reconnaissance tank. Sadly, the Indians suffered heavy losses at Chamb.
The 20th Cavalry lost a whole squadron of AMX-13 tanks while attempting to halt an incursion by Pakistan aided by a regiment of M-48 Pattons. It is believed that Pakistan lost about 300 destroyed tanks after the war. Over 150 tanks were captured by India as war booty, and it is reasonable to believe that other tanks that were in Pakistani territory were also destroyed by air and army assault. With 128 tanks destroyed, the Indian losses were less than half that. About forty tanks, mostly old AMX-13s from Chamb and Shermans from Khem Karan, would have ended up in Pakistani hands.
Honoring the Defenders : Defence Day
September 6, also known as Defence Day of Pakistan, is celebrated around the country with gun salutes and prayer rituals honoring the valiant troops who gave their lives protecting our country against India in 1965. The commonly recognized remarkable successes of the war were the valiant efforts of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to establish superiority over the Indian Air Force and the triumphant raid on Dwarka by the Pakistan Navy.
The nation honors the bravery and selflessness of heroes like Major Aziz Bhatti Shaheed on Defence Day. Shaheed bravely repelled enemy attacks on the vital Bambanwala-Ravi-Bedian Canal (BRB). Generations of Pakistanis have been inspired by the selfless bravery and ultimate sacrifice of Major Aziz Bhatti.
On “Defence Day,” people from all walks of life, including social media users, paid tribute to the soldiers of the 1965 conflict. To reiterate their steadfast belief that the brave people of Pakistan would never back down from defending its sovereignty, they posted tributes and shared posts. Pakistan remembers its Shuhada (martyrs) and Ghazis (war heroes) on this day because they bravely defended the Land of the Pure despite great odds, leaving an enduring testament to their resiliency in the history of their country.
Celebrations and Military Parades
Defence Day, or Youm-e-Difa, is observed annually on September 6 in Pakistan as a memorial to the valiant actions of its military forces during the 1965 war. A day to remember them for their steadfast protection of the country against Indian assault. The Pakistan Army displays its most potent military hardware, including tanks, missiles, and planes, on Defence Day each year. This performance is presented in several Pakistani cities through air displays and parades.
In addition to witnessing the parades in person, you should watch the live coverage of Pakistan’s Defence Day celebrations from the comfort of your own home. These events are being covered live on all of the major news outlets. Television is also airing special documentaries with active-duty or retired officers to further reinforce the spirit of sacrifice and patriotism.
The Pakistan Army displays its most recent missiles, tanks, artillery, Pakistan Army Aviation helicopters, and other equipment used by the Army Air Defense, Engineers, Electrical and Mechanical Corps, Signals, Army Service Corps, and Army Medical Corps during the celebration. In specified areas, the public can view these displays in real-time.
On September 6, 1965, the television airs national anthems, special films narrating the events of that day, and the testimonies of those who lost their lives on that day. Additionally, a change of guard ceremony happens at Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi, when cadets from the Pakistan Air Force Academy present the Guard of Honour and assume responsibilities.
Defence Day sales and discounts are held in all major cities of Pakistan. People upload Defence Day posts on social media. In educational institutes defence day speeches, defence day posters, defence day drawings, defence day songs, tablos competition are held.
Defence Day Quotes with Reference to Defence Day
- “Our courageous compatriots remained steadfast, showcasing unparalleled bravery in safeguarding our territory.”
- “Amidst adversities, our soldiers shine brightly as the defenders of our liberty.”
- “Their unwavering devotion is evident in their sense of duty; our defenders persist with unwavering commitment.”
- “Authentic strength resides not solely in numbers, but in the ceaseless determination of an indomitable spirit.”
- “On this day, we honor not just the warriors engaged in battle, but also the unyielding resilience they embody.”
Conclusion : Defence Day
Pakistan observes Defence Day on September 6th, which is more than just a historical occasion. It is a potent monument to the valiant sacrifices made by the country’s courageous troops. This day is a sobering reminder of how crucial it is to keep up a robust defense and how crucial it is to remain together in the face of outside threats. The principles of Defence Day and the lessons learned from Pakistan’s past will continue to be crucial in determining the country’s future as it advances on its path of development.