Yaum-e-Shuhda: Pak Army’s Role in War and Peace Times

By Sajjad Shaukat

Every year, Pakistan Army celebrates Youm-e-Shuhada (Martyrs Day) on April 30 and the whole nation joins it to pay tribute to the departed souls of those valiant army officials who sacrificed their lives for the safety and security of the country and its people.

Several ceremonies are being held at the Garrisons all over the country, but the main ceremony is being held at Yadqar-e-Shuhada, General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi. The families and relatives of the martyrs (Shuhada), serving and retired officers including people, belonging to various segments of society are invited to attend a function at the GHQ to pay tribute to the national heroes. Similarly, a sizeable number of near and dear ones of the martyrs are invited to attend the functions at the Corps Headquarters.

This time, Youm-e-Shuhada has come at a time when Pakistan and its armed forces have been facing internal and external challenges and threats to the national security of the country, which are worrying all the citizens.

Particularly, war-like situation which started between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the false flag Pulwama terror attack in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK),
still exists, as the extremist government of the BJP led by the Indian fundamentalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has refused the mediatory role of any country, while continuing war hysteria against Pakistan in wake of acceleration of shelling across the Line of Control (LoC), which has resulted into many casualties in the Pakistani side of Kashmir. On the other side, Pakistan’s armed forces are on high alert to give a matching response to any Indian prospective aggression or war. Earlier, Indian Air Force conducted pre-emptive air strike near the town of Balakot, close to the border with Pakistan’s sector of Kashmir on February 27, 2018, claiming that Indian fighter jets targeted the camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and killed 350 militants—the group whom New Delhi blamed for the Pulwama attack. Next day, in response, Pakistan Air Force launched aerial strikes at six targets in the IOK and shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was released as a gesture of peace and handed over to the Indian authorities. It resulted into diplomatic victory of Islamabad over India. Prime Minister Modi who has directed the Indian security forces to accelerate atrocities in the IOK, wants to obtain various nefarious designs, especially to suppress the Kashmiris’ war of liberation and to win the general elections 2019 at the cost of Pakistan. On the other side, Western media and their high officials are insisting upon the settlement of the Kashmir issue.

In this regard, unlike India, Pakistan’s ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), opposition parties, members of civil societies and military are on one page regarding Indian aggression, as they are standing shoulder to shoulder to the armed forces of Pakistan.

It is notable that Pakistan’s armed forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists through the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, including Karachi and Balochistan province.

Although Pakistan’s forces have eliminated terrorism, yet, in the recent past and during the election-campaign of 2019, blasts in Balochistan and other regions of the country showed that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage especially to weaken Pakistan and to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative or BRI. Washington and New Delhi has already opposed this project. Foiled terror attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on November 23, last year was part of the same scheme. Likewise, bomb blast in Quetta-the capital of Balochistan on April 12, this year killed at least 20 people and injured 48 individuals. On the same day, at least two persons were killed and 13 others wounded in an explosion on Mall Road in Balochistan’ Chaman city. Balochistan is the focus of projects in the $57 billion CPEC, a transport and energy link planned to run from western China to Pakistan’s southern deepwater port of Gwadar which is located in Balochistan. Therefore, well-entrenched in Afghanistan, America CIA, India RAW and Israeli Mossad are assisting the separatist elements of the Balochistan province to thwart the CPEC project.

Besides Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. Hence, the US, India, Israel and some Western countries are acting upon a secret strategy to ‘denuclearize’ Pakistan. In order to destabilize Pakistan, their intelligence agencies are assisting the terrorist’s outfits like the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) and the affiliated faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA).

Apart from fighting the ‘different war’ against the different enemy-terrorism and giving a matching response to Indian shelling across LoC, the role of Pakistan Army in the peace times is also commendable. In these terms, services of Pak Army cannot be explained in words. They always make us proud. They stood first in the time of national crisis and natural calamities.

Undoubtedly, we always remember the innumerable services and sacrifices of the Pakistan’s armed forces, especially Army in relation to the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), floods, desilting of canals (Bhal Safai) etc., entailing restoration of law and order on many occasions. In the recent past, armed forces were in the frontline for people-salvage from areas of earthquake which hit Balochistan. Particularly, 8th October reminds the tragedy which Pakistan faced due the earthquake in 2005 and Pakistan’s armed forces again rose to the occasion to meet the aftermath courageously by contributing to the relief efforts. However, during any natural calamity, the personnel of the armed forces coped with situation boldly. Their untiring sincere efforts mark the defence of Pakistan with an ultimate assurance to safeguard the country at all heads.

We are proud to have such great sons, because these are the heroes who really make history— the martyrs. The sacrifices of our Shuhada are what make our defence unconquerable.

Pakistan’s armed forces are our strategic assets and first line of defence. Whether it be frustrating enemy’s nefarious designs on the borders and fighting off internal enemies, horrifying the state or it may be the difficult times of natural catastrophes, these bold soldiers have strengthened and fortified the motherland by leaving no stone unturned. Every Pakistani salutes to those brave sons of the soil, who always ensure our safety by keeping the frontiers safe. The alertness and resolve of our soldiers in looking out—day and night for all internal and external enemies, and who are always ready to confront the mayhem of severe conditions from the scorching deserts to the icy glaciers in the face of death with no fear—help the persons in tiring times of calamities, leaving their families behind in their determination to provide protection to all the families of our country, and thus make them real national heroes.

Today, the whole nation stands by our soldiers who are guarding our borders and days will prove that the war against terrorism will not finish us, while the terrorists themselves will be eliminated by our valiant soldiers who desire to be martyrs and are not afraid of death. Caravans of Shuhada will continue forever. We salute all the soldiers of Pakistan, who are sacrificing their today for our tomorrow. Nevertheless, surely martyrs are gladly giving up their bodies to torture and death-the trustworthy heroes of our history.

Nonetheless, the importance of the Youm-e-Shuhada, this year has been increased, as the nation stood by forces when they have also been made target of malevolent campaign, being launched by the anti-Pakistan foreign entities in wake of Indian aggressive designs against Pakistan.

In this respect, while playing national songs on the occasion, the TV channels must also give a matching response to the hostile forces which are working against the integrity of the country, and are distorting the image of Pak Army.

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

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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