Gen Asim Munir attended the ceremony as chief guest; former COAS Qamar Bajwa also attended
COAS General Asim Munir pays respect to martyrs on Martyrs Reverence Day at General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi on May 25, 2023. — Youtube/GeoNews
To remember and pay rich tribute to the martyrs who laid their lives while defending the motherland and its people, the country on Thursday observed Youm-e-Takreem Shuhada-e-Pakistan (Martyrs Reverence Day).
The main ceremony was held at the General Headquarters (GHQ), Rawalpindi; however, numerous events — including commemorative ceremonies at the martyrs' memorials and Quran recitation and prayers — have been organised across the country.
The gatherings aimed to serve as a platform for the nation to honour the courageous heroes and their indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication. Martyrs of the Pakistan Army, Rangers, Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary and other law enforcement agencies will be remembered.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir was the chief guest at the GHQ ceremony, which was also attended by military officials and civil society members.
Former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Maulana Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad were also present on the occasion.
COAS promises to stand with children of martyrs
After the ceremony, the army chief met the school students and children of martyrs present on the occasion. He said that Pakistan Army was the heir of all children of martyrs. Thanks to the eternal sacrifices of the martyrs, the army's relationship with them was ideal and eternal, he added.
He pledged on behalf of the armed forces that the army would stand on their side always.
President Alvi, PM Shehbaz express pride over martyrs' valiance
President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the services chiefs have in their messages on the occasion of Yaum-e-Takreem-e-Shuhada-e-Pakistan have paid rich tributes to the martyrs, who rendered ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for ensuring integrity, sovereignty and honour of the nation and the motherland.
In his message on the occasion, President Alvi said that the entire nation was proud of its valiant martyrs who displayed the spirit of patriotism and fearlessness in testing times throughout history.
“The nation owes to the heroism and sacrifices offered by the jawans (soldiers) and officers of our armed forces, including Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, rangers, police, and other security institutions that made Pakistan’s defence impregnable,” a press release issued by President Secretariat Press Wing stated.
The president acknowledged the armed forces' services for crushing the menace of terrorism and assisting fellow countrymen during natural calamities and pandemics.
“Let us pledge on this day that we will never forget our valiant martyrs and reiterate our commitment to always honour them and express our undying love for these brave sons and daughters of the nation,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz Sharif urged the people, especially the children, to visit monuments and graves of martyrs and shower flowers on them as a sign of affection and respect. He said Pakistan should show the world that it is a nation that holds its martyrs in veneration and affection.
He said that the martyrs' reverence day was being observed to pay glowing tribute to the heroes and express unflinching solidarity with their families.
In a tweet, the prime minister regretted and condemned the May 9 violence and desecration of martyrs' monuments, saying that the incidents gave the enemy a reason to celebrate.
"Our nation knows how to protect the honour of their martyrs. [...] Today we revive and reiterate our pledge to uphold the honour and respect of our Shuhada. The essence of Pakistan’s existence lies in the spiritual covenant between its people and the martyrs," the PM wrote on Twitter.
Moreover, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, tri-services services chiefs, retired services officers and representatives of civil society also paid tributes to martyrs of Pakistan, a statement released by Inter-services Public Relations said.
They said the sacrifices of Shuhada are eternal and will continue to inspire future generations of countrymen.
"These sacrifices will never be forgotten, irrespective of vicious propaganda by the enemies of Pakistan," it added.
According to ISPR, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, services chiefs, retired services officers and representatives of civil society also paid rich tributes to martyrs of Pakistan.
They said these sacrifices will never be forgotten, irrespective of vicious propaganda by the enemies of Pakistan, it stated.