Remembering the martyrs | Pakistan Today

Remembering the martyrs

  • The need to resolve conflicts peacefully

The nation commemorated the 53rd Defence Day on Thursday paying richly deserved tributes to those who died defending the country’s borders, particularly those who laid down their lives in the 1965 conflict which was the first all-out war between Pakistan and India. It is also a moment to remember and pay homage to the security forces personnel comprising army men, FC and policemen who died fighting the terrorists on the soil of Pakistan. No sacrifice is higher than offering one’s life to protect the lives and homes of one’s countrymen.

There is also a need to heed to Imran Khan’s Defence Day message which should serve as a guideline for the policy makers. The prime minister has said Pakistan believes in peaceful coexistence and wants to promote mutual cooperation with other countries including its neighbours on the basis of equality.

There is nothing unusual about neighbours having disputes. It is however highly dangerous to take resort to arms instead of resolving the issues through peaceful means including mutual talks and arbitration. A war is not an orderly exercise played according to set rules like a game of chess. It is an exercise in destruction of the opponent’s military machinery and the economic lifeline which supports his war effort. The war leads to untold human suffering beside having a long term impact on a country’s economy, destroying in the process a lot that had been put in place after years of hard work, self-denial and sacrifice. Diplomacy should therefore always be given priority in resolution of disputes.

Pakistan has fought three major wars in 1965, 1971 and 1999. There was a need for independent commissions to conduct enquiries into the causes as well as the aims and objectives of these wars, and making a cost-benefit analysis of the three cataclysmic conflicts. Had this been done, this would have reined in chauvinistic tendencies in society. Equally important is to put an end to terrorism. For this extremism which constitutes terrorism’s springhead has to be eradicated from society. We have yet to take the first step in the direction.