Islamabad, Sep 6 (KTNS) Pakistan observed Defense Day on Thursday by paying tribute to martyrs on the 53rd anniversary of the 1965 war with India.

The day dawned with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals. A change of guard ceremony was held at the mausoleums of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi and at Allama Iqbal’s in Lahore.

Special prayers were offered followed by change of guard ceremonies at the mausoleums of Allama Iqbal in Lahore and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi. A ceremony at the Pakistan Navy headquarters in Islamabad was also held.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain issued their messages of solidarity on the Defence Day.

Khan said Pakistan believes in peaceful coexistence and wants to promote mutual cooperation with other countries, including its neighbours.

“The people of Pakistan will leave no stone unturned in defending their motherland, while standing side by side with (the) valiant armed forces of the country,” he said.

Hussain said the spirit of sacrifices rendered by the armed forces and the nation should inspire the people to forge unity among their ranks.

The highlight of the day will be a function scheduled for 8 p.m. at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Khan will be the chief guest at the ceremony, which will be attended by Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa, services chiefs, ministers, diplomats and people from various walks of life.