LAHORE - Calling for forging unity to cope with challenges confronting the country, ex-servicemen and defence analysts have said September 6 was the day when the Army and the nation defeated India despite meagre resources in the 1965 war.

 “Our military can defeat enemy but there is dire need of reviving unity the nation exhibited in the 1965 war,” said the participants of a debate held to mark the Defence Day at Aiwan-e-Waqt on Thursday.

Aiwan-e-Waqt Incharge Saifullah Sipra conducted the debate while the speakers included Lt-Gen (r) Muhammad Naseer Akhtar, Maj-Gen (r) Rahat Latif, Maj-Gen (r) Qazi Shafiq Ahmad Awan, Brig (r) Muhammad Aslam Ghuman and Brig (r) Farooq Hameed Khan.

They said India was hatching conspiracy against Pakistan in connivance with US and Israel, whereas the rulers were talking of boosting friendship with them.  They urged the rulers to revise the foreign policy, ending its agreements with America. The speakers averred that Kashmir was an integral part of Pakistan and the UN should play its role in getting its resolutions implemented.

They took a swipe at the government for its failure in maintaining peace, saying that law and order could be maintained in Karachi and Balochistan provided the rulers wanted to do so.

Lt-Gen Naseer Akhtar said the 1965 war won by the Army with the moral support of the nation. He said the then government should have resolves the issue of East Pakistan politically. Maj-Gen (r) Rahat Latif said without the backing of a nation, an army could not win a war. He stressed the need for a true leadership to steer the country out of crisis. He slammed ‘Amman Ki Asha’ for, what he called, such moves had been hampering efforts for resolving issues with India - including Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachen and water.

Qazi Shafiq urged the rulers to review foreign policy because, according to him, India and the US were not friends of Pakistan. “America and India wanted to divide Pakistan.” He laid emphasis on holding talks with the Taliban.

Brig (r) Muhammad Aslam Ghuman paid tribute to the military for fighting off Indian onslaught in 1965. He said the army and intelligence institutions were the best in world but some elements got involved in defaming these institutions for vested interests. Farooq Hameed called for following the footsteps of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.