ISLAMABAD - The higher education institutions (HEI) of the city on Friday observed defence day to pay tribute to war heroes.

The National University of Modern Languages (NUML) held a ceremony at its campus to pay rich tribute to the martyrs and their families.

Rector NUML Major General (Retd) Muhammad Jaffar said martyrs never die, they are alive and the nation will not forget their sacrifices. Pakistanis are a great nation, they have courage to face any challenges for the existence of this pious land, he added.

He said it is the responsibility of the youth to remember the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for our future.

Director General NUML Brig Muhammad Ibrahim, deans, directors, guests and a large number of students and faculty members also attended the ceremony.

The rector said that NUML started a new way to celebrate Defence and Martyrs Day and this practice will be repeated every year to pay tribute to our heroes.

During the programme, poet Jalil Aali and Junaid Azir presented their poetic verses in the memory of martyrs and students’ speeches were also the part of the ceremony.

NUML students and faculty members in six different groups visited graves of six martyrs resting in different areas of Islamabad and Rawalpindi districts.

They offered Fateha, laid floral wreath and visited the martyrs’ homes and spent a day with them to admire the services of the martyrs.

Meanwhile, the International Islamic University Islamabad also observed Defence and Martyrs Day to reaffirm support of Pakistani nation for the oppressed people of Indian held Kashmir.

The university leadership marked the day on the directions of the government to show solidarity with Kashmiris. Both IIUI Rector Dr. Masoom Yasinzai and President Dr. Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh led the rallies and walks at male and female campuses which were attended by IIUI VPs, Deans, DGs, directors, faculty members and students. The participants of the walk were holding banners with a mention of Indian atrocities and they also chanted slogans for the right of freedom of Kashmiris.

IIUI rector reiterated the resolve that IIUI will keep fighting for the rights of Kashmiris. He said Indian oppression and heinous crimes in occupied Kashmir must be stopped and world powers must come forward to save humanity.

He said IIUI’s active participation in the event is an omen of varsity’s commitment to the Kashmir cause.

He said since August 5, residents of the occupied valley have been living under strict curfew and other crippling restrictions.

He said that India has opened way for all the states to fight for their freedom and now will face a severe reaction from all the states. He said that this year, the day is being observed to pay tribute to the martyrs and to reaffirm the commitment to defend the motherland against all threats.

IIUI president prayed for the end of miseries and a peaceful solution of Kashmir issue. He said people of Kashmir are an omen of struggle and there is no example of their commitment and love for land.

He emphasised on peaceful settlement of the conflict in accordance with the relevant international resolutions. Dr. Al-Draiweesh said that love and devotion of Pakistanis for the Kashmir cause is appreciable.

He said that Kashmir issue is one of the issues of concern to the Muslim world and all the nations must play an active role for its resolution.

IIUI president also called for arranging conference, seminars and dialogues with greater frequency to create more awareness and information about the disputes and miseries being faced by Kashmiris.