Islamabad - History never dies; it reflects the past of the nation and provides guidance for setting the milestones for the next generation, the chief of Pakistan Air Force said as the PAF observed Air Force Day throughout the country on Monday.

“Great nations always remember their heroes and rekindle their memories to act as a harbinger of happiness and hope for the generations to come”, Pakistan Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said at a special ceremony held at PAF Museum in Karachi.

Special ceremonies were also held at all bases of Pakistan Air Force to pay homage to the martyrs who laid their lives while protecting the country from the enemies.

The air chief inaugurated Martyrs Monument at PAF Museum in Karachi and laid floral wreath at it, besides offering Fateha for the martyrs of 1965 and 1971 wars.

“This monument is a sincere effort to pay tribute and commemorate the sacrifices of our ‘shuhda’ of 65’ and 71’ wars, and a symbol of remembrance which would serve as a beacon of light for our future generations,” he said.

“Each name engraved on this monument is a complete chapter of history in itself, full of glory and the supreme sacrifices made by our heroes,” Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said on the occasion when a large number of war veterans, retired and serving PAF officers were in attendance.

A special ceremony was also held at the PAF headquarters in Islamabad where Acting Air Vice Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Rashid Kamal was the chief guest. He laid floral wreath on the monument of martyrs and offered fateha for their departed souls.

Air Vice Marshal Salman Bokhari visited Mazar of Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed in Karachi to pay homage to the recipient of Nissan e Haider. He laid floral wreath on the mausoleum and offered fateha.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his message on the 50th Air Force Day said Pakistan Air Force is playing an important role in Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He said PAF is one of the best forces of the world.

The prime minister said he feels pride that PAF is the only air force in the world which is manufacturing JF-17 Thunder aircraft. He said PAF had valiantly defended the airspace of Pakistan and defeated the enemy fifty years ago. He added that PAF still holds the spirit it had in the war of 1965.

Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka celebrated the 50th Defence Day of Pakistan in Colombo last evening to celebrate victory in the 1965 War. The event was attended among others by Sri Lankan ministers, Chief of Defence Staff and other commanders.

Agencies add: Talking to PTV PAF chief Sohail Aman said in 1965 war, the passion of Pakistan Air Force to safeguard the aerial frontiers rendered them victorious in the vastness of skies. He said PAF had a pivotal role whether it was war against terrorism or conventional war, PAF was leading from the front in all domains.

With the passage of time, he said role of the air force had changed all over the world and PAF was meeting now with steep challenges.

He said PAF, this year, was celebrating Defence Day in a different manner as it was conducting operational exercises related to actual war fighting potential of air force. The air chief said it was important to be among the soldiers in the field for their morale boosting and for right procurement of the situation.

The air chief said the only thing which had not changed after so many years was spirit of the armed forces and nation that was still alive. PAF was proud of its contributions in the ongoing war on terror and maintaining exemplary harmony with the sister services, he said.

To a question about equipments and competency of PAF, he said the air force have latest machinery, radar system and aircrafts. “J-F 17 thunder programme is our pride and we declared it destiny of PAF”, he added. He said PAF would contribute to set examples of sacrifices and professionalism. Armed forces of Pakistan were fully capable to defend every inch of the country and confront any challenge.