A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Defence Day of Pakistan is celebrated to honour the victory and the professionalism of the Pakistan Armed Forces exhibited in the war of 1965, when India attacked Pakistan at night and dreamt of a swift victory. But this dream of the Indian Army remains unrealised. Defence day is celebrated not only to remember the events of that war but also to commemorate the unequal and unparallel sacrifices made by the Armed Forces of Pakistan. Without a doubt, offering one’s life in the line of defence is the biggest of sacrifices. Many stories of unmatched gallantry are etched in history by the blood of the martyrs. These are my heroes, the sons of the soil. Whether, it is fighting the enemy on the borders or warding off internal enemies who are terrorising the state, Pakistan Armed Forces continue to strengthen and fortify the nation. The services of the Pakistan Armed Forces are not limited to guarding the borders only. It plays a pivotal role in the solidification of the nation. In times of catastrophes, Pakistan Armed Forces are the first to respond. From carrying out rescue operations to providing relief to the affected, they are always in the front. When the earthquake struck Pakistan, the Armed Forces extended resources to the maximum number of people they could. In times of floods too, they have provided swift assistance to execute relief operations. Without the mobilisation of the resources of the Armed Forces, it would have been almost impossible to save many lives. Our soldiers have always shown unmatched bravery. Reaching out to the victims and risking their own lives, they have always come forward with the enthusiasm and life force to contain disasters. They wade through flood waters to help out trapped people and evacuate them to a safer place. However, the services of these men are not limited to rescuing lives only. Their relief missions have earned the respect and gratitude of society as a whole. Serving with the United Nations Peace Mission, the Pakistan Armed Forces set a remarkable example. They exhibited a perfect sense of responsibility. Not only by countering the aggression but also by sharing love and care, they won hearts all over the world. The dimensions of war have changed in the new era. Conventional warfare defies boundaries. Our forces are providing resistance on many frontlines. The services delivered by the Armed Forces of Pakistan cannot be venerated in words. This nation is proud and honoured to have such sons. The sacrifices of these brave men are what makes Pakistan an indomitable force. Today, the whole nation stands by our soldiers Along with defending our borders from foreign invasions, they also have to challenge elements that try to instigate a war against the state. For the last two decades, the Armed Forces have been defending against terrorists trying to destabilise the country. Starting with operations against militants in Swat, Pakistan has come a long way. From Raah-e-Raast and Raah-e-Nijaat to successfully initiating Zarb-e-Azb and finally Radd-ul-Fasaad. Cleansing the land is not an easy job. Constant vigilance is needed all the time. Pakistan Army is building roads in tribal areas to link the far beyond lands to facilitate development. In addition to the contributions towards infrastructure, it is also creating opportunities by providing free education in rural areas. Even though these efforts appear to be small, they will have a large impact in the future. Also, in areas, where there had been infrastructural damage, the Army constructed model villages to help the locals get back on their feet. But precious lives of many soldiers have been claimed in service to the nation. They are the shaheeds and Ghazis of our country, they are our pride and glory. Defence Day, is a day to mark our hearts with remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for us, for Pakistan, and to honour those who are willing to do so in the future. Salute to the sons of the soil who ensure our safety by keeping our frontiers safe. Salute to the unwavering resolve of the soldiers who face the heat of the scorching deserts to the cold of icy glaciers, all in the name of duty. The services delivered by the Armed Forces of Pakistan cannot be venerated in words. This nation is proud and honoured to have such sons. The sacrifices of these brave men are what makes Pakistan an indomitable force. Today, the whole nation stands by our soldiers who put their lives on the line. Salute to all the soldiers of Pakistan Armed Forces who are sacrificing their today for our tomorrow. The writer is a freelance contributor Published in Daily Times, September 6th 2018.