ANKARA, 20 October 2015: Turkish Minister for Defence Mr. Mehmet Vecdi Gönül, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu, senior officials of the Turkish defence forces, foreign defence attaches based in Ankara, media, think-tanks and Pakistan community attended the 50th Pakistan Defence Day reception hosted by Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Sohail Mahmood and Defence and Air Attaché Air Commodore Abbas Ghumman here Monday evening.

Ambassador Sohail Mahmood in his welcome remarks highlighted the significance of the Defence Day of Pakistan, which is celebrated every year to pay tribute to the heroic efforts of the Pakistan armed forces in defending the motherland, after aggression was launched against it on 6 September 1965. “With the grace of the Almighty, and the steely resolve of the defenders of Pakistan, the aggressive designs were effectively thwarted,” he said. Pakistan overcame this threat owing to the supreme courage, bravery and sacrifices of our armed forces, backed solidly by the unstinting support of the nation, he added.

Ambassador Sohail Mahmood also updated the audience about the ongoing fight against extremism and terrorism. He said impressive results have been achieved through the operation Zarb-e-Azb, which will continue till the complete elimination of this scourge. Referring to the contribution of Pakistan in the international peacekeeping, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood said Pakistan armed forces have made the nation proud through their contribution to international peace and security.  Over the past 55 years, Pakistan has participated in more than 40 UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs) -- contributing over 150,000 well-trained and competent peacekeepers, with 142 of its valiant troops making the ultimate sacrifice, he added. He also highlighted the role of the Pakistan armed forces in helping the nation cope with the consequences of natural disasters and calamities.

Referring to Pakistan-Turkey defence ties, Ambassador of Pakistan said it is gratifying that defence collaboration between Pakistan and Turkey continues to flourish.  He noted that last week, as Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif was conferring with the top military and political leadership in Ankara, the two air forces were conducting a joint exercise in the skies of Pakistan.

Turkish Defence Minister, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood and other guests cut a cake to mark this auspicious occasion.

Earlier, students from the Pakistan Embassy School in Ankara sang national anthems of Pakistan and Turkey. Video documentary highlighting the significance of the defence day and role of Pakistan armed forces was also shown to the guests.

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