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Friday, September 4, 2009

Hilal-e-Istaqlal Award (May 15, 1967)

The flag of Hilal-i-Isteqlal is shown against a graded background of Vermilion red. The Hilal-i-Isteqlal emblem appears in white portion of thc flag at top. Underneath the emblem the word “Hilal-i-Isteqlal” appears in Urdu and below it ‘September, 1965” in Urdu and Bengali. Below the Bengali lettering appear three Stars in Red, Navy Blue and Light Blue colours representing Army, Navy and Air Force respectively. Under the Light Blue Star is written “Lahore”. tinder the Navy Blue Star “Sialkot” and under Red Star “Sargodha”. “Pakistan” in Bengali, Urdu and English appears in reverse at the bottom under the flag and the denomination figure 15 Paisa” in left bottom corner iii reverse in English.
The Commemorative Postage Stamp will be available for sale on and from 15th May 1967, for a period of three months at all important Post Offices, Philatelic Bureaux and Philatelic Counters and also at some of the Pakistan Diplomatic Missions abroad. Thereafter, if the supplies are still available, they will be sold only at the Philatelic Bureaux and Philatelic Counters.
To celebrate the award of Hilal-i-Isteqlal to the city of Lahore, by the President of Pakistan, and to the cities of Sialkot and Sargodha by the Governor of West Pakistan for the unprecedented act of valour, courage and patriotism displayed by the citizens during the Indo-Pakistan War in September, 1965, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a stamp of IS-Paisa denomina-tion on 15th May, 1967.
In the early hours of Monday, the 6th September, 1965, the enemy launched his treacherous attack without declaring war and advanced towards LAHORE from three directions. The enemy’s advance was stopped dead near the border on the very first day of the battle by our gallant Army, but he went on trying for a break-through until the end, which he could never achieve against the steel wall of our heroic forces. Throughout this period the enemy planes raided Lahore; and the outskirts of the city were subjected to shelling day and night. This bomb-ing and shelling of unarmed civil population brought death to many, including women and children. The enemy exercised intense savagery with complete lack of scruples. But the people of Lahore remained undaunted and unperturbed and faced the challenge with cool and un-waver-ing determination. People of all walks of life stuck to their jobs and went about their normal business without any signs of tension. They forgot all their incon-veniences and tried to help the country’s war effort to the best of their ability. Every day in their thousands they stood on the roads leading to the front. Every day hundreds of them headed towards the front line to join their gallant soldiers fighting the enemy and had to be restrained with great difficulty. The attitude of the people of Lahore during this period raised the already high morale of our troops to new heights and they answered their call by not only preventing the treacherous enemy from coming anywhere near their town but also by throwing him back and pursuing him into his own territory. Throughout this period the people of Lahore displayed their traditional cour-age and defeated the evil designs of the enemy to demoralize them. Their determination and devotion to the country will be re-called with pride by the generations to come. It will become an epic of our history that the enemy attacked “the heart of Pakistan”, for that is how Quaid-i-Azam described Lahore, but failed to hurt it; “the heart” throbbed on with health and vigor.
2. In view of their un-precedent fortitude and courage with which the people of Lahore faced the enemy’s challenge, I confer the flag of ‘Hilal-i-Isteqlal’ on the brave and enchanting city of Lahore.
The enemy launched his treacherous attack against Sialkot from two directions in the early hours of the morning of Wednesday, the 8th September 1965. From then on a fierce battle raged around the town for more than a fortnight, hut the people of Sialkot carried on the nor-mal life of the city resolutely and fearlessly throughout this period. They were subjected to cold-blooded and deliberate bombing and shelling but they remained un-perturbed. A num-ber of them lost their near and dear ones, men, women and children but they evinced a remarkable spirit of patience and fortitude. Their only concern was to ensure calm and stable conditions behind the soldiers fighting in the front line. Thus they not only kept the life going in the bombed and shelled town, but also raised the morale of the fighting forces who ultimately defeated the enemy designs against their town.
For the un-precedented act of valour, courage, and patriotism displayed by the citizens of Sialkot, the birth place of the Poet of Islam, Allama Iqbal, I have great pleasure in an-nouncing the award of Hilal-i-Isteqlal on their great city.
During the Indo-Pakistan war, the Air Base at Sargodha was the principal target for the Indian Air Force, particularly their night bombers. During these raids, the enemy could not succeed in their missions against the heavily defended air base hut nevertheless dropped their bombs over the adjoining areas. In this process, the city of Sargodha had to bear the brunt of the enemy’s indiscriminate and callous bombing attacks.
2.In spite of the loss of life and property and a haunting sense of in-security, the citizens of Sargodha remained calm and undaunted. Throughout, they reacted with a tremendous spirit of patriotism and of defi-ance, and they rose enthusiasti-cally to meet the challenge. There was deep sense of parti-cipation in the war effort and they readily responded with large bodies of men and mate-rial to meet the defence needs of the PAF base and the Army. Their heroic stand is worthy of acclaim and there-fore I have great pleasure in announcing the award of Hilal-i-Isteqlal to this heroic city of Sargodha.