By Maria Khan.
The Federal Capital is all set for the celebrations of Pakistan Day. Security is on high alert, rehearsals are on the go, people who are attending the Pakistan Day Parade at Shakarparian Parade Ground are over joyed and those who are not, hope to stick to their Television sets on the 23rd of March to see foot columns of Army, Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Frontier Corps, Northern Light Infantry, Mujahid Force and other services who are participating in the parade. The air is enriched with the fragrance of patriotism, the flowers are blooming, the faces are gleaming, the sun is shining bright and it seems like the whole atmosphere is filled with the anthems of merriment, loyalty and pride.
The Federal Capital is all set for the celebrations of Pakistan Day.
But what actually is the significance of Pakistan Day? What brought us to the 23rd of March and what did actually happen in 1940 that has been commemorated not only today but will be remembered and celebrated in the days to come? Let’s go back to the golden era of ours and bring into mind the Pakistan Resolution.
Year 1940, All India Muslim League, led by our founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, which consisted of eminent heroes of Pakistan struggle movement, held its annual session at Manto Park Lahore, from 22nd March, 1940 to 24thMarch, 1940. The session emphasized the differences between Hindus and Muslims of Sub-Continent and a dire need for Muslim autonomy within British India. The resolution served as a foundation stone for creation of Pakistan as a Muslim majority state. Manto Park, situated in the heart of Pakistan, the glorious Lahore, was exactly the point where the Resolution was jotted down mainly by Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan and presented by Maulvi A.K. Fazl ul Haq. The place where now Minar-e-Pakistan stands tall in all its glory and splendour, is the place where Pakistan Resolution was passed. The resolution read as:
“…the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India should be grouped to constitute ‘Independent States’ in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign.”
The resolution didn’t skip the non-Muslim Minorities. It added:
“That adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards shall be specifically provided in the constitution for minorities in the units and in the regions for the protection of their religious, cultural, economic, political, administrative and other rights of the minorities”.
This was the time when the goal was being set, the path was being carved, the direction being focused upon, and a perspective was being changed. Seven years later, the dream had come true. The hard work paid off, the sacrifices and blood didn’t go in vain and Pakistan emerged on the map of the world.
But here are we now. Coming back. 2017. One question pops up in mind. What have we done to our homeland? The country that came into being with such huge efforts and tireless struggle of our Forefathers, the country that came into existence so that we, the Muslims, could practice our religion freely, where we could do everything we wanted to, free from shackles of British colonialism or Hindu extremism, did we really deserve this piece of land for which our founding father, despite his ailing health, fought rigorously and for which our heroes, our heroes of freedom movement left no stone unturned to make this land a visionary model of an Islamic state built on the model of Islamic state of Madinah, did we really deserve this all? What have we done, from our very own hands, to our benign mother, our homeland? Our forefathers would have been shattered and devastated if they would have been alive to see the current situation of ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’!
Now what actually went wrong? Starting off with the ‘reason’ behind creation of Pakistan, the religion, Islam. Two Nation theory clearly states that there are two categories Muslims and non-Muslims. Pakistan was created as a ‘Muslim majority state’ but we the Muslims, within the country, got divided into various sects and each sect is firmly declaring other one as ‘Kafir’. If this is the case with the ‘Muslims’ living in the country, one can imagine the threats to the non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan. Sadly, everything is against the words adopted by our forefathers in the resolution.
Corruption is there in every state institution and the corrupt politicians are being elected as leaders by the people who are in some way similar to the people they chose as their heads. We all are corrupt people. Morally, ethically because we prove this by electing the same corrupt people over and over again! Jaisi Qaum, Waisay Hukmaran! There was a time when Quaid e Azam refused to order tea for the cabinet members by saying that ‘Nation’s money is for the Nation, not for the ministers’ and now this is the time, when nation’s money has been laundered. People are dying of hunger and poverty and the State Heads are enjoying vacation in their Park Lane flats.
It is what it is. Sectarianism is there. Corruption is there. Propaganda is there. Enmity is there. Jealousy is there. Social issues are there. Political unrest is there. But, Optimism is also there. We, the Pakistanis are amazing people. After every fall, we do not forget to rise and we will keep the trend alive until and unless things are on the right track. This 23rd of March, what we need to do is to start from individual bases. Let’s revive the spirit of nationalism. Let’s take an oath that we will continue the legacy of our forefathers, we will follow their footsteps, and we will feel pride and honour in working for our country and serve it in every possible way. Let’s reaffirm the notion that we will fight together against all odds, against our enemies. We will be united for the cause of ‘Pakistan’ and will do everything it takes to take our ‘country’ higher and not some specific segment of society. Let’s do it now. Let’s take lessons from history to bring back the lost glory. Let’s revive the spirit of nationalism this Pakistan Day so that when the air fills up with colours of patriotism, each heart tops up with the triumph of unity.
By Maria Khan
Student of Media and Communication Studies and Lobbyist at Youth Forum for Kashmir. firstname.lastname@example.org