By Maria Khan.
On the 14th of August, 2017, Pakistanis living in the country and all around the world will be celebrating the 70th Birthday of their beloved homeland, Pakistan. Pakistan, which was created so that the oppressed Muslims of the sub-continent could freely practice their religion and observe rule of law, justice and equality for all. But sadly, with each passing day, we have forgotten the true essence and purpose of its creation and have made the state of affairs quite miserable in our country.
Starting with the first and foremost thing; the motive behind creation of Pakistan. Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. It was made on the model of the Islamic State of Madinah. Religion was conceived as a driving force for promoting harmony among the people so that they unify for a common cause and struggle to get a free land where they could work on the teachings of Islam without any external influence. The religion played a vital role in motivating the Muslims to fight for a common cause. But once Pakistan was created, our Founding Father declared all the people, I repeat ALL the people who came to Pakistan as one, the Pakistanis. He didn’t specify that Pakistan belonged to the Muslims only, but to all the people who lived here. The proofs are on papers. He said and I quote:
“Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State – to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims – Hindus, Christians, and Parsis – but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan” – Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
This is what the Quaid e Azam said regarding various religions thriving in Pakistan. But today, if we observe the religious intolerance in our country, we are left in tatters. Every caste looks down upon the other. The religious segmentation in our country has disintegrated the harmony and unity we once used to practice and is dividing us with each passing day.
Pakistan has been facing political instability since its creation. Unfortunately our founding father left us so early after the creation of Pakistan. In his life, though, he had set a lot of great examples that how the people assuming the government office ought to behave. If he would have lived for a few years more, he would definitely have set a proper political model for the leadership to come. But this couldn’t happen and people who assumed office after Quaid’s demise have never been loyal to the country. Their only loyalty lies with their own self. They worked on the vested interests rather than for the betterment of the country. Democracy has never worked in the country. The democracy we see today in our country can only be regarded as the remains of the original phenomena as the elections, the main element of democracy, have always remained controversial in our country.
Corruption has crippled the entire system of our country. If we caste a look, starting from the leadership to the common man, everyone is busy in reaping the benefit of whatever comes in their sight for their own self. Nobody cares about the country but for the good of their own self. We do not need to go far. The recent Panama issue is enough to open our eyes and leave us awe-stricken. It tells us that how a person, coming in power, misuses the state money and feels no shame in doing so. No shame at all. The money which could have been utilized for the betterment of the country and its people has been illegally sent abroad by the sitting Prime Minister of Pakistan to build castles for himself and his family while the people of the country remain deprived of the basic necessities of life.
Being a Pakistani is not just putting a label on oneself but it comes with a lot of responsibilities as well. Today, while sitting in our air-conditioned rooms, criticising the government while watching some Indian movie on the magnanimous home cinemas, talking to a cousin abroad and thinking about settling there because ‘Pakistan mai rakha kia hai’, we need to ponder upon some really important points. It’s not just that when 14th August is near, we become ‘Pakistanis’ by cladding in green shirts, proving ourselves as true patriots and waving the green flag. We need to be a Pakistani throughout the year. Being a Pakistani, we should always remember the purpose behind the creation of Pakistan and the sacrifices our fore fathers made for this country. Pakistan didn’t come into being so easily. It is the outcome of years of blood, sweat and tears.
It is so unfortunate to see that we take this land of ours so for granted. The freedom we enjoy in our country is what some people still dream of. Not going too far, take the case of Indian Occupied Kashmir. People are giving up their life and blood for ‘Azaadi’ there. They just want to lead their life in a land free of oppression and influence. They are struggling for years and years to get their homeland liberated from the shackles of Indian influence. This is what we need to consider that Azaadi cannot be achieved so easily. It requires years of long, tiring and never ending struggle.
Today, our youth is being misguided. Our culture is being invaded. The impact of the west has been so captivating that we leave no chance to underestimate our country and to sing praises of the western countries and their system. The country that has given us an identity, a unique, distinct identity and name. We think of the means to leave it and seek asylums abroad thus leaving our unique identity behind and assuming the status of third world and third class citizens abroad.
Pakistan – an amazing dream of the incredible Dreamer and an effort of the extraordinary Determined, needs our due attention today. We need to recall the spirit of independence and revive it in a true sense. Pakistan is the name of a vision. Our Quaid and other heroes of independence movement didn’t create it for a divided nation rather a nation who stands firm on the principles of justice, equality and rule of law. We need to acknowledge the efforts and the long, long struggle of our forefathers for this glorious piece of land. Our survival and well-being lies in the well-being of our country. We need to know our heroes and convey them to our youth. It’s the need of time that we should all play our part and take our country to the peaks of glory where it was destined to be. We need to come out of our petty issues this independence day and start from the individual level. We need to change ourselves first. We need to prioritize the betterment of our country. This independence day, we need to understand the true meaning of ‘Azaadi’ and teach it to our youth that what it means to live in a free state. What kind of blessing a free state is. This Independence Day should not be taken as a day to chill out and relax while watching the ‘all-turned-green’
Thank you Iqbal for the dream. Thank you Quaid for making it a reality. Happy Birthday Pakistan. Long Live Pakistan. I owe my existence to you!
Student of Media and Communication Studies and Lobbyist at Youth Forum for Kashmir. firstname.lastname@example.org