We owe to our great leaders and forefathers who sacrificed their lives and belongings for creating Pakistan. May Allah be pleased with them. In today’s India, Hindu rulers through their anti-minority policies have made Muslims and other minorities realised that Quaid-i-Azam’s struggle to have a separate homeland for Muslims of the sub-continent was a well thought-out idea. The new generation in Pakistan is also watching how minorities are treated in India. Having said this, the first question every Pakistani needs to ask, is this the Pakistan our forefathers wanted to see? The answer is probably ‘No’. Vision of our founding fathers was to see Pakistan as a truly independent and sovereign Islamic republic state; a social welfare state where every citizen could feel real independence. Fortunately, we have got a geographic land, but real independence does not just mean controlling a piece of land. It also means dignity and sovereignty in the real sense; sovereignty in laws, systems, actions, mindset, and way of life. People having real independence can dream high and live dignified lives like a nation.
Collectively, we could not come up to care for the promise of our forefathers. Many factors and actors are involved in forcing people to forget about the promise. Here, I feel needless to shed light on these factors. The thing that is important right now is to look forward and design our future based on new realities. Designing future requires removing the dust of outdated laws, bring political stability and ensure good governance practices with the workable justice system in place.
Pakistan’s future is certainly bright but not without challenges. Some nefarious elements, who are within us and outside also, are on the mission to propagate negativity in the masses and make people hopeless towards Pakistan’s future, ultimately enslave people’ mentality and their approaches. Such elements in the society know that when hope dies everything dies. The primary onus lies on the shoulders of the government to identify such elements, effectively counter their narratives, and bring harmony among people.
Some international forces have also been working since 1947 to hurt Pakistan in every way possible. Separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan was their first big victory in this regard. They are now actively pursuing their agenda to bring unrest in the country and break up our harmony. The insurgency in Balochistan, unrest in Karachi and some agenda-oriented rights movements should be seen in this connection. Nonetheless, their ill-doings are hurting Pakistan but as it is said, what does not kill you, makes you stronger. We are only getting stronger and united with their wrongdoings. A nuclear Pakistan can now deter threats from outside.
Ironically, we have been passing through leadership crisis for the past few decades. We have got independence from Britain and Hindus but the dilemma is that people of this nation have been subsequently enslaved to another Mafia who pretends to be the leaders of Pakistan. They, in fact, have damaged Pakistan ruthlessly in the name of democracy, divided the nation into sectarian, political, provincial, and linguistic lines.
Pakistan is still in the process of nation building. We desperately need leaders as politicians, not politicians as leaders. Only true leadership (honest, competent, brave and determined) can put Pakistan on the right direction, ensure rule of law (merit, accountability, and justice) in the country, and prevent the nation from moral degradation. Quaid’s saying of Unity, Faith and Discipline must be the guiding principle to lead the nation.
The new generation deserves a peaceful, sovereign, and a welfare Islamic republic where rights of minorities are also well protected and citizens could proudly say that our identity is Pakistan. Looking backward, going forward could be a formula in this regard, to move forward while remaining intact with the ideology, history, Islamic teachings, culture and vision of our forefathers is the key role for a progressive Pakistan. Our golden past must remain a source of inspiration that would guide us towards leaping forward. Great nations never forget their past, celebrate their independence day, never compromise on their culture and dignity, design their own systems and face challenges together. China is a good example to serve the idea. On this Independence Day, let’s have a firm resolve to serve Pakistan.
—The author can be reached at aukhan1hotmail.com