Islamabad : Independence Day was always celebrated in Pakistan since 1947 but it entered our national culture in a big way in 1981.
It is always good to remember and celebrate our national days in befitting way but in our enthusiasm, we should not forget the dignity and respect which our national symbols like National Anthem and National Flag deserve.
It is a worldwide standard that sun should never set on the national flag of a country. That is why it is always hoisted in the morning, preferably with national anthem and wrapped down before sunset in the evening. It is an SOP be it the residences of holders of constitutional posts, offices of government buildings, ministers etc. Observed everywhere in the globe.
The only exception was the government of nominated Premier Muhammad Khan Junejo who in his enthusiasms to prove his democratic credentials, and stress civilian and parliamentary supremacy, announced that the National Flag at Parliament House will remain hoisted 24/7. The flag will not be lowered on seat of democracy (It is another matter that his own government was rolled back on May 29, 1988). Mr Junejo mounted so many floodlights over the flag that it was visible even at midnight from a distance as if the sun has not set on the symbol of democracy.
But the treatment we give to our Star and Crescent is not befitting. After the passage of Independence Day, even in the week preceding it, one can see paper buntings bearing National Flag roaming around in the streets and roads and being trampled under feet. ‘Baat tau such hay magar baat hay ruswai ki’. Additionally, the flag remains under darkness all the nights, contrary to standard norms, till its colour fades and it turns into rags and threads. I think colourful buntings, posters, banners should replace the National Flags on the occasion. The Monsoon season is at its peak in August and adds salt to injury. It is only the invention of Panaflax that has given longer life to buntings, fags, banners and posters but still end is the same. Another bad thing added to these celebrations is the way our youth celebrate it by taking out silencers from their motorbikes and cars and driving zigzag on the roads in clusters and three or four on a single bike.