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August 15, 2012

Countries on foreign aid can never safeguard their independence


August 15, 2012

It was also a time for reflection as it was for celebrating independence, a day as much for sombre contemplation as for rejoicing.
Countries that bank for their existence on foreign aid can never safeguard their independence. They lose the right to have their own opinions and hence are not independent in mind.
Thiswas the consensus among speakers at a function held at the Karachi University’s Arts Auditorium on Monday on the eve of the 66th Independence Day of Pakistan. The function was held under the aegis of the Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman Memorial Society.
Dr Farhat Azeem of the Sir Syed Girls College, in her emotionally charged speech, decried the acquisition of foreign aid by Pakistan and basing the annual budget on foreign aid estimates. She said that nations that banked on the dole from other countries to run their affairs would remain enslaved because they pawned their independence in return for handouts.
She said that the youth and independence were inseparable and it was the young people the country looked up to for consolidating their independence in the future. However, she said that the elders had to provide guidance to the young in matters of statecraft and governance which, she said, didn’t seem to be forthcoming.
She said that independence implied no corruption, free education for all citizens, no gap between the rulers and the masses, queuing up, punctuality, and living with commitment. A country would be said to be independent if all these ingredientswere there.
Itwas attitudes, she said, that made countries independent and many nations were slaves in their attitudes. Dr Azeem was critical of the media and remarked that the media devoted all the time to Shaoib Malik and Sania Mirza’s wedding, or to Rajesh Khanna on his demise, but hardly any time or coverage was devoted to matters pertaining to independence or matters that would imbue our youth with patriotism or love for the country.
DrMuhammad Ali Siddiqui, former

director of the Quaid-e-Azam Academy, expressed dismay over the rather thin attendance at the function and said that if this picture were projected worldwide, the world would gather that “our interest in our independence is waning”.
The Quaid-e-Azam, he said, was a really towering personality and a really great man. He quoted the chief of the Indian Communist Party which, he said, was constrained to admit that had there been no Jinnah therewould have been no Pakistan, as a tribute to Jinnah’s intellectual stature. However, Dr Siddiqui said, “Did we really deserve such a great person given the way we have shattered his dream and reduced Pakistan to a state where the world considers it a failed state?”
He said that what the country needed most today was implementation of the Quaid’smotto: faith, unity, and discipline. Today, he said, there was everything but the key element of unitywas lacking.
The Quaid, he said, led an exemplary life and exhorted the students to emulate him. Midway through the function, 65 pigeons were released, one denoting every year of the country’s existence.
He quoted the example of Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui who refused to take oath under the PCO during Musharraf’s tenure. He said it was such people, with tenacity of character, whom the country direly needed. Justice (Retd) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, who was presiding over the function, also lamented the thin attendance and said that full-hearted involvement was indicative of one’s love for and commitment to the independence. Referring to the debate as to what really was the motivating factor behind the creation of Pakistan, Justice Siddiqui said that it came into existence on the basis of Islamand quoted the Quaid as having said that Pakistan would be based on Islam and Shariat. He quoted the Quaid’s exhortation that Pakistan should give equal opportunities to all its citizens and that there should be no exploitation.
“In Pakistan there shall be accountability of rulers just as it was in the days of the Khulafa,” he quoted the Quaid as saying. He lamented that today there was no rule of law. “Hence we do not enjoy respect in the comity of nations.”
He repeated Dr Farhat Azeem’s viewthat countries that lived on foreign aid could just not get along and said that Pakistan was the best example. He quoted the Objectives Resolution that made Islam the guiding light of Pakistan.
Dr Zafar Iqbal, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Karachi University, said that Pakistan did come into existence though today it had been turned into Maslistan (land of problems).
He said that in order to make a country great, the people had to stick to their convictions. He said that thosewho earnestly loved Pakistan would — and should — work for its progress in all sincerity and be prepared tomake sacrificeswherever the situation demands.
Prof DrMuhammad Qaiser, vice chancellor of Karachi University,whowas supposed to be the chief guest and a speaker, did not turn up. Some other speakers also failed to show up. Syeda Zainab presented two Naats in a very profound and poignant tone and Zakia Yousfi presented six national songs in her highlymelodious and mellifluous voice.
Arshad Sabri, Chairman,Mir Khalil-ur- RehmanMemorial Society, compered the function.

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