Friday June 21, 2024

Unity need of the hour to rebuild Pakistan

By Zafar Alam Sarwar
June 15, 2019

What is necessary first: getting united or becoming a true nation? How much important and how urgently needed is achieving both the objectives simultaneously? And what the common man expects from his leader to do? These are some of the questions in the mind of educated people of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Equally alive to socio-economic and religious scenario in tribal areas and feeling its impact on economic life are poor masses who consider ‘roti’(bread) as their basic problem.

Anyhow, finding only one answer to these questions is not a difficult exercise. Just look into the Qura’n, study the socio-economic and political life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for guidance to overcome internal and external problems. A glance on the arduous struggle for freedom from the foreign rule and making of Pakistan will also help in turning our stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Soon will come before our eyes the reality---that in order to get rid of the British Raj the people of the sub-continent began gathering here and there---and during this process of unity Muslims realised the significance of legal and constitutional protection and uninterrupted and peaceful use of their political, economic, social and cultural rights. And that realisation led them to demand an independent and sovereign homeland called Pakistan.

It was that thinking and effort for freedom which united us. And the newly-born spirit of unity strengthened our faith in being a nation. Discipline became the part and parcel of our national character because of these two qualities.

Men and women of the twin cities, who are in their 70s, whisper loudly justice demands of us, including the young and old, to prepare ourselves afresh to strengthen our homeland economically and from defence point of view by taking in our minds some words of the father of the nation, which live on today.

For instance, he said “Pakistan is the embodiment of the unity of the Muslim nation and so it must remain. We are all Pakistanis -- not Baloch, Pathan, Sindhi, Punjabi and so on -- and as Pakistanis we must feel, behave and act.” He alerted the people against any folly which could undo what they had achieved. “Do you want to build Pakistan up? Well, then, for that purpose there’s one essential condition, and it is complete unity and solidarity among you.”

The architect of Pakistan, in reply to Lord Mountbatten in the Constituent Assembly, said “the tolerance and goodwill that Akbar showed to all non-Muslims dates back fourteen centuries when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not only by words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians, after he had conquered them, with the utmost tolerance and regard and respect for their faiths and beliefs.”

Following and practising such humane and great principles broadens the base of unity of a country achieved on the basis of Islam which stands for justice, equality, fair-play, toleration and even generosity to non-Muslims who, the Quaid said, “are like brothers to us as the citizens of the state.”

Such vision of the father of the nation exposes the designs of the self-styled narrow-minded, extremist and gun-toting enforcers of Sharia who were out to impose a reign of terror in Malakand Division and spread it to rest of the country.

There’s no ‘jabar’ (compulsion) in Islam, it believes in peace and harmony. So, miscreants disguised as Taliban in the name of Islam had to be subdued, writ of the government maintained and a lesson taught to the internal mischievous groups funded by some external forces who wanted to create disunity, disorder, disturbance and disruption. The armed forces, as the Quaid said, have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, social justice and equality of manhood in the native soil.

So, they had to be asked by the government seated in Islamabad to meet the challenge.

Who will ponder how much human and financial losses the nation has suffered on account of the nefarious activities of the militants in Rawalpindi-Islamabad and other cities? And what else may weaken our economy, affect new investment and drive more people to poverty and joblessness? That has to be estimated and measures adopted to nip the evil in the bud.

The situation calls for unity -- complete unity of the people, military and civil both. That’s the message of God as explained by Sura Al Nisa. And, of course, there’s no other way to curb the land and bread grabber.