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July 21, 2019

Price of freedom

Islamabad

 
July 21, 2019

We as a nation suffer from amnesia. We have forgotten the objective of the creation of Pakistan. Before Partition, the people of the Indian subcontinent were subjects of the British empire, not citizens. Most people depended on those in imperial rule. Our founder, Mr Jinnah fought a constitutional war to get freedom from the foreign powers that ruled us. Unfortunately, he did not live long after accomplishing his dream. We lost unity and society fragmented into ethnic groups. We as country went on without a constitution for years and people adopted the culture of a lavish lifestyle on foreign aid and borrowed money from foreign financial institutions.

Our top leadership and powerful elite were so consumed by their own interests that they failed to realize that they were living on borrowed time and the people were left to bear this burden. The political leaders who captured power treated the citizens of our nation as indentured workers. As old habits die hard, borrowing money became an instrument to gain power. This ugly practice became the currency of today and our country was driven to a vicious debt trap difficult to get out of. Meanwhile, politicians belonging to all parties try to prove their supremacy over each other instead of finding solutions to public problems. We have failed to harvest the fruits of freedom achieved on August 14 1947. We need to revive the pledge of transforming Pakistan into a progressive, welfare state, where everyone is respected, and no one is idolized and there is no discrimination on the basis of religion, cast, creed or colour.

Raja Shafaatullah, Islamabad

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