By Farah Jamil
One more year passed and Pakistan turns 70. On this day, great enthusiasm is being witnessed among people especially in children and youth of Pakistan.
On August 14, the spirit of independence touches not just Pakistanis living in the country, but also those who are far from their homeland.
As Pakistan is turning 70, Pakistanis are celebrating its birthday with patriotic zeal and fervor.
Pakistanis across the country flock to stalls as like every year – a sea of national flags and other Independence Day special accessories being witnessed this year also – in all cities, villages, markets, streets and towns of Pakistan where people are hoisting national flags on their houses and vehicles to express love with their country. The pictures can better describe the patriotism and celebrations.
People of all age groups celebrate this special day with patriotic fervor. On the occasion, we also managed to speak to few youngsters and senior citizens – took their opinion regarding the Jinnah’s Pakistan.
Students of Mass Communications after celebrating pre- independence day at University of Karachi shared their views, “We, as a young nation, are very much affiliated patriotically with the number 14, August 14 is the day which will always be ever ‘Green’.”
They went on to say , “Pakistan is in those few countries which is blessed not only geographically or economically but naturally too, even with loads of troubles, allegations, lack of law and orders and never ever came-to-end loadshedding, Jinnah’s Pakistan still have lots of potential to be proud of.
Abid Pasha – 60 years old retired banker shared his views, “People of Pakistan are very dynamic and it is one of the few countries in the world where you’ll find people of all different colors, shapes, and sizes.”
“Abdul Sattar Edhi is a man whom more and much we proud is less. Edhi Foundation holds the Guinness record for world’s largest volunteer ambulance organization since 1997”, he added.
He talked about few people who have made Pakistan proud, “Not to mention Arfa Kareem, Dr. Abdul Qadeer, Afia siddique, Sharmeen Obaid Chinowy are the people who took the dignity of Pakistan to next level.”
“But this is not the end, we have largest manmade forest Changa Manga, oldest and 2nd largest salt mine, largest irrigation system, Tarbela Dam, largest sea port Gwadar port, Karakoram highway and lot more things to proud”, he added.
He highlighted the fact that what Pakistan gives us, “Gratitude is the main key to get more; in-short in the world is full of people who always complained that ‘What Pakistan gives us?’ Be like Edhi, Arfa and others and think that – What you did for this country and nation?”
Apart from the celebrations and blessings, the main question is, ‘Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan where we are living?’ During the past few years, Pakistan is facing with different issues/ crisis and terrorism is one of them – that’s the severe one. Hundreds of Pakistanis lose their lives every year. Terrorists get stronger by the day. They keep expanding their networks and invent new techniques to kill more and more people from the opposite religion and sect.
The million-dollar question is – why do these attacks take place again and again? Why doesn’t Pakistan have a strategy to address this challenge? These attacks can’t be stopped until we become a strong nation to deal with this terrible situation. We can become a strong nation if we start to think beyond personal, local, linguistic, ethnic, sectarian or provincial identities and prejudices.
As Jinnah once said, ‘Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State – to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims – Hindus, Christians, and Parsis – but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.’
Like almost every other issue in Pakistan, we are fighting over the abstractness of Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan, something that probably even he was not too sure about.
I must say that the relationship between the state and the citizens should be based on mutual trust and benefits. This is how; we can get back to Jinnah’s Pakistan.
‘If we want to make this great State of Pakistan happy and prosperous, we should wholly and solely concentrate on the well-being of the people, and especially of the masses and the poor.’ – Jinnah
All in all, Pakistan is a blessed country which has been bestowed with all what a nation requires to rise.
‘Indeed freedom is a blessing – Happy Independence Day to all’