Pakistan: 70 Years of Independence and Future

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It’s been 70 years since the partition of Hindustan. Today, our land, the land of pure people “Pakistan” became 70 years old. Like a new born baby, Pakistan also learned to crawl, stand on its feet, walk, run and to race with the other nations of the world.

Most of the time Pakistan is compared with India, the civilization that can be traced back to 3300 BCE (Iron Age). Comparing Pakistan, a 70 years old nation with India, the centuries old civilization, is like comparing apple to the orange.

At the time of Partition, India remained India, only a part of India was carved as a new country known as Pakistan. Britain handed over the already established government of India, to India but Pakistan was supposed to start from a scrap having almost nothing in its hand, no administration, no government and an inexperienced administrator who had no experience of running a government but having a passion of making this new born nation, one of the strongest nation in the world.

“I have no doubt that with unity, faith and discipline we will not only remain the fifth largest State in the world but will compare with any nation of the world. You must make up your mind now. We must sink individualism and petty jealousies and make up our minds to serve the people with honesty and faithfulness. We are passing through a period of fear, danger and menace. We must have faith, unity and discipline” – Quaid-e-Azam

But first, he (Quaid-e-Azam) as an administrator of the new country had to prove that he is capable of making this nation, one of the greatest nation in the world and for that he had to solve the major issues that the nation was facing from the first day of its creation. No doubt, he became the perfect example for his nation and faced the challenge with courage and determination.

The new born country was flooded with the refugees coming from India. According to some estimates, nearly 6.5 million people migrated to Pakistan with over 5.2 million from East Punjab and other 360,000 from Delhi and other parts of India.

The first challenge for the Administration of Pakistan was the rehabilitation of the people migrated from India. The government of Pakistan had to provide them food and shelter. Quaid-e-Azam moved his headquarter to Lahore, created Quaid-e-Azam relief fund and temporary refugee camps were created.

“Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. There is many an example in the history of young nations building themselves up by sheer determination and force of character. You are made of sterling material and second to none. Keep up your morale. Do not be afraid of death. We should face it bravely to save the honor of Pakistan and of Islam. Do your duty and have faith in Pakistan. It has come to stay.” – Quaid-e-Azam

Without going into the details of the assets that we received after partition, will just mention few major assets that we received in comparison with what India received after Partition.

Since day one, Pakistan was fighting the war of survival and for the security and safeguard of its territory. Pakistan was in desperate need of armed forces and military equipment but the equipment that Pakistan received was nothing but a scrap. At the time of Partition, there were 16 Ordinance factories and all were located in India. Pakistan received 60 million rupees towards its share in the ordnance factories. Pakistan received 6 Armor divisions to India’s 14, 8 Artillery divisions to India’s 40 and 8 Infantry divisions to India’s 21. A Staff college in Quetta & Service Corps College in Kakul-Abbottabad.

The new States of Pakistan consisted of mostly underdeveloped areas of India with very little industry as the area that was awarded to Pakistan after partition was on the borders of sub continent. Around 90% population of this country was living in the rural areas. Pakistan had only 8 major towns (Karachi, Lahore, Dhaka, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Sialkot, and Peshawar) with a population of little more than 100,000 at the time of Partition.

East Pakistan was producing more than 90% Jute of India at the time of partition but Pakistan did not receive a single jute mill. The areas that came in Pakistan were producing 14% of the British India cotton but only had 14 of 394 textile mills. On the other hand, we had only 10% registered factories, Industrial workers 6.5%, Electricity 5%, Mineral deposits 10%. At the time of Partition India’s estimated hydel power generation capacity was 30-40 million KW while the power generation capacity of Pakistan was merely a half million KW. Much of Punjab’s electricity was imported from Indian power stations.

In Indian Police and Civil Services, only 101 Indian officers were Muslims in the total of 1,157 officers. From these 101 officers, only ninety-five (95) decided to go to Pakistan with along with one Christian officer. Eleven (11) military officers and fifty (50) British officers opted to join Pakistan Civil Services making the total count as 157. But only twenty of them had more than fifteen years of experience and more than half had less than 10 years of experience.

The railway engines and bogies that Pakistan received were in miserable condition and needed constant repair because they had been vigorously used during the Second World War.

  • One university, few colleges and Madrasas.
  • 3 radio stations and no TV Station
  • Shortage of telephone exchanges and post offices
  • Only 2 sea ports. Karachi and Chittagong
  • Shortage of roads in the N.W.F.P. the Baluchistan, the Sindh and in the East Pakistan.

This was the Pakistan of 1947, fragile, unprotected, unorganized, and having problems in each and every field of life but the level of determination to make Pakistan a better place, was sky high.

The country (Pakistan) that always remained under constant threats from its neighbor (India), that had no ordinance factory at the time of partition and received limited number of weapons from the scrap of Indian Army, have now dozens of ordnance factories, is one of the strongest military powers in the region and sixth largest military force in the world. Pakistan is producing military aircrafts (JF-17 Thunder, Mashaq), Military Tanks (Al-Khalid, Al-Zarar) not only to meet the requirements of its own military but also exporting the military equipment to the other countries.

Pakistan is having some of the best-trained Airforce Pilots in the world, has one of the best military technology in the world and produced various types of missiles since attaining the status of seventh nuclear power in the world. Pakistan Army has the highest number of soldiers in UN peace keeping mission and has been involved in the number of operations around the world.

The 157 civil servants that Pakistan had at the time of Partition formed the core of the Civil Service of Pakistan and became one of the most elite and privileged bureaucracies in the world. Members of the Civil Service of Pakistan were the architects of the administrative, judicial, and diplomatic services. They proved vital in running the government machinery since partition.

Just in last five years, Pakistan literacy rate has increased by 250%, highest increase in literacy in any country of the world. Today only the capital of Pakistan is having 16 universities, Pakistan is having the seventh largest pool of engineers and doctors, Pakistanis are ranked 4th most intelligent people in the world. Pakistan is having the unique record of topping the both Cambridge exams of A and O levels. World’s youngest Microsoft Experts, Arfa Kareem and Babar Iqbal, are also from Pakistan. Pakistani student Maha Ayub won the bronze medal in an international chemistry competition held in Thailand. Roma Saiyidain became world’s youngest Certified Ethical Hacker at the age of 10. Sidratul Muntaha has got the first position in the world by scoring 100 percent marks in an online examination (Management Accounting MA-1 paper) of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA). Sindh Based Pakistani Girl Aqsa Majeed is World’s Youngest Qualified Chartered Accountant.

Pakistan has another unique record of winning most world cups in the world. In 1994, Pakistan became the first country in the world to hold four World Cup titles tournaments in different mainstream sports (cricket, hockey, squash, and snooker) simultaneously. In cricket, Pakistan has the world all the major tournaments of the world, four-time hockey world cup winner, fourteen-time Squash world cup winner and having 30 British Open titles.

Pakistan’s industrial sector accounts for about 24% of GDP. Cotton textile production and ready made garments are Pakistan’s largest industries, accounting for about 66% of the merchandise exports and almost 40% of the employed labor force. Pakistan is the leading exporter of surgical instruments, having the biggest industry of sports material in Sialkot. 50% footballs of the world are made in Pakistan. Pakistan is the 8th largest exporter of textile commodities in Asia. According to the Ministry of Information Technology, Pakistan IT exports have increased by 41 percent during the fiscal year 2014-15 and Revenues generated through IT exports have grown to $2.5 billion.

Pakistan’s agriculture sector not only feeds our whole rural and urban population but also contributes 24 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agriculture sector accounts for half of employed labor force and is the largest source of foreign exchange earnings. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), Pakistan produced 21,591,400 metric tons of wheat in 2005, more than all of Africa (20,304,585 metric tons) and nearly as much as all of South America (24,557,784 metric tons). Pakistan exports rice, cotton, fish, fruits and vegetables. Pakistan is the 4th largest producer of Cotton, wheat, Mangoes and 3rd largest producer of chickpea.

In current war against terrorism, the survival of Pakistan is not less than a miracle but it’s also because of the proper measures taken by the Armed forces of Pakistan in the past. To survive in the region, nuclear deterrence and a strong military were Pakistan’s priority for a long time. After losing a part of Pakistan because of the conspiracies of our neighbor, Pakistan’s first priority was to achieve the status of nuclear power. In 1998, we achieved that status and secured this land from the invaders.

In 2001, a global war against terrorism compelled Pakistan to help the US in the war against Al-Qaeda, due to which Pakistan became the victim of terrorism not only by Al-Qaeda but dozens of militant groups supported by none other than our neighbors. Pakistan fought this war against insurgents, reclaimed the territory occupied by the terrorists, thousands of terrorists were killed, millions of Pakistan became IDP’s, thousands of innocent Pakistanis and security personals were martyred by the terrorists.

But once again, Pakistan survived in the time when some rich and powerful countries like Libya and Iraq were not able to survive. We not only survived, cleaned our country from the terrorists but also found the path towards our economic prosperity in the form of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor). CPEC is considered to be the game changer for Pakistan as it will not only completely modernize the infrastructure of Pakistan but also play a vital role in the economic prosperity of Pakistan.

This is the end of our war for survival. Pakistan already became invincible with its nuclear deterrence and the attempt to destabilize it from inside, failed miserably. Our enemies tried their best to divide us in the name of religion, sect, ethnicity, language but failed. We survived as Quaid-e-Azam said that there is no power in the world that can undo Pakistan, It has come to stay.

Now we have to achieve the target of the economically stable country in the World and CPEC is our path towards that target. Our 70 years story proves that the future is ours but that can only happen when we start thinking productive, we can achieve anything when we are determined to do so.

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