As Pakistan’s 71th Independence Day comes around the corner, people are excited to celebrate this historic day with zeal and zest. 71 years in the history of a nation is not a benchmark. Pakistan is a teenager in the comity of nations. For a young nation with hardly any resources at birth to becoming a nuclear power, this journey was not a piece of cake. These 71 Years were the hard-hitting Journey. This is against all odds, three wars, and arch-nemesis neighbor and besides the exacerbating internal issues. Analysts all around the world are baffled. Tariq Ali wrote “Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of the State” in 1983. Pakistan is fighting at every front. Anatol Lieven made a comprehensive analysis on his book “Pakistan- A hard country” In this book, he has given a befitting reply to those critics who called Pakistan a failed state. He mentioned, “The army is a united and disciplined institution, and as long as that remains the case, it will be strong enough to defeat open revolt- as it proved by defeating the Taleban in Swat and South Waziristan in 2009.” 71 years ago, Pakistan was united under the magnanimous leadership of Quaid-e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Let’s switch on to TODAY’S Pakistan.
In TODAY’S Pakistan, we even do not know our fundamental rights given by the constitution of Pakistan. Constitution of Pakistan safeguards our basic rights including the right to life, freedom, property and to participate freely in a democratic system. Articles 8 to Article 28 of the Constitution describe the Fundamental Rights which are to be available to all citizens, women as well as men wherever they may be, as well as all people temporarily or permanently in Pakistan. Every day our human rights are being violated. Recently, police shot two matric students in an extrajudicial killing. The human rights crisis in Pakistan continued with reports of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Quaid e Azam always believed in and stood up for human rights.
“The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (may peace be upon him). We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in rights, dignity, and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it.”
In TODAY’S Pakistan, Violence against women and girls—including rape, “honor” killings, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriage remained a serious concern. There are about a 1,000 “honor” killings every year. In June, a Jirga in Khyber agency ordered the “honor” killing of Naghma, a 13-year-old girl, for “running away with a man.” Parliament had passed in February a controversial bill giving legal cover to tribal and village councils. A plethora of these kinds of issues are reported on a daily basis. Over 5 million primary-school-age children are out of school, most of them girls. Human Rights Watch research found girls miss school for reasons including lack of schools, costs associated with studying, childbearing, and gender discrimination. Look at Quaid e Azam’s words of wisdom for women. He knew the worth of women.
“No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.”
In TODAY’S Pakistan, our minorities do not feel secure. Every year plethora of incidents are reported. Pakistan is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for religious minorities. Look at the golden words of Quaid which he said about minorities.
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”
In TODAY’S Pakistan, Corruption has become a habit of the ruling elite as well as the lower rank officer. And Pakistan ranks 4th in the most corrupt south Asian Countries. At least $200 billion of ‘Pakistani money’ was stashed away in Swiss banks, according to ex-foreign Minister Ishaq Dar. Unfortunately, we forgot the purpose of Pakistan. We are weakening the roots of Pakistan. Our elites are looting National exchequer with both hands. Mr. Jinnah Knew that corruption is a curse.
“Corruption and bribery are like poison and a horrible disease, which need to be put down with an iron hand”
On the occasion of Independence Day, let’s recall the golden words of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, which served as a beacon of light for us. Our ancestors sacrificed their lives to attain Pakistan. Our forefathers struggled for this piece of land. Quaid-e-Azam, Liaquat Ali Khan, Khawaja Nizam Uddin, Feroz Khan Noon were incorruptible Leaders. In Today’s Pakistan, where corruption has become a habit, Pakistan needs incorruptible people and competent leadership. The astonishing fact that barely 1 percent of the population pays income tax and the wealthiest landowners in the country pay no direct tax at all. There is a huge responsibility to put on the shoulders of youth. It was the youth who supported Quaid e, Azam, It was the youth who spread Quaid’s message and this young blood was the strength of Quaid. Being a youth it’s our responsibility to fulfill our duties honestly and diligently. Pakistan needs our blood, sweat, and energy. It’s high time to rectify our flaws and shortcomings. Our leadership should have to deal with people on an egalitarian basis. Pakistani people stay true to your founding father, stay true to your religion, stay true to your power and disciplines for the best years are yet to come. Live Long Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad.