Millions of “Muslim lives” were lost while struggling for an independent homeland. As a result, Pakistan came into being on 14th August 1947 (27th of Ramadan). The word Pakistan is a conjunction of two words Pak meaning “Pure” and Stan meaning “Land,” a name suggested by Choudhry Rehmat Ali.
For celebrating the independence, all the government and non-government offices, courts, post offices, banks, educational institutions, and major markets stay closed to facilitate the celebration of Pakistan Independence day. On this statutory national holiday, changing of sentinel occurs at the mausoleums of Dr. Allama Iqbal - the poet of the East, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah - the founding father of Pakistan.
The public do enjoy cinema shows, music contests, special theatre shows, national song competitions, concerts, and fireworks. Radio and television stations broadcast national songs - "specially prepared" for Independence Day programs. The Pakistanis, home and abroad, celebrate the special occasion with patriotic zest. Many people dressed up in green and white (Pakistani flag’s colors) attend the Independence Day parades. Pakistan’s national flag is hoisted on public and private buildings, residences and monuments at dawn. Parliament House is colorfully illuminated. The prime minister and president address and congratulate the nation.
Pakistan, a country of almost 190 million people is currently struggling to stay afloat politically and economically, and the proud nation is happy to have its own homeland after sacrificing millions of lives during the genuine freedom struggle.
Historically speaking, the Mughal rule ended during ‘the 1857 uprising’ followed by the British Raj.
However, a large scale armed struggle against the British Raj eventually turned into a messy freedom movement leading to independence of India in the later years.
Soon it was followed by another freedom struggle but in a peaceful manner by the Indian National Congress.
Muslim leaders Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Syed Ameer Ali worked diligently for the Muslim people’s political advancement. Later on, the Muslim League, another political party, gained popularity, amid fears of ‘under representation’ and the ongoing neglect of Muslims in wider Indian politics.
On 29th December 1930, Allama Iqbal presented the idea of a separate State that would geographically consist of the Muslim majority areas in the subcontinent. Hence, his presidential address called for a separate Muslim homeland in the North Western and North Eastern of South Asia.
At the time, strong Hindu nationalists advocated the “Two Nation Theory,” an ideology that is accredited as being the basis for Pakistan’s creation. Mr. Jinnah supported the “Two Nation Theory” and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940 (Pakistan Resolution), which ultimately facilitated the birth of Pakistan.
And, upon creation of Pakistan, the Muslims of India were able to have gained two independent wings (one thousand miles apart).
Sadly, the unsupervised partition of British India resulted in deadly communal riots across India and Pakistan where millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan, and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India.
Post partition, certain disputes arose over several princely states between the two neighbours - including Jammu and Kashmir issue which remains responsible for all wars so far. India claims it as inseparable and Pakistan claims it as a right. While on the contrary, the UN passed resolutions to grant right of plebiscite (self determination) to Kashmiris, India stubbornly manages to deny the right and the dispute lingers on as alive.
And, the ongoing negative socio economic and political environment was the major irritation for East Pakistanis which escalated to a civil war (the Bangladesh Liberation War) and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which lead to the fall of Dacca – and Pakistan lost its eastern wing which is now an independent state of Bangladesh.
Pakistan is lucky to be blessed with natural resources/reserves and a significant amount of deposits of copper, gold, zinc and lead in the Pakistan province of Baluchistan. A new gas field in Nawabshah and coal in Tharparkar, Sindh have been confirmed in recent years by Geological Survey of Pakistan and Mineral Development Corporation of Pakistan in collaboration with Mining firms from Australia, China and other nations. Reko Diq alone has the reserves estimated at “two billion tons of copper” and “20 million ounces of gold.”
Geographically and geopolitically, Pakistan enjoys an important position having deep seas, a long coastline, huge plains, many varying geographic regions, rivers, abundant rains and rich mineral resources. Located in South Asia, the country shares an eastern border with India and a north-eastern border with China. Iran makes up the country's south-west border, and Afghanistan runs along its western and northern edge.
Pakistan displays some of Asia's most magnificent landscapes as it stretches from the Arabian Sea, in the south, to some of the world's most spectacular mountain ranges, in the north. The Arabian Sea is Pakistan's southern boundary with 1,064 km of coastline. The Country as a total area of 803,904 sq km with a land area of 778,720 sq km is nearly four times the size of United Kingdom. From Gwadar Bay in its south-eastern corner, the country extends more than 1,800 km to the Khunjerab Pass on China's border.
Unfortunately, Karachi - the commercial hub is under constant threat of “guerilla attack,” and the criminals/terrorists, target killers, bhatta mafia (extortionists) are freely roaming around. The mushrooming growth of, dacoits, kidnappers, hoarders, and anti Pakistan elements poses danger to the general public and the merchants.
Shamelessly, the ruling elite has broken all past records of corruption and has been defying and ridiculing the judicial verdicts. The jialas and the ruling mafia don’t hesitate to make derogatory remarks against the Supreme Judiciary, and they are blatantly flouting its decisions. State policy to ridicule and disobey judicial verdicts can’t be tolerated.
On top of that, the unscheduled power outage, rampant corruption, inflation, unemployment, and the administrative paralysis are hurting the common man.
Under the tough scenario, celebrating August 14th opens the window of opportunity to promote patriotism and national unity in the best interest of the country.
Though, the media played its role nationwide against corruption, injustice, incompetence and negligence far and wide, yet a special “awareness campaign” needs to be launched for eliminating the hypocrites, hidden hands and the quagmire of feudal politics.
Hopefully, the politically aware youth will make it to the polling stations this time. Indeed, if they vote in significant numbers at the upcoming elections, the current unpleasant status quo will be replaced by the long awaited positive change.
Putting aside linguistic, provincial and religious differences for sake of unity would save Pakistan.