As we celebrate independence

THE nation is celebrating its independence with a difference this year as it marks completion of 70 years of creation of Pakistan and there is greater involvement of masses in celebrations than before. This shows greater awareness among people about blessings of independence and sovereignty, which augurs well for unity and solidarity of the country.
Government has made elaborate arrangements to mark the Independence Day in a befitting manner including launching of the Azadi Train that would travel throughout the country to spread the message of progress and hope; national flag-hoisting ceremony and scores of other functions by different ministries, divisions, departments and organisations. Participation of the Vice Premier of China in the Independence Day celebrations was an added dimension to this year’s festivities and this signified deep-rooted ties between the two friends and neighbours. It was all the more important to note that the large-scale participation by the masses meant increase in economic activity as well because one could see stalls selling day related articles in every street, road and market. However, one thing was quite obvious that even after 70 years of independence, the country was as fragile and instable as it was at the time of partition. The country has surely progressed in many respects as monumental developmental activities are witnessed in every nook and corner of Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, FATA and Azad Kashmir. Yet Pakistan, being the only Muslim nuclear power, would have scaled more heights if there was no political instability and turmoil caused by clash of interests among institutions. Except for hybrid governments, no democratically elected Prime Minister could complete his or her term, no elected government enjoyed complete freedom of action and policies and even political actors remain mostly at loggerheads. The lack of continuity not only harmed economic progress and development but also fractured national unity and solidarity and made the country vulnerable to foreign pressure. All this is agonising for patriotic Pakistanis and particularly on the occasion of Independence Day as founder of the country did not visualise the type of Pakistan that we see today. During last seventy years the country was governed through transitory arrangements and the practice doesn’t seem to end in near future. This is a food for thought for all Pakistanis.

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