Celebrating 14th August: Rekindling the past and the present
THIS year marks the 74th year of Independence of Pakistan from the British rule.
Broadcaster Mustafa Ali Hamdani from Radio Pakistan had the honour to announce news of freedom at sharp 11:59pm, 13 August, “Greetings Pakistan Broadcasting Service.
We are speaking from Lahore. The night between the thirteenth and fourteenth of August, year forty-seven. It is twelve o’clock. Dawn of Freedom.”
14th August holds tremendous significance and reinvigorates the spirit of zeal and zest as the entire nation stands in solidarity and forgets all sorts of differences amongst themselves.
Annually, Independence Day is commemorated with traditional flag-hoisting ceremonies, change-of-guards at Mazar-e-Quaid, cultural events and patriotic songs.
The country proudly celebrates the achievements in combating external and internal challenges; for instance, threats from hostile neighbour, terrorism and Covid-19 pandemic, and to name a few.
It is apt to recall the sacrifices of our forefathers and pay tribute to all the heroes of our nation who laid down their lives to protect the ideological foundations for posterity.
On this monumental day, we must revisit the ideals laid down by our founding fathers and face all adversaries with ‘unity, faith and discipline’.
Quaid’s vision of a ‘democratic’ Pakistan was based on equal citizenship, modernist Islam and socio-economic justice.
It must be realized that Islamic ideology of Pakistan must not be interpreted narrowly; instead, the Quran as a guide holistically accounts for law, politics, philosophy, social justice and commercial guidelines.
One must not forget the plight of the minorities and our brethren in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir who are continuously facing gross human right violations to this day.
Rule of law must prevail where every citizen has the absolute right to freedom of speech and religion.
However, in order to realize these ideals, there is a need for economic egalitarianism which ameliorates poverty by accumulating foreign reserves via increased industrial and agricultural productivity for all nationals. Moreover, Foreign Policy must promote goodwill and peace, in accordance with the UN Charter.
However, in the era of survival of the fittest, it is essential to build deterrence via nuclear and military power.
Last but not the least, as stressed by our Quaid, we must strive to promote education and civil services, in order to eradicate corruption and nepotism as well as promote patriotism for a prosperous society.
The rulers and citizens must join hands to lift the nation out of ruins. The institutions must become transparent and ensure strict adherence to Standard Operating Procedures.
Energy crises must be resolved via atomic energy, food and water insecurity via agriculture and debt crises relieved with increasing exports.
A successful foreign policy, increased GDP and democratic system that ensure freedom of speech, citizen participation and human development are prerequisites to Quaid’s Pakistan.
—The writer is a degree-holder in Politics and International Relations from University of London and has remained associated with the National Assembly, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute, Islamabad.