M Zahid Rift
THE Pakistani nation is celebrating yet another Independence Day today (August 14, 2019) with the continued blessings of Almighty Allah for which brisk and enthusiastic preparations have been made. Quite obviously, this a very great , very happy and joyful occasion for everyone living within the geographical frontiers of Pakistan as a proud, free, sovereign and independent Pakistan to celebrate it individually as well as collectively.Besides expressing gratitude to Almighty Allah, we all should sincerely be remembering our forefathers whose struggle and sacrifices had resulted in the creation of our motherland, free from economic slavery of Hindus and the alien British rulers, under the inspiring and principled leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
As we all celebrate another Independence Day, which obviously also calls of for soul searching and catharsis by all of us, it is pertinent to mention here briefly some important developments which had taken place during last one year prior to going ahead. India has all along been hatching conspiracies and planning measures to destabilize Pakistan and isolate it internationally as well as weakening it economically directly and indirectly. India had ventured into misadventure on February 27, 2019 when it its aircraft had violated Pakistan’s air space and strike some places. They had also tried to play this mischief the previous night and had fled away on being chased by ever-vigilant eagles of PAF. They tried to play the same mischief on February 27 night and were intercepted and two IAF aircraft were shot down as the entire PAF was airborne at that time. Two other important developments, among several others, took place in the third week of July 2019 in quick succession to each other. Merger of tribal areas into Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwah was completed when the tribal men and women elected their representatives to the Provincial Assembly. Soon after taking as 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had been visiting different friendly countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE and China quite objectively reviving Pakistan’s relations and strengthening personal contacts with the leadership of these countries.
Without undermining the importance of visits to other countries, PM Imran Khan paid a mega successful visit to the USA for three days at the invitation of President Donald Trump in the backdrop of persistent cold ties between the old allies for quite sometime. While talking to each other at the White House and responding to the queries from media, it was here that President Donald Trump offered his good offices for mediation to resolve lingering and burning Kashmir issue. This had internationalized the Kashmir issue within no time. And more importantly, the 2019 Independence Day is being celebrated and observed as the Kashmir Solidarity Day to reiterate Pakistan and its people’s unflinching support for Kashmiris in their just indigenous struggle for securing their birth right of self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions. This is in retaliation to India’s attempt to change the status of internationally acknowledged disputed area and making the occupied territory as its part at the gun-point.
Pakistan is just 72 years old which is no age for a nation and with the continued blessings of Almighty Allah it has to go a long and still longer way in coming decades nay in the centuries. The Father of the Nation had left in inheritance his three golden principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline which need continuously to be remembered and practiced by all of us quite sincerely and faithfully. We have to forge unity in our ranks and files while moving onward on the path of progress, development and prosperity.
It is quite commendable the Armed Forces of Pakistan i.e. Army, Air Force and Navy as well as Rangers, Police and other law enforcement agencies, fully backed and supported by the government, political leadership and the people at large, are offering great sacrifices in chasing out the terrorists, militants and extremists from the sacred soil of Pakistan and securing success and restoring peace in the previously troubled tribal areas. The valiant soldiers of the country’s armed forces are laying down their lives for ensuring national safety and laying down their lives today for ensuring our tomorrow. With every sacrifice, they are becoming all the more determined to eliminate the menaces of terrorism, militancy and extremism in all their manifestations once for all. It is also desirable that the people of Pakistan should rise above petty , selfish, personal, political , regional and other interests and keep national interests supreme in all their thinking and actions. We should all discharge our duties and obligations sincerely and honestly. If only we can become punctual, avoid wastage of time, misuse and abuse of public money and try to do some good every day towards our community, then a lot of our problems would be solved amicably.
At the same time, it is also imperative that all possible steps and measures are taken in an effective manner to ensure that the future generations ared educated, informed and apprised about the Pakistan Movement as well as the sufferings of the Muslims who had migrated after the partition of the sub-continent to their newly created motherland. A number of organizations as well as artistes, literary figures are already engaged in educating the youth about the Pakistan Movement. But still there is dire need for doing much more in this regard. Not only the younger generations have to be educated but also to be warned against the hostile propaganda being carried out by forces inimical to the continued existence of Pakistan.
It is also essential that a moderate, forward looking, progressive and positive image of Pakistan and its people is continuously promoted and highlighted through all possible means before the international community in the wake of persistent hostile propaganda by our enemies. Every Pakistani going abroad, either on official or private visit, should and must ensure that in their inter-actions with foreigners anywhere around the globe, we avail every opportunity to tell them that Pakistan is a peace loving country and its people believe in peaceful co-existence with all countries including our close neighbours. While celebrating the Independence Day every year from now onwards, please do always pause and ponder over what you have done in the service of Pakistan throughout the preceding year.
—The writer is Lahore-based Freelance Journalist, Columnist and retired Deputy Controller (News), Radio Pakistan.
M Zahid Rift