Day of reckoning

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AS has been the practice, Pakistan Day celebrations are marked by a spectacular parade depicting not only defence capabilities but also mirroring progress made by the country in different spheres of life.

This year’s celebrations have an added dimension — participation of our guests from Islamic countries who are here to attend the Foreign Ministers’ conference of the OIC States.

Nations observe important days not just to highlight their achievements on that particular day in some specific moments of the past but also to renew their pledge to realize the goals set by their forefathers vis-à-vis governance, progress and prosperity.

As Pakistan is passing through the eight decade of its existence, we must take stock of what we have achieved and what we lost/missed and why?

Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah outlined his vision of Pakistan during his address to the Constituent Assembly on 11 August 1947 when spoke about an inclusive and impartial government, religious freedom, rule of law and equality for all.

Pakistan is the product of two-nation theory but regrettably we used Islam only to advance our political objectives or strengthen the hold on power and no worthwhile practical measure has so far been taken to enable citizens to order their individual and collective life in accordance with teachings of Islam, as has also been enshrined in the 1973 Constitution.

The Quaid talked about an inclusive and impartial government but patriotic citizens are pained to see deep polarization, elite having firm grip on power, no trickledown effect of policies and programmes, economic exploitation and murder of justice at all tiers of judicial system.

A cursory glance on our checkered history would tell us that rule of law has remained the biggest casualty during these 74 years and the Constitution and laws are either trampled or manipulated by the influential segments of the society in their favour.

There is also no semblance of equality for all as perks, opportunities and justice are prerogatives of the powerful alone.

Therefore, March 23 should serve as a Day of Reckoning in the true sense of the word so as to learn from mistakes of the past and transform Pakistan into a genuine welfare state as envisioned by the Quaid.

 

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