Diamond Jubilee celebrations

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The nation commemorated Diamond Jubilee, the 75th anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence with full zeal and fervour on Sunday.

Apart from flag hoisting ceremonies both at Centre and provincial capitals, illumination of public and private buildings, cultural shows, exhibitions and fireworks were hallmark of the day with reiteration of promises to transform Pakistan as per ideals of founding father Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Indeed these were special and historic moments that should have been celebrated in a befitting manner like other nations do.

However given the calamity faced by different parts of the country in the form of flash floods which have killed hundreds of people and displaced hundreds of thousands others, it would have been better if we had observed the day in a more sombre and subdued manner, expressing solidarity with affected population to give a message that they are not alone in this hour of trial.

Our political leadership should have led from the front and demonstrated sensitivity for the people facing difficult times but those in federal capital and Lahore appeared to be more interested in their political manoeuvrings.

And also Independence Day is not just about celebrations but also a time for serious retrospection and taking stock of our successes and failures.

Certainly there are few inspirational moments such as the one when Pakistan became a nuclear power, which gave Pakistan a strategic weight.

Then we also successfully tackled the menace of terrorism for which credit goes to people and armed forces and most recently Covid-19 epidemic.

However when it comes to our failures, these are far more and also more serious in nature than our successes.

The failure to keep up with knowledge, science and technology and also political, economic developments has really kept the country back.

It will not be wrong to say that countries that started off in a worse position than Pakistan and inherited far worse from their colonial masters have done much better than us.

Our founding fathers had rendered immense sacrifices under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam to carve this homeland for the Muslims yet it is unfortunate that ideals espoused by them are only propagated in speeches but nothing practically has been done to implement them.

Addressing the nation on state media, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif rightly pointed out that concept of independence is incomplete without economic self-reliance.

Today the situation is that we are at the mercy of support of international financial institutions and often have to spread begging bowl before friendly countries to save us from default.

The real question is for how long this will continue? While learning a lesson from the past, a serious course correction is required.

Instead of finding faults in each other, the country today requires a change in political thinking across the board if state of Pakistan is to chart a better future towards a hundred years of independence.

Pakistan survived Partition, the mass migration, and war with India over Kashmir because those crises were met with effective responses.

Same kind of response and spirit of Pakistan Movement is need of the hour to ensure economic sovereignty and a prosperous future to our coming generations.

Hope indeed lies with youth. Whether it is athletes that succeed without any government support or students in universities, youth of Pakistan is no longer waiting for government’s support to make things better.

And, this desire of the youth is perhaps why Pakistan continues to function and to some extent, have social and economic stability.

While the PM has once again renewed the offer for charter of economy, the lead must be taken by government itself and create an enabling environment for it.

While rising above personal egos and intransigence, our political leadership will have to demonstrate flexibility and come together to deal honestly with current challenges and provide better living standards to the people in order to carve out a dignified place for Pakistan in the comity of nations.

 

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