Naveed Aman Khan
Finland’s official representative for South Asia is Roving Ambassador Harri Kämäräinen. He is based in Helsinki and visits Pakistan and Sri Lanka 3–6 times a year and other countries when possible. Excellency Harri’s is highly qualified and learned diplomat with wonderful capabilities. He astonishes with his fluent Urdu and deep study about great leader Quaid-i-Azam and philosopher and Poet of the East Allama Mohammad Iqbal. His study about Maulana Rumi, Jami, Firdausi and Ibn-e-Arabi is amazing and eye opening. He is great admirer of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal and their thoughtful scholarly sayings and poetry. Harri’s understanding Allama Iqbal and Maulana Rumi reflects his interest and knowledge about Persian, Arabic and Urdu languages. During his diplomatic service as an Ambassador to Iran, he developed his scholarly approach and knowledge about philosophy and mysticism. His deep study of Quaid-i-Azam and scholar, thinker and philosopher Allama Iqbal moved me to pen down a few things about Finland.
Surprisingly there comes a time during the year when Finns experience two months long day when the Sun never sets from May 22 to July 21. Again Finns experience the shortest six hour day every year on December 22. Finland is one of the Nordic countries in Northern Europe, member of the European Union and part of Fennoscandia. Its neighbours are Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east and Estonia to the south, beyond the sea called Gulf of Finland. Most of western and southern coast is on the shore of the Baltic Sea .Finland is a highly industrialized first world country. Worldly popular brand Nokia, the mobile company is originally a company of Finland, named after a small town called Nokia.
On 6 December 1917, Finland became independent, which meant that it no longer was a part of Russia. There was a Communist Revolution in Russia and after 1922 Russia was a part of the Soviet Union. There were Communists in Finland too, who tried to create revolution in Finland. This attempt at revolution caused the Finnish civil war. The Communists lost the civil war and Finland did not change its old capitalist system.
Stalin, who was the leader of the Soviet Union, did not like having a capitalist country as its neighbour. Stalin wanted Finland to become a Communist State and be a part of the Soviet Union. The leaders of Finland didn’t budge. They wanted to stay independent. The Soviet Union sent many troops across the eastern border of Finland to try to make Finland join them which resulted in the Winter War.
Adolf Hitler wanted to invade the Soviet Union. Finland wanted to retrieve the areas that it had lost, so it joined the German invasion which started in 1941. This part of the Second World War is called the Continuation War in Finland. However, Finland was not a fascist or an anti-Semitic country. Finns were interested in freedom rather than dictatorship.
While Germany was losing the war, Finland had already progressed into the Soviet Union in order to regain the areas lost in the previous confrontation. Finland wanted to end the war with the Soviet Union which resulted in peace. Once again Finland had to give up the areas they had conquered. This time, the peace with the Soviet Union made Finland and Germany enemies. Finns fought the Germans and Germans retreated to Norway, burning down all of Lapland behind them. This is called the Lapland War. Finland remained independent.
For the revival of economy after the wars, many factories were set up in Finland. Finland was one of the first countries where most people had internet connections and mobile phones. Now Finland is considered to be top first ranking developed and stable country. We being an atomic power need to learn a lesson from once in trouble country – Finland. After wars, Finland is first ranking developed country because Finnish politicians, bureaucracy and entire nation decided to steer it out of problems with nationalism, dedication, hard work and honesty. Finns are the happiest nation of the world. We need to think about the reasons of our unending problems. We are atomic power but still suffering a lot. Finns are seeking guidance from their national torch bearers and leaders like Allama Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam while we have forgotten them.
— The writer is political analyst based in Islamabad.