Jinnah’s Pakistan: True national spirit | By Haya Fatima Sehgal


Jinnah’s Pakistan: True national spirit

THE inherited burden of previous years has made for a long haul of changes that are progressing slowly — but surely.

Hearing the term ‘Pakistaniyat’ made one smile as it seemed there was an effort to try and uplift national spirit. How this is interpreted or supposed to happen remains to be seen.

Pakistan is in a poignant moment of time with developments taking place in the region which will shape its culture for years to come.

No authoritarian ruling here please though. This is a civilized society where the people and the current party were elected democratically; one must remain steadfast in how the country’s founding fathers envisioned leadership and governance.

News on the policy amendments such as the anti-rape bill being passed, women’s empowerment accelerator programmes implemented, Climate action supporting the environment, acknowledging trainpersons into the national ID, labour laws and rights amended; all of these have made a person pause and think about the vital changes now taking place.

Despite all odds the fact remains how well Pakistan as a country has handled dire situations time and again- and I believe that it will keep doing so against all odds.

However, it is the same thought process that knows that there still remain changes that are required.

The changes that need to focus on those people where justice has not been what it should be: of the minority communities who stay hidden for the sake of safety, the population of unbanked and non-IDed women and even entire communities without rights; Of crimes against women and children, of labour which seeking a days’ work of wages for that single day, not being skilled enough to seek better jobs, of thousands of orphans and homeless who remain on the streets, of millions of children not yet in schools, of the underage population that remains as child labour.

If there are things to be changed, then one must start with the most vulnerable-the most needing of a changed world.

There is a glimmer of hope that such complex issues are being tackled with a multi-pronged approach and of several policies being set in place. There is hope that remains that people will do the needful this time around.

Hope and resilience have been the backbone of Pakistani belief sets no matter what philosophies we hold as individuals.

If anything, we must convey this messaging to the nation; the idea to come together as one unit together and as one nation.

We can have our political differences, opinions, and beliefs, but I do agree that the national pride and spirit still needs to be revitalized in a united effort.

This can only be done by inclusivity and the joint promotion of such by all citizens regardless of their political opinions.

People across the world do digress in matters of politics and beliefs but we also see them come together when it comes to patriotism or on policies for the betterment of their respective countries.

Here is where I feel the phrase ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ remains the connection to things once envisioned for us.

It is a powerful term that lights the path for the words, ‘unity, faith and discipline.’ We cannot lose this sentiment.

Coined so very appropriately by Liaquat H. Merchant, the grand-nephew of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, it must remain with us because it gives the surge of national spirit we need to hear.

It speaks of the leap of faith that our founding fathers took. And of the vision that once was and still remains.

May the generations coming understand the in-depth history of where we came from to revive these same ideologies.

As Pakistanis we must encourage commitment to the preservation of its original ideals, the one envisioned by Jinnah, the founding father of the nation.

—The writer, based in Islamabad, is known for her articles on cultural impact.

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