My ten historic sites have been declared world heritage sites by UNESCO namely Lahore fort and Shalamar Gardens, Makli Thatta historic monuments, Moenjodaro ruins, Rhtas Fort, Takht Bhai Budhist ruins and Sehr Bahlol, Taxila.
Important living places include Sadiq palace, Zeenat Mahah, Lawrence Garden, Badshahi mosque and Masjid Wazir Khan Lahore, Shah Jahan and Faisal mosque.
I have world class educational institutions like Govt College Lahore, Islamia College Peshawar, KE Medical College Lahore and Islamia College Lahore, Stephens College Karachi, UET (formerly Maclagan College) Lahore and NED engineering universities and Punjab University.
These days there are over 250 universities. My sons of the soil have a great sense of chivalry and bravery.
Today I have one of the world’s finest fighting forces laced with latest technology, weapons including cruise missiles, fighter jets and submarine cables. Pakistan defence forces are playing a peacekeeping role in the United Nations.
I have faced many challenges since my birth but my people have built in resilience to face the challenges and overcome them.
One is related to natural calamities which have ravaged my fields and dwellings and means of communications from time to time.
There were devastating earthquakes in the seventies and 2006. My people faced floods in the fifties, seventies, nineties and in 2010.
Governments and people rose to the occasion and helped their beleaguered compatriots with rescue, recovery and resettlement.
Each time local NGOs mobilized resources and reached those rendered homeless and bereaved in mountains, remote valleys and farfetched places providing shelter, food and medical aid without loss of time.
A tradition has been established and NGOs move without being asked to do so. People’s nature to be helpful to human beings goes without limitations.
Pakistan provided shelter in its homeland to waves of refugees from other parts of the world with open arms.
Be they from Iran (fifties) Bangladesh (seventies) or Afghanistan (eighties). It is remarkable how it makes migrants assimilate in society and daily life. So much so some name it refugee land.
In the late fifties and sixties my fertile lands in Punjab and Sindh were being eaten by water logging and salinity at the rate of one acre a minute.
Timely efforts with help from international organizations enabled my people to control the menace and reclaimed all the land with sheer determination.
In the same period Malaria was rampant especially in rural areas and was taking a heavy toll on my population.
Concerted efforts yielded happy results. Their inbuilt capability to face natural disasters has come into time and again and has in fact become stronger.
The people come to the help of the beleaguered with smiling faces. Nature has rewarded them with a label of happy lot.
Pakistan society cherishes its family system and reap its dividends in the shape of upbringing children and providing social net for elders and dependents.
Pakistan ideology and Constitution do not sanction overarching caste system; a legacy of Aryians.
As the time marches on, Pakistan has to overcome insidious challenges like trailing literacy rate.
Second is its low ranking in the Human Development Index (IDI). Third is its economy which consistently is suffering from Trade Deficit and insufficient investment. In a way all three things are interconnected.
My country Men: It is time that you focus on measures with determination to once for all find a solution to remedy the problem.
You should seek guidance from Quaid’s sayings. He was among other things a visionary and expressed views on issues which Pakistan was likely to face.
Under foreign rule I regret that sufficient attention has not been paid to education of our people and if we were to make any real speedy and substantial progress we must earnestly tackle this question, we should see that our people undertake scientific, commerce, trade and particularly well planned industries.
Blueprint for rapid industrialization has already been drawn up. Provinces of Pakistan are engaged in preparation of vast and comprehensive schemes of industrialization.
Nature has endowed Pakistan with tremendous industrial wealth which awaits exploitation and development.
It is based on the highest principles of honour, integrity, fair play and justice for all. In Islam there is no difference between man and man.
The qualities of equality, liberty and fraternity are fundamental future of the State will and must greatly depend on type of education.
We have to build up the character of our future generations which means the highest sense of honour, integrity, selfless service to the nation and a sense of responsibility fully qualified to play their part in various branches of economic life in a manner which will do honour to Pakistan.
Remember what Quaid said while laying the foundation stone of the State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. There is a vibrant political system which has emerged.
Major political parties hold public rallies where people join in hot and cold weather and wait for hours to listen to political notables.
Majlis Shura has since its inception passed a number of laws and has been a source of policy directions. More and more highly educated politicians are making it to the front.
Sooner or later a consensus will emerge on solving issues of overcoming shortage of energy, counter measures to safeguard against adverse effects of climate change, return to food autarky and making socio economic disparities even.
In this age like earlier sovereignty and genuine independence of a nation state is dependent on its economic self reliance and which is in turn linked to technological knowhow to exploit and make use of natural resources which lay buried in its domain.
My people have to have appropriate skills needed to explore and process that mineral and agriculture wealth.
Students in its universities should learn to extract and make use of mineral wealth like steel, copper, chromium, silioa, rare earths, coal, gas and innovative solutions to meet shortages.
Considering climate change warnings, they must practice conservation, in energy, in water, land and what not.
Have environmental friendly mass transit in cities and expanding railways and a combination of exported industry along with import substitution should solve your balance of payments chronic problem.
—The writer is Chairman NPC (T) & former Chairman, PTA, PTCL, PEMRA & former Member RRB, ITU.