By Sardar Khan Niazi
All the Pakistani roads will lead to celebrations today, 14 August, which marks the Independence Day of Pakistan. Youngsters, armed with firecrackers, water pistols, and toy guns with original sounds, will take to the streets on their bikes and cars to celebrate Independence Day.
The celebration will be thrilling. A few youths, with their faces painted in Pakistan flag colors, will zoom past the marketplaces, roads bearing a beautiful look. The youngsters will dance enthusiastically. The residents of different areas will organize various events.
Various associations of residents in different localities will organize celebrations at the fixed sites. They will play music followed by lunch.
The country has witnessed many conflicts, triumphing moments and political dilemmas, however, many people believe that the country is far from achieving the ‘paradise’ that Jinnah and his team aimed to establish.
Amidst the constant battle of power amongst different political groups, Pakistan has failed to achieve political and economic stability. Jinnah dreamt of a state where all Pakistanis could live congenially but given the current state of affairs, have Jinnah’s dreams materialized?
Are the rulers and policymakers of Pakistan working to create the country, which was the dream of Quaid-e-Azam? Are we, as common citizens, working in our own capacity towards a better Pakistan and society where rights are mutually accepted and respected?
Hope and introspection on Independence Day is the need of the hour as Pakistan continues to face many kinds of challenges. Growth is down inflation is up. Internal security challenges are compounded. Yet, there remains the confidence that a child born in Pakistan today will enjoy better opportunities than her parents’ generation.
It is time to fine-tune Pakistan to make it stronger. Pakistan marches on, despite all the hurdles in its way to progress.
The problem with our democracy is that our representatives do not represent us. They represent their own interests. Perhaps we need to take a long, hard look at ourselves. Therefore, Pakistan needs to become strong from within so that Pakistan enters the comity of nations as an equal among equals.
By imbuing his fellow citizens with faith and sustaining it through the long night-of darkness and despair Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah won us freedom. To him and to the countless men and women who sacrificed themselves cheerfully that others might live to breathe the ampler air of freedom, our hearts turn today in reverent homage.
If life is not to be unnecessarily hard for large masses of men, every effort should be made to rally the vast majority of peaceable citizens in support of law and order. Nevertheless, the long arm of the law should not be less prepared to catch and punish the troublemakers however deeply they might be entrenched.
Pakistan has fallen behind countries in the region, and around the world in serving its people’s needs. The failure of governments to implement their plans or reforms damages the economy. There is no better example of this than the power sector. Add to this the inability on the part of the government to collect taxes and these failures limit the possibilities for Pakistan to operate as a democratic and independent country.
Pakistan’s economy is not growing as fast as it should. The population is growing too fast. Our focus on health and education is myopic while corruption is bleeding the country of resources that could have been better used to fuel industrial growth.
Governments’ borrowings have suffocated entrepreneurship. The scenario is not an impossible one, but not one that can be fixed by cosmetic measures. Recovery will be dependent on measures, which will be harsh and demand discipline on all levels, be it fiscal, social, or ethical.