Pakistan Day 2021

By: Imtiaz Rafi Butt      Published: 05:48 PM, 23 Mar, 2021
Pakistan Day 2021

The year 2021 is special as it comes with a ray of hope after the chaos of 2020 tested the world to its limits. Pakistan was able to deal with the storm in a much better way as compared to other countries. I feel glad to write that the economic activity is picking up every day, CPEC has started paying dividends, COVID-19 cases are on a downward trajectory, political stability is in place and Institutions are abiding by their legal framework to deliver to the masses. 

23rd March this year marks the time when we should commit ourselves as a Nation to continue with this trend and make Pakistan the Nation as was envisioned by Father of the Nation. 

2020 was also especially eventful for the situation in Kashmir. The status of Kashmir and its identity of over 6 decades, stripped with the stroke of a single bill. The Supreme Court of India could not interpret the law in favour of such violations and the situation is getting worse by the day. The masked hatred towards Muslims by the State and Army of Bharat has come out of the shadows. The BJP has done the unthinkable but it is not new. The beginning of 2020 saw the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment spread to the whole of India. The Citizen Act obliterated any chances of communal reconciliation. Protests and violence have now spread to all parts of India and Muslims are being systematically targeted by the Police, RSS hooligans and the Indian Army. Point to note, that the restrictions and regulations of the Citizen act target over 201 Million Muslims across Bharat. Delhi, a peaceful city for many decades, has seen over 60 deaths and many mosques burned to the ground. Its like the walls of the country are closing in on Muslims in every part. Mr Shashi Tharoor stood up in the Indian Parliament and was brutally criticized for his speech when he said, “Jinnah has won and Gandhi has lost, as of today”. 

This statement and the actions mentioned above should jolt every Pakistani man and woman from their slumber. It should remind us of the iron and secure umbrella above our heads. Pakistan Day, also called Pakistan Resolution Day, was the point in history when our able leadership of the 1940s saw the decades go by and realized, without a shadow of a doubt, that Muslims cannot live under a Hindu dominated State. Linguistic, cultural and class barriers could have been bridged but the ingrained bias and prejudice could not be overcome. On Pakistan Day, the Nation should pay tribute to the minds and hearts that were able to assess the scenario correctly over 7 decades ago. They took action based on their sound judgment and struggled to an extent that many of them even laid down their lives. The architect of the idea was none other than Allama Muhammad Iqbal and the dream was given practical shape under the guidance of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. There is no telling how many generations were saved from the tyranny and brutality from the likes of Narendra Modi in the making of Pakistan. 

 There have been a plethora of dire circumstances for Pakistan in the previous years. Internal and external challenges have been equally formidable. As the Nation deals with old complications, new ones emerge but we have endured the test of time. We have struggled between ideals of dictatorship and democracy, we have fought internal and external terror organizations and insurgencies, we have managed to survive hostile neighbours, we have managed to stabilize our economy while avoiding bankruptcy, we have recovered from 1971 and have gone on to become the only Muslim nuclear power, verily, it is time to count our blessings when observing our woes. The current Government has put in a lot of effort to put the affairs of the state in the right direction, but there is a learning curve to it. Follies have been made, mistakes have been committed, but they are acceptable as long as the will to be fair and to never give up is there. 

The previous year brought a grave new challenge to the Country and to the world across in the form of the coronavirus. Every Pakistani has been effected in one way or the other. It is the need of the hour that the Public and the Government join hands in tackling this menace. It will be a test of our mettle once again. It should not dampen our spirits but it should fuel the very idea of Nationhood and the commitment to prevail in the face of adversities. 

Owing to Covid-19, Pakistanis should not gather and come out on 23rd March but we must remember this day and recall the great Lahore Resolution and share this piece of History with our younger generation. Let us all remember these words of the Resolution by heart, “No constitutional plan would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless geographical contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary. That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North-Western and Eastern Zones of India should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign”.

Pakistan and its position in the countries of the world is of immense importance. The United States looks towards us for stability in Afghanistan and the Middle East, China views Pakistan and Gwadar as the key to the trade of the future, the United Nations mentions Pakistan and its Governance as a messenger of Peace and Harmony. Muslim countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Malaysia refer to Pakistan as one of the most reliable allies. Yet, there is still a long way to go. It is high time that the people of this Country join hands with the vision that was given to this Nation by the great Quaid and proceed with vigour and commitment, an unwavering passion for prosperity and meeting all challenges of the new year. 

For the first time in history, Pakistan is in a state of harmony between Military and Civil Institutions. The efforts of the Federation and Provinces are also in a phase of coordinated efforts. The Government has simultaneously embarked on ambitious programs to reduce poverty and instigating growth through development programs. The presence of a healthy opposition and PDM initiative is a sign that democracy and inclusive governance still has a place in Pakistan after decades of Martial Law. After Trump’s exit and ceasefire offered by the Modi Government, Pakistan has acquired a strong position in the regional and global governance structure. 23rd March should help us commit to the progress and prosperity of the Nation and ensuring all sectors of the population play their part in the grand design, “Together Everyone Achieves More”. 

                                    THE WRITER IS CHAIRMAN OF JINNAH RAFI FOUNDATION 

Categories : Opinion