Sixty seven years ago, Pakistan came into being as a result of the years of long struggle of Muslims of the sub-continent under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The aim was the creation of a peaceful nation state where Muslims and Non-Muslims alike could live any way they chose to, without fear and outside intervention.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s address of 11th August to the members of the constituent assembly best sums up the idea behind Pakistan:
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State… We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State… I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in due course Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”
Quaid’s vision for Pakistan was very clear; and under his leadership the country was moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, we lost the charismatic leader after just a year of Pakistan’s inception and since then we have strayed from the original path. Three years after Quaid’s death, Pakistan’s first prime minister was assassinated, and the country which was supposed to be a democratic state wasn’t able to draft its constitution for nine years.
With continuous topples from military establishments, democracy was never given a chance to truly flourish here. But whenever it did get a chance, the politicians too had nothing to offer but disappointment. And owing to these internal conflicts, we lost East Pakistan in 1971. But we still didn’t learn from our past mistakes.
Our country is presently in all sorts of trouble. As of today, no single institution and pillar of state seems to be working as it was intended to. We have a crippled economy, a bad law and order situation, energy crisis, bad governance, inflation, education crisis, health emergencies and a plethora of other issues.
We are not living as a nation but as individuals; each looking only towards his own personal gain.
Today, we are not free.
We cannot freely go to our mosques, temples or wherever else we hope to find God. We live in a constant state of fear and insecurity. We are not being judged by our individual characters but on the basis of religion, caste and creed.
Our minds have been hijacked and the control of our soil is in the control of non-state actors. Our decisions are made in the U.S.A, Saudi Arabia and GHQ. Our economy is being run by the IMF, and our education system only serves those with cash.
Independent nations are those who have the power to do what they wish according to their own constitution. And that is presently not the case here.
Only when we seize back control of our minds, hearts and land can we truly call ourselves independent.