Revitalising the Spirit of Pakistan Day: A Call for Unity and Progress

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Revitalising the Spirit of Pakistan Day: A Call for Unity and Progress

The story of Pakistan, its struggle and its achievement, is the very story of great human ideals, struggling to survive in the face of great odds and difficulties. (Quaid-e-Azam’s Address at Chittagong on 23 March 1948).

Mustafa Bilal

As dawn breaks on the 23rd of March, Pakistan will once again resonate with the echoes of 1940 which marked the conception of a country built on the ideals of freedom, justice, and unity. The journey from the Lahore Resolution to the present day has been one of triumphs and tribulations. People across the nation pause to commemorate Pakistan Day and its legacy with military parades and televised ceremonies, which are a spectacle of patriotism, especially the aerial acrobatics performed by the Sherdils of PAF.

Yet, as we revel in the grandeur of parades and the echoes of patriotic songs, a lingering question haunts our collective conscience: Have we, the heirs of the Lahore Resolution, strayed too far from the vision that once united us under the banner of Pakistan? For if we navigate through the annals of our history, we will confront a series of paradoxes that have undermined our historical narratives.

The dream of a unified nation, as envisaged in 1940, has been marred by internal strife and political upheaval. Similarly, the essence of the Lahore Resolution, a fervent commitment to the principles of democracy, social justice, and communal harmony has been diluted in the quagmire of partisan politics, sectarian divisions, and economic disparities.

Moreover, the lack of social cohesion and political polarisation has eroded the once fervent determination to collectively confront our national challenges. Despite this, Pakistan Day has always been morally uplifting and a reminder to take ownership of our country. It is the need of the hour to instil faith and hope for a better future for Pakistan given that the day that once reawakened national resolve now serves as a stark reminder of how far we have drifted from what was envisioned in 1940.

Today, national resolve seems to be waning especially among the younger generation, who often view Pakistan Day as just another public holiday and are in despair because of the prevailing socio-economic circumstances. Yet, the spirit of 23rd March reminds us that we are masters of our destiny. This indomitable spirit pushed our forefathers to preserve despite the seemingly insurmountable odds.

It now urges us to reclaim the gloomy narrative of our nation from the clutches of despair as our challenges today pale in comparison to the ones overcome during the movement for Pakistan’s independence. Therefore, a pressing national imperative exists to revitalise the spirit of unity and determination. In doing so, we must also realise that we owe the liberties we have been enjoying for the past 75 years to the struggles of an entire generation.

The Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore stands as a testament to their unshakable resolve. While it is an iconic monument, millions of underprivileged children might never know what the Minar symbolises or about our historical struggles for independence. It is for these children, and future generations, for whom we should make Pakistan the country that previous generations envisioned it to be. The sacrifices they endured to turn the idea of Pakistan into reality are a debt we must now repay through our collective altruism.

Therefore, we must altruistically work for a cause that is bigger than all of us. Indeed, being citizens of Pakistan, each of us has a role to play in fulfilling the dreams of our forefathers of creating a prosperous country. These dreams can only be realised if we look beyond short-sighted and self-centred interests.

In this regard, our political leaders need to reconcile their differences and draw inspiration from their predecessors who set aside individual interests and joined hands to lead our struggle for Independence. Thus, Instead of harbouring anger towards those with opposing political views, we should remember that our democracy was established on the principle of collaboration among individuals with different interests and perspectives.

The true commemoration of Pakistan Day hence lies in a collective resolve to address the issues that have hindered our progress as a nation and our national development as a country. It is high time to bridge the chasm between the Pakistan envisioned in 1940 and the Pakistan of today by embodying the ideals that were the bedrock of our inception.

On this Pakistan Day, let us not just bask in the nostalgia of our historical triumphs. It is a day to recognise that the creation of Pakistan was not the culmination of our struggle but the beginning of a new chapter in our history, a chapter that we are still writing. For in the heart of every Pakistani, the dream of a better and more united nation still flickers, waiting to be rekindled.

Mustafa Bilal is a researcher at the Centre for Aerospace and Security Studies (CASS), Lahore, Pakistan. He can be reached at [email protected]