The Sun shines over the earth like a generous and diligent patriarch, funneling life, energy and hope to every creature inhabiting underneath and is the vantage viewer of the saga of what goes on around this cyclopean planet called Earth.
But its love, care, generosity and splendor reach its zenith when it turns its face towards this Land of the pure. A land of dreamers and achievers, of the valiant and the chivalrous, of the hospitable and gallant, of the punctilious and steadfast, of the beautiful and the noble, of the faithful and the proud, of the fanciful and elegant, of the rich and attractive, of vast steppes and glacial peaks, of mighty rivers and pastoral fields, of vast ocean and bustling cities-PAKISTAN.
But then what went wrong during the intervening years, for history to throw down the same challenge on us, as it did 64 years ago. Why the more things have changed, more have they remained the same for us? What happened to the miracle of 1947, so inimitably spearheaded and achieved by the Great Quaid? What became of those supreme sacrifices, lofty dreams and noble intentions, which formed the brick and mortar of the majestic architecture of Pakistan? What became of the dream, envisaged and envisioned by our Quaid e Azam, of establishing Pakistan as the most unique laboratory of human experience? What happened to Pakistan itself?
The answers to these poignant questions are painful and humbling to say the least.
The miracle of 1947 stands eclipsed; the dream has gone sour and my beloved country teeters at the edge of the abyss, liable to be shoved into oblivion by the machinations of its enemies and the failings of its own people. Every day the monster of internecine violence extorts more human sacrifices, every day the gory drama of blood and bones gets enacted across the boulevards of our country, every day the miseries of our minorities get compounded, every day is a pain and a torture for our people, every day brings more shame, more embarrassment. Every day our soul gets bartered or sold by traitors and self servers, every day the already thin lines of unity get trampled by forces of divide and oppression. A dreadful hush hangs over your once bustling boulevards and environs, only to be disturbed by frequent bursts of suicide bombings. Our own bullet riddled air; splattered with blood walls, violence prone atmosphere, powder keg of a society, polarized milieu and paralyzed government sums up the desperate lot of the rest of Pakistan. Every day we all slip further towards the abyss, which eagerly awaits our final fall from grace, from which we were barely saved back in 1971.
But it is high time for us, for you, for Pakistan to say enough is enough. We have had enough of picking and burying our dead; we have had enough of constant bleeding of our economic veins, we have had enough of this perfidy and hegemony and the enduring shame; we have had enough of this despicable war of terror; we have had enough of this internecine violence, uninvited mercenaries and unprovoked slaughter of our tribal brethren. We did not create Pakistan to allow it to become a playground for hegemonic powers, grasping monsters, Trojan horses, or uninvited mercenaries. We did not create Pakistan for it to be turned into a killing field of its own people. We did not create Pakistan for it to be hijacked and held hostage to the whims and caprice of a despicable clique of traitors, louts and criminals. We did not create Pakistan as the 51st state of the USA. Lastly, we did not create Pakistan as the home of the voiceless, defenseless weaklings. We Pakistanis are not cannon fodder, expendable commodities. We are not a banana republic beholden to the crooked munificence of a mass killing super power.
Pakistan is not just the name of a physical entity, circumscribed by manmade boundaries, demarcated along political and strategic lines or defined by cliché and banality. But it is the name of an ideology, a concept, an ideal. A spirit uninhibited, an impulse unrestrained, a thread of unity which runs through the humongous fraternity sprawling across the planet called Muslims. A source of inspiration, strength and hope for all those who have forgotten how to smile, for those who have been made to part with their identity and deprived of their homes, and for those clamoring for freedom and craving for respect and recognition. It is the melody embedded within the dulcet and immortal tunes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, it is the whizzing of air produced by the forceful swish of Jahangir Khan’s all conquering racket, the trajectory of the cherry being thudded across the stratosphere by Boom Boom Afridi, the electricity and coiled strength behind every thunderbolt unleashed by a fast and furious Rawalpindi Express, the first muttering of gasping yet resilient Nazir Sabir after scaling the summit of Mount Everest. It is the pattern formed by whorls of dust left behind by a charging and prowling Al-Khalid Main Battle Tank, the centre of affections and longings in the prayers being recited from the glacial peaks of Siachen to the littoral esplanades of Gwadar. It is the pitch behind the call to the faithful emanating from the pulpit of Badshahi Mosque to the resonance and echo of the slogans raised by the defenders of the soil from the meadows of Swat to the depths of Arabian sea, behind every swivel of the tilled crop in the plains of the land of five rivers to the seismic shock resulting from the deafening and rattling detonations leveling foxholes at Wana; from the humming of power looms of Gujrat, to the clattering of iron hitting against willow in the factories of Sialkot, from the plush and swanky environs of Lahore to the rugged and rustic terrains of Bolan, from the Godfather of Philanthropy in Pakistan Edhi and Imran to the pioneer of God Particle Abdus Salam. From the SMS-punches of the carefree 20-somethings of the flourishing call centers to the moo of the cattle on the street, from the highly successful Oscar winning Director Sharmeen Obaid to the shrilled victorious exultations of the men in black coats outside the apex court, from the delirious sounds of the money making Stock brokers of the KSE to the wailing of the poor and the destitute of Khyber agency PAKISTAN continues to live, prosper, and advance in its own peculiarly enchanting way.
The most unforgettable lesson served by history to humans is that it only changes its course, turns the tides and tables and makes or mars fortunes only under a very special circumstance. A revolution does not necessarily denote internecine violence, widespread anarchy, absolute and fundamental collapse of the previous order, it rather denotes the unanimous transfer of collective will of the people to an individual, who is so wedded to the external phenomena and so in harmony with the spirit of his time, that each action of his produces ripples and effects a change. When the destination and the leader become as synonymous with each other as to become mere two sides of the same coin, two shades of the same lamp, two chapters of the same story, only then we can think of ourselves to be living in truly revolutionary times.
Today is the day, when, one could sit back and mull over the great virtues of this nation. We should be proud of our great achievements, our epic tenacity, our unflagging fortitude, our indomitable spirit, our never say die attitude, our legendary and inimitable survival instinct; but we would commit a huge mistake, if we were to take a decision of sitting pretty on our strengths and gifts. It is a journey of thousands of miles and Pakistan, has perhaps taken the initial few forceful leaps of that compelling journey. Let’s all move forward and take the country to the greatest of possible great heights. The path to the Promised Land might have more than one sea of Reeds as an obstacle, but we do have enough wherewithals to make the sea part using our cognizance, leadership and the desire to succeed.
Our history gives us the hope of survival and of glory, but also furnishes a few stern lessons.
Pakistan and Pakistanis have everything, what it takes to reach the pinnacle, except the right leadership. The dearth of leadership is not a result of any infertility of our soil, but should be attributed to the confused priorities and obfuscated vision of our people. If the fog of war and plumes of smoke rising all around us, does not clear our vision, nothing ever shall. Pakistan is a prodigally resourceful, mightily gifted, impregnably secure and remarkably resilient country; it is here and it is here to stay, it shall remain firmly planted on the map of the world, in its definite shape, for all times to come! I’ll end quoting Sir Allama Iqbal: Nahin Hai Na-Umeed Iqbal Apni Kisht-e-Weeran Se, Zara Nam Ho To Ye Mitti Bohat Zarkhaiz Hai Saqi ( But of his barren acres Iqbal will not despair: A little rain, and harvests shall wave at last, oh Saki)