August 14th – Reflecting on Independence: A Call for Renewed Commitment
By: Tayyaba Jabeen
As we once again mark the arrival of August 14th, it is paramount that we reflect upon the accomplishments and shortcomings of the past year. This day holds immense significance as Pakistan’s Independence Day – a historical event that demands not only celebration but also introspection. Pakistan, often referred to as the fortress of Islam, was founded on the principles of the two-nation theory, and its history is adorned with the sacrifices of countless individuals who shed their blood for its creation. It stands as a unique nation, the first of its kind in the world, shaped by its distinctive identity.
However, as we stand at the crossroads of another year, the state of affairs in our nation remains politically fractured and deeply troubled. The preceding year has ushered our beloved country into a period of uncertainty, marked by darkness, lawlessness, and violations of human rights. Although historical precedents show that our history is marred by similar challenges, it prompts us to question whether these circumstances negate the essence of our status as a free nation.
From the towering mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan to the serene shores of Sindh and Balochistan, the diversity that our land encompasses has always been the embodiment of unity, faith, and discipline. Regrettably, the allure of this unity has waned over time, replaced by disunity, racism, and a disregard for the Constitution of Pakistan.
It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the recurring pattern of democratic governments failing to complete their tenures since our nation’s inception. This poignant reality casts a shadow over our claim to being a truly democratic nation. The extent of progress toward the betterment and well-being of our citizens, no matter how modest, warrants our consideration. It raises the pressing question of whether our endeavors are yielding substantial improvements and if not, it compels us to reevaluate the leadership that guides us.
Growing up in a deeply patriotic Pakistani household, you celebrated your country’s identity with unwavering pride. Singing the national anthem and wearing symbols of Pakistan were natural to you. The traditions of flag-raising, patriotic songs, and family celebrations were deeply ingrained. Despite cynics, you embraced your idealistic patriotism.
It was painful to remove your badge of honor, not display the flag, and advise your fellow citizens to leave reflects a profound shift. The enduring love for Pakistan remains, but a feeling of diminished freedom and independence lingers. I hope others don’t experience the fracture of belief caused by those once considered your own.
In conclusion, as we commemorate this Independence Day, let us not merely engage in celebrations, but also dedicate ourselves to a deeper contemplation of the path we are traversing as a nation. Let us reflect on how we can restore unity, reignite the flame of diversity without division, and ensure that our democratic values are more than just words on paper. Only through earnest reflection and collective action can we hope to truly honor the spirit of those who sacrificed for our independence.