Happy Birthday Pakistan?

Opinions differ regarding how the country’s 68th birthday should be observed. One side advocates celebration with patriotic, no-questions asked fervor. The other side counters that the nation is in a deep morass and there is really nothing to celebrate. While one does wish to rejoice on such an occasion, too much blood and tears have flown, and continue to flow, in this country on a daily basis, to allow the soul genuine exuberance. This is the sad reality.

So when did the rot start? By one reckoning, it did so already on the eve of Independence. Consider this: At a few minutes past midnight on the night of August 14 and 15 (technically August 15 already), there is a first announcement on the radio, stating this is Radio Pakistan, the radio station of an independent Pakistan. Then comes the morning of August 15, 1947 and the founder of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah delivers a message to the nation, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Pakistan Broadcasting Service. His speech starts with the sentence, “It is with feelings of greatest happiness and emotion that I send you my greetings. August 15 is the birthday of the independent and sovereign State of Pakistan”. Please read that sentence again. So when, why and under whose authority was the Independence date changed to August 14? Can one dare say this was the very first lie the nation had to accept? Was the change only because India decided on August 15 as its independence date?

Then of course there is the question of the birth date of Mr. Jinnah himself. Of course we all know it is December 25. It’s been that forever, signed, sealed and accepted by all. But what about his old school records which record his birth date as October 20, 1875?

Space limits discourse on several other debatable (euphemistically speaking) matters of some import that have come down to us over the years and decades. But the net result is before us. There are still some things to celebrate. But only the foolhardy will disagree that there are several times more reasons not to celebrate. These reasons, real as they are, should however not be a justification for mourning. My appeal to my countrymen on this Independence Day, is that let’s spend some quiet time in deep introspection. A SWOT analysis of Pakistan still has the Strengths and Opportunities outweighing the Weaknesses and Threats. Our mission should be straightforward. What can we do, each one of us as an individual, and given our individual limitations, to make a real difference?

4 Responses to Happy Birthday Pakistan?

  1. Naheed says:

    The fact is perhaps a free state was people’s demand without giving it a thought what for?

    • Hunaid says:

      Is it possible to make a real difference considering the political and the economic infrastructure? Would the religious structure not perceive any action as a threat to those who wield much power at the moment?

      Recent history shows that a real and meaningful change can only come via a benevolent leader who has the backing of the military the power circles. Should China be looked as an example of the one country where poverty was addressed at the cost of human rights for which the struggle is beginning now and slow change is to come about. Turkey is another country that comes to mind. Is there a model which Pakistan can follow?

  2. Iqra Nawaz says:

    I am just amassed by this chunk, but the question popping again and again into my head that who is responsible for all this I mean misseducating us because since our kindergarten we were tough all this falus stuff. Right?
    Now if we claim that this all is incorrect then who is going to trust us the reason is, this information is alive in our guide books…
    I’m just lost!

  3. Zoya Altaf says:

    I am amazed totally at the facts quoted in the above article and these raise so many questions as to whatever the history has been telling us about Independence, what is the truth in it? Independence was from the way we were treated in the United India, are we treated any different here in Pakistan? Good thought starter!

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