True independence means to be able to formulate one’s own policies without having to appease foreign masters. Unfortunately, Pakistan like most other Muslim countries does not pass muster.
This year, August 14 — Pakistan’s Independence Day — marks a historic moment. In 1947, when Pakistan gained independence from British colonial rule in India, it was the month of Ramadan.
Now to the situation in Pakistan, and the inability of the government to properly address the crisis. Any subscriber of Crescent International knows that Pakistan has been the subject of numerous articles and opinion pieces, and thus this is not the place to go over a detailed history of the country and outside involvement in its internal affairs.
Pakistan turns 63 this month but it would be difficult to say a great deal positive about its style of governance or development in all these years. True, its birth was marred by great suffering and bloodshed, not in a formal war but during the migration of millions of people that were uprooted from their homes in India in August 1947.
The issue, however, is not merely about death; everyone will die one day. It has to do with the sense of hopelessness that has sapped the people’s will to live, leading them to despair and suicide.
Each year August 14 is celebrated as Pakistan’s Independence Day. Flag-hoisting ceremonies are held in most major cities. Whether such ceremonies will be held this year as well given the turmoil gripping the country and the military engaged in fighting its own people is an open question...
Pakistan will turn sixty on August 14, but one would be hard-pressed to detect any sign of maturity in its political or social dealings. Successive rulers—civilian and military—have stunted its growth like a slave permanently shackled in a cage. All have also faithfully served foreign masters, while lining their own pockets at the expense of the country’s impoverished masses.
It is difficult to believe, surveying Pakistan’s 52-year history, that when the country was founded in 1947, Islamic activists all over the world looked to it for leadership and inspiration.
Whenever India’s independence from Britain is mentioned, two names connected with the event dominate: ‘Mahatma’ Karamchand Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Meanwhile, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, is either mentioned only in passing, usually as villain of the piece, or totally ignored.
Elaborate plans are underway for golden jubilee celebrations in both Pakistan and India. Pakistan had kicked off its celebrations last March with a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference and an impressive military parade on the main thoroughfare in Islamabad.