Reclaim your freedom, reclaim Pakistan!

By Kiran Nazish

Pakistan Resolution 1940, that was later made part of All India Muslim Leagues’ Constitution in 1941 and materialized the Two Nation Theory in 1946 became the single most founding document of Pakistan.
From Iqbal’s revelation of a dream in 1930 to the official realization of Lahore Resolution in 1940, it took Muslims of India about 7 more years to achieve Pakistan.

Look at Pakistan now, with its extremism and fanaticism, I wonder if the millions who shed blood for this country was really worth it. Sky rocketing illiteracy and literate rhetoric; in all honesty, I can’t really tell the difference. Extremists and liberals are like siblings who fight in a new fashion nowadays. As far as everyone is concerned we are dividing and sub diving into rightists and leftists, and there is absolutely no such thing as moderate. Whatever happened to Main bhi Pakistan hun, Tub hi Pakistan hai?

My naive students, frustrated with everything between the Blasphemy Law to the social and ideological discrimination they face everyday, argue that Pakistan was not a good idea after all, as it was based on the Two-Nation Theory, an ideology that meant to divide and not reconcile – they say Muslims were better off in united India.

As much as it shocked me, it provoked me to conclude how wrongly we have been brought up. No wonder we reside in a world of blame and shame; and that’s so insane.

To conclude we must first, revisit history. What were the facts that really lead to Lahore Resolution and how it liberated Muslims from the shackles of Indian bigotry? Let’s start from the first ever chance that Congress got to the heady wine of power (between1937-39), she alienated Muslims adopting religiously, socially and politically sidelining policies against Muslims. Could have we survived in a society that, prohibited cow slaughter, where Muslims were given no opportunities to work in the administration, with official implementation of rich Sanskrit against Urdu (the only common language for muslims), and a horrendously curtailed representation under a 3 colored Hindu flag, with no depiction for Muslims whatsoever?

From the Liaison Campaign of Nehru – a mass contact movement that launched to covert Muslims in Congressites, to the Widdiya Mandir Education Scheme that aimed at propagating Hinduism, (introduced to deviate Muslims students from their religion); the Congress’s totalitarian mentality, made Two Nation Theory only so much inevitable to materialize and rightly so. If it weren’t for the Quaid’s struggle and the sacrifices made by Muslims of India, my  generation would have grown up singing Band-e-Mahtaram in chorus at the school assembly every weekday morning.

However much we all dread the thought of not having freedom, but what we really need to dread is to not loose the freedom we have now. We still live in a free country, that we need to reclaim from the corruption, terrorism and our own twisted mindsets. So what? If we are globally bad mouthed, feed on IMF bully loans and are on endless list called the ‘most dangerous’ this-and-that’s, by international publications. Are we dangerous? Instead of shying away from such inapt tag lines, we need to audaciously come out and regain our identity.

We need to stop following the bad news. The good news is, we are not the only nation plagued by poverty in the world, where the rich get’s richer and feudal keep accelerating power. This is how disparity operates throughout the world. It’s a global phenomenon. The idea is to identify that it’s time to take it back.

Whoever thinks we are a failed nation should rethink and review the list of Gunniess world records we have broken, from Hanif Mohammad who championed cricket in 1958 to Nawazish Ali who aced the A-levels with 23 As’ in 2010; from Sattar Edhi for his unbending services to the 16 year old 19 school girls who squeezed in a smart car at Creek Club to break a record.

Whoever thinks our women are backward, should examine the magnanimity of women achievements in our society. From Roshaneh Zafar who has helped thousands of poor women with Kashf Foundation, & Asma Jehangir who scares demagogues with her audacity, to parliamentarian Asiya Nasir who spoke out at the NA, for the unfair murder of minorities minster Mr Shahbaz Bhatti, even though she represented an orthodox religious party.

Why must women give up hope when Mukhtaran Mai has broken the silence for us, when Ruth Pfau goes out of her way to serve humanity, not discriminating between Christian ornon-Christians, and Sajida Zulfiqar fearlessly establishes her business in the Taliban stricken land? Why should women feel left out when we live amidst the speedy Naseem Hameed and the mesmerizing Bapsi Sidhwa, the gallant Sherry Rehman and the gorgeous Meera.

We have enough to be proud of. These challenging times are an opportunity for us to show collective heroism.

Get rid of the rhetoric. We knew Raymond would flee? All right, then why didn’t we do something to stop him? We are not happy with the drones attacking our sovereignty? Well then come out and recoup the liberty to autonomy. Why else are we a democratic country? We must stop letting trepidation linger in our neighborhoods and we must not let fanaticism prevail our minds.

Citizens for Democracy is a brilliant initiative that has given voice to those who feared expressing against Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder, bringing people together to work on a key goals based on a well thought out agenda. There is this and a myriad other ways we can stop people from telling us that Pakistan is an intolerant society, that our sovereignty is threatened or that our nuclear power can be stolen by some vision-less extremists.

Based on the principal of Quwat-e-akhut e Awam, we need to establish our founding sentiments of unity, faith and discipline. Those who have serviced their blood, hard work and drive for this country deserve an actionable thank you from us. Pakistan freed us from a slavery of 200 years. Let this troubling time be just an obstacle in our path. We stumbled; we must get up and move on.

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