By Noor Ejaz Chaudhry:
Whenever I come across poetry or prose written by nationalistic writers of the past, I think: Pakistan; my country, my culture, my belief and most importantly, my identity. We are defined by hues of green and white, we are known by our rich cultural heritage and people like you and me; we are believed to be the revolutionary future of the country whose crescent marked flag waves proudly above our heads. Pakistan was built on the valor of our men, the courage of our women, the faith of our children and with the prayers of our elders. We built Pakistan upon our unity, our faith and our discipline and thus turned it into a nation that I am proud to be a part of.
In a decade of war and terrorism, to find a unified nation is like finding a diamond in the rough. We, the Pakistanis, stood strong in the face of adversity and showed the world who we truly are and what we stand for on the eve of 30thOctober, 2011. 350,000 of us joined hands to find a change bigger than ourselves. We are Pakistan’s today and we are her tomorrow. As Imran Khan united the nation in just a matter of a few hours, I realized, the foundation of Pakistan was still alive; we are united, we are strong. As I start thinking, I cannot help but notice the harmony seeping into the minds of the youth. Today, as I stand alongside forty others under the banner of Next Generation Pakistan, I can see that no matter where we are, we will change our country and we will expel the demons haunting her sovereignty and integrity. After saving the lives of our Pakistani brethren in Sindh after the devastating floods of 2011, we knew that before being Christians or Sikhs or Hindus we are Pakistanis first and to respect each and every citizen is our lawful duty. To this day, no matter where I am, whenever I hear our beautiful National Anthem playing somewhere, I can feel unity soaring in the air like a proud eagle. With our heads held high and our wills strong, together we have sworn to protect our country, come whatever may.
When I was a child, my mother told me, “You are what you believe in”. I believe in my nation. I have faith in her abilities and thus, I am a proud Pakistani. There are many others like me, who have put their faith in their nation. Without faith, we are not only hopeless but without direction. Our industry is striving hard to flourish in hopes of a better tomorrow. Our people are working day and night, knowing that there will be a better tomorrow. They have found their faith in Allah and they are working hard to create a better tomorrow for us and themselves. To this day, our elders can be found in mosques, sitting quietly in a corner, reminiscing 1947, their hardships and sacrifices and yet, still rocking back and forth on their arthritic knees, with prayer beads moving rapidly. What are they praying for? All the luxuries life has to offer? They lost it all to see Pakistan. Are they praying for better health? They sacrificed it when they spent all they spent the rest of 1947 nearly dying of starvation and cold. Their prayer beads are moving because they believe that Pakistan is destined for greatness, that their sacrifices have not gone to waste and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. That is faith. That is our strength. That is our “Pakistaniat”.
For any country to succeed, it must have a deep sense of discipline. Today, the Pakistan Army lies amongst the top ten armies of the world because of their gallantry and undying spirit. Our men’s display of remarkable courage and bravery has sent shivers down the spines of the strongest of men and thus, kept aggressors away. Their motivation and will to keep Pakistan secure from all trespassers is not only phenomenal but it is also an inspiration for us all. The discipline and integrity with which our men represent our country in the field shows the fierce determination of the Pakistani people. It clearly depicts how well the fundamentals, upon which Pakistan was built, have been instilled within our beings. You can even find our embedded sense of discipline in a mosque on a simple Friday. Be it children or elders, rich or poor, strong or weak, everyone stands together, side by side in a congregation, hoping and praying for goodwill and prosperity. They know and believe that Pakistan is bound to change by a simple touch of harmony and discipline. Thus, they stand like Muslim brothers in faith and forget about all that is happening outside the confines of heirmosques. It is only when they stand oblivious to any judgments and biases, do they realize that the spirits of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, Chaudhri Rehmat live on in them and they must keep the spirit of discipline alive and running.
Pakistan is facing a time of turmoil, just like any other country, but she will get back up on her feet with our undying faith in her. If we call ourselves Pakistanis, it is our duty to act like ones too. If our esteemed leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah could sacrifice his life for Pakistan, why can’t we strive to make it a better land for our future generations? To hold hands with my people to bring about change, that is unity. To be a Pakistani till the day I die; that is my faith. Lastly, to make Pakistan proud and carry her legacy with us, wherever we go; that is our discipline. Together, these three elements not only form the foundation of Pakistan, but they also define who we, the people of Pakistan, are.