Home is where the heart is. And when it is ‘Dil Dil Pakistan‘, it is both the heart and the home. How lovely, loveable, loved and beloved Pakistan for our man in the street, men of letters, men at the helm of affairs. The Independence Day sees kids singing, chanting and dancing amid the echoes of such patriotic and pulsating songs as “Hum zinda qaum hain, Jug Jug Jeae mera pyara watan, Jeeway Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan, Chand meri zameen phool mera watan, Is parcham k saye tale hum ek hain” and you name it!
Pakistan is indeed a dream-come-true reality of our beloved poet of the East, Allama Iqbal, and the accomplishment of exemplary statesmanship of our beloved Quaid-e-Azam. It is attributed to untold sacrifices of the teeming millions of Muslims of Indo-Pak sub-continent. Felicitating Pakistan and Pakistanis on this auspicious commemoration is important indeed. But what is vital is tapping our brightest jewels in children or youth on this blessed occasion towards a better and brighter Pakistan.
Both Quaid-e-Azam, as the architect and founder of Pakistan and the universal visionary Allama Iqbal, as the national poet of Pakistan, believed in, advocated for and emphasized upon children as the future architects and assets of Pakistan.
Quaid-e-Azam termed youth as ambassadors of the nation and believed in youth as the pillar of strength for the nation. However, he prioritized for the youth the need for national character, respect for the law, devotion to studies, spirit of self-reliance and the motto of unity, faith and discipline, which resulted in the dream-come-true reality of Pakistan and where lay the salvation of our present problems and prospects.
Allama Iqbal’s vision of Pakistan is, in fact, his vision of the children turning jawans when he said, “Mohabbat mujhay un jawano say hai sitaron pay jo bandhtay hain kamand.” He believed in the immense promise and potential of our children when he termed them as “shaheen,” where the sky is the limit; referring to progress in all walks of life.
Independence Day is a rejuvenation of the nation, especially with its children celebrating their hearts out in the bustling lanes, streets, roads, thoroughfares and highways with the youth-packed Kharadar and Meethadar of Karachi, Chaburjee and Anarkali of Lahore, Kalibari and Chowk Yaadgar of Peshawar, thronging Jinnah Road of Quetta and so on. At best is the young nation singing, chanting and dancing amid the echoes of such patriotic and pulsating songs in schools, colleges and universities of Sindh, Baluchistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. But it is a different story with countless other kids.
Unseen, unheard, unfelt and unsung. Shy, subdued, suffocated, sidelined. Hidden or hiding quietly in their shell. Aggrieved, agonized, aloof, abandoned. This is cutting the long story short of the innumerable cute little heart parts of our beloved homeland. With utmost respect, we need eyes to see, ears to listen, hearts to feel and the spirit to address the deprivation of our countless kids of slums, streets and schools. We need them to believe in their immense but dormant promise and potential to be efficiently and effectively attended and addressed.
Having envisioned such an instrumental level of spirit and statesmanship, it is paramount to innovate and implement uniquely our shy children’s trust and build their confidence blended with training in trades for a decent living. Here, life-changing and value-adding innovations of spirit and statesmanship include positive and practical measures in such self-help and self-reliance, which enable our real national assets–shy and subdued children–to stand on their feet. Let us not be a nation of seekers of financial aid in the name of development cooperation: a trendy title to alms and charity. Its recipients are accustomed to begging while their minds and bodies become paralyzed and progress starts sliding downward.
In their true essence, letter and spirit, social, corporate and political leaders are decision-makers, trendsetters and vanguards of owning, guiding and helping the unsung, unheeded and unnoticed little children with self-esteem, self-confidence and self-assurance. There can be no better gift by leaders on Independence Day than to set practical examples of creatively and uniquely building the young nation’s self-confidence and self-reliance towards the dream-come-true reality of Pakistan.
The writer contributes to media on national and international affairs. [email protected]