Today,14th August marks the 75th Independence Day for Pakistan. A day that represents the Muslim nation’s liberation from oppression in India and journey towards attaining a land that they can claim as their own.
This day is vital to celebrate and remember the great sacrifices made by people in the past to achieve this home. It unites us all under one flag and reminds us of the reason it’s important to have cultural and religious freedom for everyone. However, in a long journey of 74 years, Pakistan has faced many challenges, and 14th August is especially significant to point out how these problems linger in our path to achieve the true goals for the creation and meaning of Pakistan, and how they contribute to honoring Jinnah’s vision.
What does Pakistan mean, and why was it created?
Well, Pakistan has multiple definitions for people, but its literal meaning implies a holy, clean, and pure land. It also is composed of the letters of all the South Asian homelands such as Punjab, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Sindh, and Balochistan.
It was created in 1947 and involved a series of horrific suffering from both sides of the nation, which resulted in thousands of people being killed in the process of partitioning India into two. The best way to identify why Pakistan was created is to look at the two-nation theory and Jinnah’s vision.
The two-nation theory emphasizes the importance of Muslims and Hindus being two different dominating communities that needed their states as their existence together in governments brought conflict.
However, this does not imply that Pakistan is made just for the Muslim nation, as statements of the first Governor-General in Pakistan signify Pakistan being a country equal to everyone.
Jinnah saw Pakistan as a land of opportunity to develop ideas and a culture that honored Islamic social justice and rule. Jinnah’s broadcast to the people of the United States in February 1948 depicts his vision for Pakistan to be a tolerant and just country for all.
Jinnah stated, “I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam.
Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of men, justice, and fair play to everybody. In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State, to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.
We have many non- Muslims — Hindus, Christians, and Parsis — but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”
This long speech summarizes that Pakistan truly stands for equality and democracy. But, the question arises, are we truly there yet?
The answer is that Pakistan still has a long way to attain the image of a country that stands for equality and rights for all. This past month is just proof that Pakistan requires a better legal system and social setting that makes it safe for all women, children, and religious minorities to live peacefully.
So as we celebrate Pakistan’s Independence day let’s focus on honoring the people who have sacrificed immensely for this nation to prosper. The key is to think, reflect, change and also let this day be a joyous and uniting celebration for all Pakistanis.