As the country hits its 65th year today, the spirits of many are seen lifted; living and breathing green. The stalls selling flags and badges on the streets, clothes and other accessories specially designed to set the mood, walking the parade where many may even sing the national anthem after a year. Moreover, all television channels have monotone logos, the commercials itself are now playing with our emotions and using the spirit of our independence to sell their products.

I have nothing against the celebrations. I am a patriotic Pakistani myself, who’s all set for today fully color coordinated and in high spirits. I am one of you. But my point is – have we stopped to think even once where our country is headed? Why do we only come together on one platform every year on this day alone but hold onto to our differences the rest of the year?

When it comes to sectarian violence, why do we then stand across one another, open fire on Shia processions and fearlessly turn the country into a battleground? So where is the country headed? Is it gradually inclining with the hope that someday our youth will come to our rescue? Or is it a journey downward, straight into an infinite abyss?

Pakistan is a hard country. Our patriotism is tested every single day. We won an Oscar, which ended in a scandal and our athletes disappointed the country in the Olympics. What is even worse is to hear people say that this was expected.

We come together when we see the country rising, but point fingers at one another when our hopes begin to shatter. We live in this country complaining and unhappy but still live here for the luxury it offers. As Goethe said, "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

We are forcing ourselves to drown into this endless hole of self-destructive oblivion. No one but we alone are responsible for where this country is headed.

Our patriotic spirits that have surfaced today will not help us end corruption, economic crisis, social disparity and political intimidation. It will not help feed those starving mouths, nor will it help shelter the homeless. It will not educate the masses, nor end their misery.

So how independent are we? What is this freedom if it doesn't include liberation from hunger, inequality, injustice and exploitation?

Freedom means to have the privilege to choose. So what does it mean when we don’t have a choice? In a country where politicians are neck and neck in battle, how do we expect them to look at the bigger picture?

So then it comes down to us, the high-spirited patriots. We must not let our spirits die today. When tomorrow dawns, live with the same sense of pride and responsibility that you have in you today. Our optimism and belief are two of the most important virtues, which keep us going despite numerous tribulations that keep us down, time and again. We just need to carry this legacy of determination, belief and hope forward, and one day we may eventually make a difference in who we are and again emerge as a respectable nation.

Let today be the day we promise to stand on the same platform; kindling one heart at a time towards a better tomorrow.

 


The writer is a New Media Design Manager at Dawn.com

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Comments (28)

yasir
August 14, 2012 12:01 pm
We just need to carry this legacy of determination, belief and hope forward, and one day we may eventually make a difference in who we are and again emerge as a respectable nation....damn rightly said..agree
janjuah
August 14, 2012 11:54 am
Pakistan came into being as an independent state but has unfortunately turned from country to a piece of land ....... occupied by politicians and foreign elements.... intellectual and well educated people have left the country and rest of the population is not less than slaves .............the question is ....what are we celebrating today?????????
FAHAD AHMED
August 14, 2012 12:05 pm
IFWE ARE POSITIVE SO WE CELEBTATE JASHNE AZADI ONE DAY PAKISTAN BECOME POWER FULL COUNTRY INSHALLAH
Jawad Ahmed
August 14, 2012 12:15 pm
Dear Mahjabeen, I want to thank you for a wonderful article and agree 100% that we as a nation are the destructive force that is responsible for the state the country is in not the politicians, we put them where they are because we didn't make the right choices or were too caught up in our own life. Being pessimistic is like not believing in the Almighty, so there is hope but the question is will it be to late for my or my children's generation to witness the light? Lets pray not! Also I wanted to share a little write up and subject it to a wonderful country that has tons of potential: (please do excuse my writing as its not my strong point) My letter to Pakistan: Dear Pakistan, 65 years have passed and you have kept giving us and continue to do so. I want to say something that I do not think any one else has said to you. I AM SORRY PAKISTAN! I am sorry that I have not respected you as my identity on this planet! I am sorry that I have not respected the countless resources you have given me! I am sorry that I hove not done anything to give something back to you (ever)! I am sorry that my fellow country men are ignorant and arrogant! I am sorry that whilst you await the dawn of 14th August, you are awakened at midnight by the sound of ridiculous firing by they residents to prove their love along with youngsters going around the whole city on their bikes with out their silencers! I am sorry me and all my fellow citizens say that they want to do tons n tons but can not even point to a single item on their mind let alone practical about how they will help! I am sorry that the better people that may have been able to do good or have done good for you have only suffered and keep on doing so! I am sorry that the only thing left after a full day of celebration is your identity (our Flag) flying around in the streets like debris! There are tons of other things that I should apologize for but can not recall, Sorry for that! I hope and pray that this ignorance and arrogance will not continue and things will get better. Yours truly. Jawad Ahmed
Cyrus Howell
August 14, 2012 1:08 pm
"My point is – have we stopped to think even once where our country is headed?" Certainly people have. You are not alone in this I guarantee. "When it comes to sectarian violence, why do we then stand across one another, open fire on Shia processions and fearlessly turn the country into a battleground?" This is a woman's question.
Cyrus Howell
August 14, 2012 1:09 pm
"It will not help feed those starving mouths, nor will it help shelter the homeless. It will not educate the masses, nor end their misery." No it won't
Vikas
August 14, 2012 2:06 pm
Pakistan is a sinking ship.
Rajiv (An Indian)
August 15, 2012 10:29 am
Congratulation for Independence. We in india do not feel independent. Gore gaye aur kale congressi aaye. These goverment workers in india are sucking blood of we common people in every possible way. Dear pakistani brothers, please blastour corrupt bombay highcourt. in pune municipal and pimpri municipal building.
javed qamer
August 14, 2012 3:03 pm
Why is it when a day of happiness comes we have to talk of different ills facing Pakistan. Yes Pakistan is having problems i.e. electricity, water, politics, terrorism etc. for once can we forget them and enjoy Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad
janjuah
August 14, 2012 3:13 pm
Mr Jawad just one sorry is enough and that is................... Sorry my dear Pakistan............we never deserved you but our great leader Mr Jinah trusted us.... and we betrayed him ...and now that we have you please let us know what we can do for you as a nation from one platform to be justified as a free nation with a country like you.......................
illawarrior
August 14, 2012 3:30 pm
Pakistan sells its loyalty to the highest bidder
suyash pandey
August 14, 2012 5:00 pm
happy independence day to all pakisatni bros n sis with love an indian
Baseer
August 14, 2012 5:24 pm
This is a beautiful article and agree with the writer 100%. We have to look forward and work hard. I think the best way is to become good har working individuals and encourage others to be the same.
aaa
August 14, 2012 10:09 pm
True freedom never comes easily.
Asif Ansari
August 15, 2012 12:38 am
Agree, but written situation found in many other countries, they are not crying just like us, you are crying many more here in this article. We Pakistani faces this time every problems and try to solve the matter at every corner. Tomorrow is better, yes this good and nice thinking.
john
August 15, 2012 1:19 am
A country born out of the inability to live with others , Has no Hope it will live with its own
Syed
August 15, 2012 3:31 am
pakistan is a failed state. I rest my case.
Syed
August 15, 2012 3:32 am
No. It has already sunk and a lot of us jumped ship a long time ago.
Syed
August 15, 2012 3:33 am
Thanks Suyash and happy independence to you too. Pray for us.
Imnan
August 15, 2012 3:38 am
We are independent enough. If we were not independent then we would have not been allowed/able to make mistakes. Thats the independence. Everyone is free to make their own mistakes and then find their own solutions.
Saty
August 15, 2012 6:01 am
Dear Jawad, I am from India and I liked your comment, I would like a similar letter to India just the same text copy and replace Pakistan with India :-)
ROHIT PANDEY
August 15, 2012 6:12 am
Prescription for Pakistan to recover good health: Secularize.Build a STATE not vested interests which connive and thieve.Place a lot of emphasis on education,empowerment of women and the weak.Start paying your income tax and other taxes as well.Find an identity.Instead of being Un India try being PAKISTAN...make peace with yourselves first and then please do try to find a peace with India...good luck!:)
janjuah
August 15, 2012 7:12 am
khush raho surya....happy independence to you by heart from lahore..............
Bala Varadarajan
August 15, 2012 7:35 am
Well said. A country born in hatred and intolerance will inevitably destroy itself.
Bala Varadarajan
August 15, 2012 7:39 am
You must be joking. You sold your soul to the Americans. Americans flew into your country and eliminated Osama right under your noses, and you could not do anything. Drones are flying into Pakistan territory without (or is it with the tacit approval of the military) your permission and dropping bombs. Do you really think that Pakistan is independent.
World Peace
August 15, 2012 8:26 am
Pakistan is not as bad or not as good it had its highs and lows as any other country.But from few years it is in its lows. From few years it is know for the wrong reasons opression of minorities(hindus,christians,sikhs,shia,sufi,ahmadias etc) talibanisation religious fundamentalism and extremism terrorism poverty honour killing faith killling(Jihad) illegal betting(In england) underworld drugs mafia(popee) 26/11 in india 7/7 blast in London 9/11 in america Lal masjid blast in pakistan Shia suni fights on streets of pakistan Bombings in Afghanistan Killings of liberal voices in pakistan Kargil war with india Insurgency infiltration support for terrorists in china and afghanistan and india shelter to top terrorist outfits laskar jaish al-Qida Pakistan needs to clean it self to be a peacefull nation.
World Peace
August 15, 2012 8:36 am
The mistakes made by pakistan is purposeful and they are like blunders which is very difficult to correct.Untill a great leader leads pakistan who can change the fate of pakistan
illawarrior
August 16, 2012 2:24 am
Independence means paying your own bills! If Pakistan wants to be truly independent, then it should reject all foreign aid.
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