ACCORDING to the website of the Press Information Department (PID), the Economic and Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved a supplementary grant of Rs750 million to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to celebrate the country’s 75 years of independence this Aug 14.

It is ironic that the country is in the midst of a grave economic crisis, and the scarce resources secured through borrowings are to be squandered on publicity stunt that would not strengthen the country’s economy or benefit the masses.

It is the most inopportune time for the nation to consider any kind of celebrations with the threat of a sovereign default looming ahead, high-level inflation biting the masses, fluctuating rupee, rising unemployment and increase in poverty numbers by millions together adding to overall political uncertainty that seems to have no end in sight.

Today, the nation stands at a crossroad. It is time for some serious soul-searching and not extravagance. The celebration must be deferred as the display of any fervour or enthusiasm on the occasion is incompatible with the situation in the country.

One would suggest that this year’s Aug 14 be declared a working day as a symbolic gesture to starting afresh in pursuit of the ideals spelled out by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Arif Majeed
Karachi

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2022

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