Be the Change…

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They say that if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem itself.  How long can we all sit and watch our country constantly being referred to as the most dangerous place on earth? How long can we watch our own people killing each other and being killed, all in the name of religion which seems remote to those of us who see our religion as a religion of peace, promoting harmony and a religion that teaches you tolerance? While we cannot remain indifferent to the current crisis, we should stand up and be counted as the conscious voice in support of our country and in support of those few brave individuals who are still upholding the spirit of one united Pakistan.

We should be the change we wish to see in the world.

Each year as mid-August approaches, we should all remind ourselves what it means to have our own country, a place to call our own. Maybe it is just a random observation but each year the zeal to ‘celebrate’ our one national day seems to diminish.  The month of August is not just about buying some extra flags (that lay cluttered on the ground next day unfortunately), listening to old national songs or enjoying another public holiday.  It is about reflecting back on the essence and core values that became Pakistan.  It is an opportunity to tell our children what they can and should do for their country. 

Unity, Faith and Discipline sound like a far cry in the current situation when all you hear about is more killings, another blast, another attack on innocent lives, in addition to the ongoing energy crisis.  And if all that was not enough, ongoing riots, sectarian killings and increasingly minorities coming under fire too.  It is perhaps time to remind ourselves that our national leader and founder of Pakistan strongly believed in the concept of social cohesion.  Social cohesion is the ‘glue’ that binds people together in a society, particularly in the context of cultural diversity. Jinnah was a strong advocate of an inclusive and impartial government, religious freedom, rule of law and equality for all.  While Jinnah’s portrait seems to adorn every government department and office, his words seem to have lost their way in the crooked corridors of history.  The least we can all do this August is to catch up on our Jinnah readings and remind ourselves of the true spirit behind the creation of Pakistan. 

It is ironic that the most contentious issue when it comes to the Leader of the Nation is his vision as perceived by the common man, and the real vision he had for Pakistan as clearly echoing from all his speeches.  I quote one from his Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 1947, as a reminder in the context of the recent Gojra violence.

‘You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.’

11 responses »

  1. News on Gojra brought one more saddening news from homeland but for some reason I wasn’t totally surprised. You see we as a society have tolerated religious bigotry and hypocrisy for too long and in the end such events are bound to take place. When respect to humanity and idea of social cohesion is marred by perverted views of so called religious superiority and intolerance, then society has to bear such scares. I guess, it is too dangerous to let such thoughts to continue and further spread in our society. It is a cancer warranting necessary treatment no matter what the cost.

    Unity, Faith and Discipline does sound like a far cry in the current situation, I agree but soluation to our problems also largely rest in these key aspects. For too long we have been apologetice or afraid in accepting the vision which Quaid had for Pakistan i.e. a state based on islamic principals of justice and equality where mankind can live in peace. No way it was supposed to be a theocratice state but strangely nation largely remains confused about what Quaid stood for. However, his speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in August 1947 makes abudantly clear his vision for Pakistan, so lets not be afraid in owning Quaid.

    I strongly agree that it is upto us to stand up and be counted for Quaids principles or else cost to the nation may be enormous. August 14th provides best opportunity to reaffirm our commitments to Quaid’s vision and apprising our children of the same. In the end it boils down to individual efforts in standing upto what we believe in. Although the phrase ‘sub se pehle Pakistan’ may be controvertial for some, but this is precislely what we need and iam sure majority of us would also subscribe to the same.

    I guess our writings and thoughts on issues which you raised only goes to show that WE ARE THE CHANGE. Keep it up 

    • wow Abbas that is quite a post in itself!! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time out, you almost beat Saadi here!
      And yes, agreed, We are the change.

  2. Hello Shaista, I have been reading your blog posts regularly,and they are really great! Keep writing! you are indeed a pro!

  3. Dear Shaista,

    Thanks for your timely contribution on Bawaqar Pakistan. Very painful things are happening around us and while most of people on Globle are worried about us we as a Nation are totally un-concerned as if ultimate result of all these undesired happenings around us would never be of any demage to us.

    World history has seen such situations many times and we must take lessons from the past. I believe you have raised the right issues and priorities but the question is how to get the nation out of this un-concerned mind set. For our personal gains we are ready to pay any prices or make any effort but when things come to doing some thing for Pakistan we think some one else would do it.

    We have some undefine love for Pakistan, we wait for some Earth quake or war with india to take place to stand united like a nation, what is this mind set. Why we do not understand that country is like your mother and we are cutting the flash of mother ourself, while mother is crying that I will die , we are still busy in cutting her flash. We all are ready to demage the country for taking some tiny advantage but can not do any tiny effort to make it Bawaqar. Its time to take some positive actions to promote the image of Pakistan and project it. All this I call Bawaqar Pakistan. Thanks again in contributing in my efforts

  4. Well, i never had a clue this blog was out there. Remarkable stuff, astute writing and excellent sense of delivery. Welcome to the blog sphere i shall add you to Deadpans list of blogs immediately.

    gojra made me hang my head in shame and yes i thought of this same para in the Qaids speech, what a place we have come to become.

  5. Its truly a thought-provoking and moving article. I am touched. Being a concerned citizen of Pakistan, I just can’t stop myself of saluting you, I wish we all should learn the message out of it especially our poltical leadership who always think for the next election rather than the next generation. Quoting visionary Iqbal here:

    “Khudi ko kar buland itna k har taqdeer say pehlay…..
    Khuda banday say khud pochaay bata teri raza kya hai”
    (Raise yourself to that level of self consciousness….
    That God will ask you before writing your fate)

    God bless Great Pakistan!

  6. “They say that if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem itself.”

    Very nice , keep it up
    Now its the time to check ourselves

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