By Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan
The father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, once said, “We are a nation, with our distinctive culture and civilisation, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral code, customs and calendar, history and tradition, aptitude and ambition. In short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law, we are a nation." This quote of the Quaid, has adequately defined Pakistan as a nation having a distinguishing ideology, Pakistani nationalism and Pakistan as a nation state in the international system. In the history of Pakistani nation, 23rd March has a special significance. On this momentous day, in 1940, the historic resolution for the creation of an ideological state (Pakistan) was passed in the Lahore session of All India Muslim League.
In the political struggle of the Muslims of the Sub-continent, this was the biggest gathering, attended by over 100,000 people from all parts of the united India. Indeed, under the more exploitative British Colonialism in connivance with majority Hindu population, Muslims of India were targeted to the maximum as the former ruler of the India; the Mughal Empire. Through this historic gathering, the Muslims of Sub-continent gave a message to the world in large and the Colonial Power and its supported Hindu majority in particular that, they were determined to have their own homeland in the form of Pakistan. A state where they can freely live as a nation, while following the glorious principles of the Islam; actually, the magnificence of humanity; preaches peace and harmony among the human beings.
Adoption of this resolution was exactly ten years after the historical address of the great philosopher, Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal, in the Allahabad session of the All India Muslim League, in 1930., This visionary thinker, and poet had indeed, envisioned a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia in that address. The Lahore session of Muslim League was indeed the first substantial step towards the implementation of this vision, a dream turning into reality. Struggle for nothing less than a separate homeland (Pakistan) was the agenda of this session of Muslim League in Lahore, as Qauid had specified prior to this historical congregation of the Muslims of Sub-continent. “The watch-words of ‘Faith Unity and Discipline’ were the munitions which the Quaid-i-Azam gave to the nation for waging the battle for Pakistan. The most dependable powerhouse in the struggle for Pakistan was the Muslim nation's unity.”
Following the adoption of this resolution, Muslims of the Sub-continent, devotedly struggled for this God gifted first ideological Muslim state in the form of Pakistan, until the colonial power; Britain and the Hindu majority, led by Indian National Congress were forced upon to accept the demand of Muslims of the India under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Despite difficulties, faced by this newly established country, the spirit of the Pakistan’s Resolution remained alive and this great nation confronted the challenges with great vigour, zeal, and zest. Unfortunately, in 1971, owing to a number of external and domestic problems, we lost half of the country in the form of what we now call the Bangladesh. However, the ideology of Pakistan; the concept of ‘two nations theory’ did not die, as Bangladesh did not become India and follows the Islamic ideology; the very basis of Pakistan.
From its very inception as an independent state, Pakistan has been celebrating this historical day of March 23rd as the Pakistan Day. On March 23rd, 1956, Pakistan formally organized the Pak Day Parade in Polo Ground, Karachi. This practice continued until the capital shifted over to Islamabad in 1960. With this shift, the venue of the Pak Day Parade also shifted to Rawalpindi in the Race Course Ground in 1964. The Pak Day Parade is participated by all three services, the Civil Armed Forces, police, and other law enforcement agencies. In the subsequent years, the latest aircrafts of Pakistan Air Force, like F-16, JF-17 Thundar, and indigenously made missiles like Shaheen and Ghourhi and Hatf were made part of the Parade, as a power symbol. The Parade venue was shifted over to Islamabad in 1997, the year of the Golden Jubilee of the Pakistan.
Pak Day Parade has been considered as the best way of inter-connection between the Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan. Through the physical demonstration of the arsenals, the nation indeed, gets to know the potential of its armed forces viz a viz its adversary. Unfortunately, over the last few years, the nation feels deprived of witnessing this jubilant event of the Pak Day Parade. This momentary suspension of the Parade indeed, is because of the unprecedented involvement of the Armed Forces, especially of Pak Army in combating the terrorism and extremism. Starting from the remote areas of Balochistan, Pak Army is deployed all along the Pak-Afghan border, the troubled areas of FATA and even in some of the settled areas of the Khyber Pakhtaunkhawa on anti terror duties.
Since the deployment of Pak Army on counter-terrorism duties, there has been a massive achievement against this erratic and undefined enemy, which has kept the local populace as a hostage for quite some time. There has been intimate support of Pak Air Force available to Pak Army during combating those targets found inaccessible to the ground forces. Since the commencement of the military operation against the terrorists and extremist elements, security forces of Pakistan have lost over 3000 men. Whereas, the overall losses during this fight against terrorism have been over 30,000 people. The losses to the economy have been colossal. As per a rough estimate, Pakistan has suffered economic losses of over $60 billion so far, primarily because of its involvement in the global war on terror.
The terrorists, some of them may be operating under the garb of Islam, are indeed, fighting against Islam; the very basis of the Pakistani Ideology. The Armed Forces of Pakistan in fact are fighting a war for preservation of its ideology at the hands of these foreign sponsored militants; may be organized in the form of TTP or any other religious, factional, or any ethnic group. This sacred nature of the war against terrorists, has largely misunderstood by the masses until 2007. However, the human massacres at the hands of these so-called Islamists in the form of suicide bombings, bomb blasts, armed attacks, and through other brutal attacks to the masses, unmasked their true face of conspiring against Pakistan. Terrorists have killed thousands of the innocent citizens of Pakistan throughout in the country during their inhuman acts of terrorism.
Today, the Pakistani nation stands behind its Armed Forces in their derive against all terrorists. The Armed Forces has made a firm commitment that, they will continue their drive until its geographical boundaries are cleared off the terrorists. In this regards, the military operations of Pak Army in Malakand-Swat, South Waziristan Agency, Orakzai, Mohammad and other areas are classical examples of clearing the areas infested with the militants. Pak Army has freed the local Tribal of FATA from the incarceration of the militants. The locals are fully supporting the role of Pak Army against these militants, who have no values, but damaging the traditional values and true teachings of Islam.
23rd March 2011, reminds us the contributions of our ancestors, who scarified their comfort for our magnificent future and struggled to attain Pakistan for us. Today, after the 71 years of the passage of the historical resolution, and 64 years after the independence, we need to reassess ourselves, as a nation. If our forefathers has given us an ideal country, where did we lose sight of. Let us, trace back the historical mistakes, and put right ourselves. Let us unite ourselves and follow true values of an Islamic brotherhood and Pakistani nationhood by shedding the mutual differences; created by our enemies. Let us respect our sovereignty and secure this God gifted motherland by defeating the evil forces; arising domestically or thwarted on us by our enemies from across the frontiers. A well aware and educated future generation provided with adequate and identical opportunities of employments would definitely guarantee a stable and peaceful Pakistan, as dreamed by the philosopher and Poet Dr. Iqbal and subsequently attained under the leadership Quaid-i-Azam.