Mar 22, 2009

Celebrating Pakistan Day

This year, as we prepare to mark another Pakistan Day, there is some reason at least for very real cheer. Citizens have shown that when they choose, as they did during the Long March, they are capable of changing destiny and the course of events that will determine, in time, their own future. It is time that we put these people of our country up on a pedestal of honour and treated them as our key priority. A nation, after all, is made by those who live within it and not merely by its territory. Today, more than 60 years after the resolution to create a country called Pakistan was made on this historic day, we need to assess where we are taking these people. There can be no doubt that many, indeed most, of them possess immense talent. Everywhere in the world we hear of people of Pakistani origin excelling in various fields, climbing to the top of the ladder in their chosen professions. Recently, an ‘A’ level student created an international record by claiming the best grades ever achieved in the internationally recognized exam. Others appear on the list of distinctions each year. In other realms too, we excel.This potential of people needs to be developed within our country too. It is all too often demonstrated only in settings where merit and professionalism thrive. On this Pakistan Day, we must recognize that observing such occasions means much more than waving green and white flags, organizing elaborate parades or declaring a holiday. What we need most of all is to take our country forward, along a path to progress. To successfully do this we must realistically assess where we have failed, why we have been left behind by others and then renew our resolve to ensure that the huge potential of Pakistan and its 160 million people is realised.

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