The death anniversary of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Quaid-e-Azam (the great leader) will be celebrated today as has been for past six decades. The day will begin with the twenty one gun salute by the armed forces, all over the four provincial capitals and in Islamabad.
Special prayers will be offered all over the country for blessing Quaid-e-Azam’s soul; functions will be held in schools, where the children will sing patriotic songs, and perform tableaux, remembering the father of the nation.
Special messages will be broadcast by the president, prime minister, the four chief ministers, and other notable political leaders, rhetorically praising Muhammad Ali Jinnah for his unflinching courage he exhibited against all odds, in epic struggle against the British on the one hand, and the narrow minded Hindu majority, on the other.
The newspapers will carry special editions, while the radio and television networks will transmit documentaries among other programs regarding his personality and his contributions to the cause of Muslim emancipation from the yoke of British colonialism.
This way commemorating the special day, the whole nation will go to a sleep, satisfied that they have paid befitting homage to the father of the nation.
But has Pakistan really turned out be what the father of the nation had relentlessly striven for. He envisioned Pakistan, as a secular, democratic and a progressive state that would stand out among the comity of nations as the finest example of racial, ethnic, communal, and religious harmony.
The answer is an emphatic no, as Pakistan is a failed state, as even in the twenty first century majority of its rural areas and even some urban areas lack the basic infra-structure.
Today’s Pakistan faces the pressing issue of load shedding, which the government, perhaps, to tone down its effects terms as load management. But, whichever term we use, it boils down to the fact that the citizens have no electric supply for ten to fourteen hours daily. This has brought our industry to a standstill, and the businessmen are shutting down their factories and finding refuge in Dubai. The same is the case of natural gas.
Coupled with this electric and natural gas short fall is the issue of water shortage, both portable and that used for irrigation. This situation in an agrarian society means nothing short of death to the farmer.
In the sphere of education both quantitatively and qualitatively we lag behind all the other SAARC countries.
Pakistan is a hub of terrorists from all over the globe; has no semblance of any law and order; is haunted by a plethora of social issues like the sectarian strife; a hostage to fanatical religious zealots, the gun totting Taliban of Pakistan (as opposed those of Afghanistan) propagating their peculiar and mutilated brand of Islam.
For the majority of its history Pakistan has been ruled by one junta, after another and the rest of the time by an elitist “so called” democracy.
This list goes on and on, so I ask the reader, would the father of the nation be proud of Pakistan, he helped create working day and night, and as a result ultimately falling prey to fatal tuberculosis.
If the present scenario persists any longer, we would not be celebrating the death anniversary of the father of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, but instead of the nation, itself.
Written By: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada