The title of the post is actually something which was written by Shahbaz Sharif, CM Punjab, in the visitor’s book at Quaid’s mausoleum. It brought tears to my eyes and kept me thinking. I want to pose a simple question to you which I have been constantly asking myself as well. If Muhammad Ali Jinnah knew Pakistan would look like this many years after its creation, would he have cared to fight for it at all? Would the hundreds and thousands of people have cared to sacrifice their lives? Would our sisters and mothers care to have been raped? NEVER! They all made sacrifices to see their future generations live happily ever after. Alas, this world is not a fairy tale and their dream could not come true.
In 1971, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto addressing the nation promised the people of Pakistan the basic necessities with the famous slogan ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makaan’. Unfortunately, today we are exposed to another greater threat. Security. ‘Roti, Kapra, aur Makaan’ would only work if you are alive but in a place like Pakistan where you never know when you will be the target of a suicide bombing, what good would ‘roti, kapra aur makan’ do? A country where the President and several ministers were the targets of suicide bombings, where the safest of all areas can be penetrated into (I am referring to the attack on GHQ), how can an ordinary man be guaranteed the security of his life. This reminds me of a meeting with a person who belonged from the Indian occupied Kashmir. When I had asked him about his thoughts on the conditions of Muslims in Kashmir, he had given me a rather shocking answer. “To be honest brother, when a Muslim walks out of his house in Kashmir, his family is never sure if he will come back alive” is what he had said. Aren’t we, citizens of Pakistan, going through the same circumstances? With so many of our country’s innocent citizens being the victims of numerous suicide bombings, aren’t we in the same state of affairs as Indian occupied Kashmir? If we are (and I think we are) then wouldn’t it have been the same to have been part of India and not gotten independence in 1947. Why did our leaders of that time and our ancestors make so many sacrifices? Was it to see a Pakistan where every day a bomb killed a dozen people? Was it to see so much un-employment that men were forced to steal and women forced to work in brothels to stay alive and feed their children? Was it to see a nation whose people were homeless and died of hunger while its leaders lead it to bankruptcy? Was it to see the different Muslim sects in the country killing each other instead of preaching unity and brotherhood, the true message of Islam? Was it to see a country sell out to foreign powers because it was dependent on their aid for survival? Was it to see all of this that Muhammad Ali Jinnah asked the people to make a struggle? Is this what their struggle for independence would eventually result in?
Quaid’s and all the people who worked for an independent Muslim state vision was to see a happy and prosperous Muslim state. I feel ashamed of not being able to fulfill their dream and to repay my elders for their sacrifices. I feel guilty for not being able to prevent people dying of hunger, for choosing leaders who are corrupt, for not being able to stop forced prostitution, for there being homeless people.
I think we have taken our country for granted; let’s realize the importance of the sacrifices that have been made to build it. Keeping in mind those sacrifices, let’s show some respect and make our country a better place to live in. A realization is the first step. Only when you realize something has gone wrong, do you feel the need to change things. How worse can the situation in Pakistan be for us to realize there needs to be change? A change which nothing short of a revolution can bring. We need INQUILAB! It might take a lot of time but as the Chinese proverb goes, ‘A thousand miles journey starts with a single step’, we should take the first step and not think how long this journey will be. Instead, we should think of how rewarding this journey will be and what it will mean for the citizens of our country!