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14 August 1947: Are we really Independent?

by Amina Aslam
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Amina Aslam

In 1947 Pakistan became an independent country after fighting against the British and East India Company. Some prominent personalities like Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama Iqbal, Liaquat Ali Khan, Fazlul Haq, Rahmat Ali, and many more. Work day and night to make this possible.

But a question always hits my mind, especially when the month of independence comes. Are we independent? Are we really free? Are we still under the control of the “Most powerful countries of the world”? Are we puppets of the West? Is the USA controlling us? Does the USA never want us to grow Economically? The answer to these questions is quite obvious, but we Pakistanis are more concerned about talking about politics. I’m repeating myself, only talking. We are not interested in taking any action, yet we want to see Pakistan grow and become a developed and stable country.

What if the looters and the ones who destroy Pakistan politically, economically, and in many ways are the ones who are part of this country who are Pakistanis themselves? Who are prominent political personalities who sell their country to fulfill their desires and to get authority or any position? I want to quote the amazing quote here:

“Politics is not about power. Politics is not about money. Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the improvement of people’s lives.” Paul Wellstone.

The quote mentioned above does not apply to Pakistan’s political culture as most of the political parties and people in power having authority are not interested in the welfare of the country or their people. Their only interest is to fill their pockets as long as they are in power and have authority.

It has been 76 years since Pakistan came into being, but we have not yet learned the meaning of independence. I think it’s because we are habitual of living under the influence and control of others, like the British ruled us for 89 years. Maybe this is the reason we, as an independent country, still need the consent and involvement of powerful countries just to make them happy and to show them how obedient slaves we are. How and when we free ourselves from this slavery? When will the time come that we finally raise our voices against this slavery? When will Pakistan be able to get an honest and true leader who will work in the favor of the country and its people? When does our law and order serve the country? When will political leaders be held accountable for their corruption and ruthless actions? Another 76 years may be required for this.

Let me take you with me on this 76 year of journey and remind you what we have given to our motherland:

Corruption: Pakistan received a 27 score in the corruption perceptions index, according to the international transparency organization.

No law and order: In Pakistan, there are different laws and punishments for the rich and poor
Powerful people can do anything and then escape legal action.

Dirty politics: Our political leaders are always busy plotting against the opposition. That’s why not a single prime minister ever completed his five-year tenure in Pakistan.
Elitism in the government: politicians, Generals, bureaucrats(Oligarchy)
Both Religious and Secular Conflicts: Now and then, we hear the terrible news of two religious groups or sects fighting or killing each other over their religious differences.

Education Crisis: In 2015, Pakistan spent only 2.6% of its total GDP on Education, the lowest in South Asia.

Economic Challenges:

Military Involvement in Politics: Military involvement means no true democracy exists in the country.

IMF loans: Pakistan’s external debt reached 125.7 USD in March 2023

Well, enough blame on politics, political parties, and authorities. What, as a Pakistani citizen, have we done for our country? Have we ever thought about contributing to it fruitfully? If we love our country, why do 80.000 Pakistanis, among them highly qualified people like doctors, engineers, accountants, etc., leave the country for their own better future? They would rather prefer to serve abroad than in their own country. Aren’t we do corruption daily?

The shopkeeper overly charges us to keep his commission, and doctors build their private hospitals to earn a hefty amount of money. They don’t agree to save a patient unless they pay the bill. They would rather want him to die. That’s how you serve your motherland. Students love to do corruption in schools, colleges, and universities. If your father is a landlord or a bureaucrat, no problem. The country is all yours. You can do whatever you want to do on this land. You’re not accountable to anyone, and you ran away easily, even after taking the life of an innocent person. Are politicians and powerful fingers forcing us to do these corrupt and filthy acts? We all are responsible for our actions.

Surat Hūd: And O my people, give full measure and weight in justice and do not deprive the people of their due and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.

The Prophet (SAW) continued to say: ‘By Allah, you have to enjoin good (Maroof) and forbid evil (Munkar), and hold against the hand of the unjust ruler (Zalim), and force him on the truth strongly, or you have to limit him to the truth’. Allah SWT prohibited us from remaining silent against the Munkar, and He commanded us to remove it.

And as we all live in today’s era, we are all victims of these mixed systems. We all should be better aware that these systems are failing not only politically and economically but also destroying the mental health of the public, causing depression, anxiety, and other mental instabilities.

Honestly, it makes me so sad and sometimes hopeless when I see my motherland breaking down into pieces, and with every passing day, the situation in our country is getting worse. As 14 August is a few days away, I want my readers to make a promise that we work together for the betterment of our county and its people. We try our best to serve our country professionally and as good citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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