PAKISTAN: My Pride, My Identity

(Zuhaa Rehman, )

July, last year a piece ofabysmal news hit me so hard that I burst out into tears and was left with no words to express my condolence, solicitude to our dear Kashmiris, and at the same time gratitude for my mother nation. It all started when I first heard the news thatIndia fires cluster munition on Kashmir on the night of July 30 and 31st, leading to the martyrdom of two civilians including a 4-year-old boy, and injuries to ten others, as confirmed by the ISPR. At that very moment, I didn’t realize that the fire will spread to this huge extent that will lead to the Kashmiris being jailed in their very own land. I even cannot imagine the atrocities and brutalities faced by Kashmir people, their each day is bathed into the blood of their loved ones. Even I find myself ridiculous in saying so, a whole year passed suppressing their voices, their sufferings, and traumas rise exponentially, being cut-off from the entire world in this advanced age is something that we cannot even think of and those are the bravest people, the pure souls that face it, challenge it, and even continue doing so to seek independence for their motherland from those unjust, harsh militia of extremist-minded.

This is so heart wrenching, and humiliating to think that so many decades passed and still the fate of Kashmir is undecided and they are forced to live the life they don’t want to. The freedom to use their human rights, they are forcibly devoid of. I feel like I no longer can hold my emotions any longer and now my emotions of gratitude and patriotismcompel me to hold the pen and just pour out my feelings for my precious mother nation.

Pondering about Kashmir, I believe left every Pakistani teary-eyed.But at the same instant, it also filled me with the feeling of being luckiest and blessed of being Pakistani! Having a land where I can practice my religion, live my life on my conditions to a very extent, cherish the dreams, happiness, and festivities of life, and being guarded by those bravest men of the Pakistan army who are protecting us on borders away from their loved ones and are always ready to lay their lives for us, for Pakistan. This thought is so mind-relieving that I even cannot express in words how I feel of being “anIndependent”!

Upon realizing this the saying of thegreat leader, Quaid-e-Azam, M.Ali Jinnah strikes me. He said,

“Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which, we hope other will share with us.”

This is so true that here I can follow the teachings of Islam fully despite living in a multi-cultural country, comprising of people of various beliefs, who avoid interfering in other’s ways of worship and live like just being a “Pakistani”.

Pakistan a land full of nature’s blessings make me feel more than a blessed person to be living here. A country having an astounding and splendid variety of landscapes ranging from five of the highest mountain peaks in the world to some of the largest and inimitableplateaus in the west,plus, breathtaking flat Indus plains in the east. It is a homeland in which the entire canvas of its topography is colored with scenic valleys, treacherous mountaintops, tranquil bodies of water, and last but not the least alluring lush green meadows (especially in northern areas and surrounding areas of Indus river- Indus plain). But I cannot forget that this is a reward to us by Allah Almighty as a result of the utmost strive and hard work of great people and thousands of dedicated innocent people who laid their lives facing the brutal conditions, for an independent land! And even after to maintain this independence thousands of men laid their lives to protect this land, to protect the people of Pakistan. Yes the country about which you are always ready to criticize and mourn over its vile circumstances, you got it because of the prayers of thousands of people and untold realities of sacrifice. We should be proud of our visionary leader, great Quaid-e-Azam M.Ali Jinnah, who along with other dedicated companions was able to carve out Pakistan on the world map.

Instead of standing for it, you are running after the “Green Card”. First, be proud of the “Green Passport” you hold, the identity you have is given by this beloved land. Have you ever thought of Kashmiri’s, Palestinians, and Syrians? How difficult is it for them to live on their own land. The land is theirs but is forced to be living as “slave”. You are blessed with the freedom you got just because of those great visionaries and our respectable ancestors who strive for Pakistan, if not, you were be living the life of Kashmiri’s. And we even can’t imagine the hardships and atrocities they faced with their every breath! At least you have a place to live “Your Life” on your terms, the way you like, atleast you don’t have to strife for your Identity like others. You are an Independent! The world knows you by your country’s name, language, culture, tradition, norms and values and especially by the “Green Flag” which you only remembered to be worn as a badge on 14th August, to portray yourself as a “Patriotic Pakistani!”

There exist a category of people who love to throw blames on others especially on Pakistan… that “life is difficult here”, “no job opportunities”, “no life”, “so dirty…ah so much garbage”, “corrupted country”……., and God knows how long is the list of the problems and grudges they hold regarding problematic Pakistan! But you know what, I tell you something, these are smart people, very smart indeed, really they are… because they know, it is easy to forgive others but to yourself and the most terrible thing is to acknowledging and living with that guilt. That’s why these are the only group of people who had bundles of complaints all the rest of 363 days of Pakistan but just on “14th of August” are the most “Patriotic Pakistani” no one could ever compete and rest of the year yelling on the army for the high budget but again on “6th of September” flowers of praise showers everywhere. But they are not Brave! Brave are those who dare to accept their mistakes, own them, and try to rectify them. Better than those smart creeps!
From some time, I’ve been observing the frequently shared post on Facebook and WhatsApp, alerting people that they’ll soon be losing hands with the country’s property-land since the Chinese are buying it so often. And if we don’t pay attention now, then they’ll soon take control of us. I wonder if the one who makes that post think this post can awaken them who consider fulfilling their duty by sharing that post forward, only. This led me to realize that this land is not of foolish people but of ignorant ones who believe they can’t do anything, instead the government has to take some action. Then who are you? What are you for? Remember, God forbid, the nation that does not own their identity, their country, they at the end are left with nothing but the sorrows and guilt!

This land is yours, instead of cursing the so-called ”system” and “society”, remember that You are a society and you made this system, it is not something alien and now you have to correct it. No one else will come and do it for you. You now need to stop playing the blame games and have to stand up, unite, and take a step towards the betterment of the country because we youth are the beacon of hope, Iqbal’sShaheen, who together really can make things right by putting all the efforts, following the footsteps of experienced people and implying theirintelligence, fresh, and innovative ideas. Hopefully, slowly and gradually everything will be better soon. To achieve this, we need to be responsible, and law-abiding citizens, learn to respect our country, be sincere, and loyal towards it. Be gratified of what we are, who we are, and should not be ashamed of or apologetic about our nation, cultural values, and language.
It’s high time that we should truly understand why Pakistan came into being, its importance, and let’s commit to making every possible positive effort to make it a peaceful and prosperous country so that we can genuinely be proud of our accomplishment. As Quaid-e-Azam rightly said,
“With Faith, Discipline, and Selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile you cannot achieve.”

I sincerely hope and pray that now on these national days we not only cherish the exuberance and love of Pakistan we have in our heart and soul (that at least poured out on every Independence or Defense Day not only in people living here but abroad, too). So let’s together celebrate these festivities of freedom, the blessing of being defended and safeguarded by devoted soldiers, with happiness, and utmost blessing with zest, verve, enthusiasm, and esprit, spreading love and peace all over the world. Let’s vow that we’ll not only cherish momentsthat we experience only the specific day but will live with these feelings of love, patriotism, responsibility, and ownership every day. Be grateful toward Allah Almighty, and this land of Peace, PAKISTAN, which is “Our” and together remind yourself that,” Yes, I am Proud Pakistani, I take Pride in it, and I Own my Country!”


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