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By Saqib Akbar

 The national days in the lives of nations are very useful in highlighting the circumstances leading to them, in explaining their significance and to attract the attention of new generation to the main milestones achieved in these days in the past. These particular days sometimes take shape of festivals and are celebrated like fairs and carnivals. Consequently the factors leading to these days are obscured or they do not get any special attention. Such behaviors are deeply linked to the overall moral, social, political and economic situations of nations. One also has to recognize what the ambitions of the rulers are and how much and in what manner they are ideologically connected with nation’s past and future because it is the ideological relationship that provides the basis for practical relationship.

While celebrating Pakistan's Independence Day, it is vital to divert our attention back to the pages of history to see why the Muslim leaders of the Subcontinent demanded a separate homeland. According to my study, the main reasons for such a demand were as under:

  1. The Hindus, who were in the majority in the Subcontinent, had lived under the rule of Muslim kings for a long time. They later developed close relationship with the British. As the British had also seized power from the Muslims and as such more resistance to the British rule was also expected from them. Muslims had ruled this land for centuries. In this context, the close proximity between the British and the Hindus is understandable.
  2. Muslims were not only dethroned, they, as a whole, were also very much weakened by depriving them of the resources needed for life.
  3. It were the Muslims only who fought many extensive wars against the British in India, especially, the war of independence in 1857 was solely started by the Muslims.
  4. The western concept of democracy had thrilled the Hindus and they were really pleased with it. They believed that with the help of British model of democracy they could establish their own control over the Subcontinent and for the first time in history could hold sway over Muslims in India.
  5. Muslims too were not an ordinary minority in the Subcontinent. Obsessed by their past history, the Muslims were even not ready to play the role of the minority. As per an estimate, Muslim population stood at almost 40 percent in the British India and they were in majority in some provinces as well.
  6. Muslims felt that they were being intentionally kept underdeveloped and backward, economically as well as socially.
  7. They also believed that the Hindus, on the basis of their collective majority and religious beliefs, were treating them with prejudice and bigotry and that Hindus were creating hurdles at various places to stop Muslims act freely according to their religious beliefs. In the backdrop of various incidents that were taking place across the length and breadth of India, this type of feeling was not far from reality.
  8. Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other prominent Muslims leaders laid stress on united India and Muslim-Hindu unity in the first place and even raising their voices for the survival of united India. But after going through some painful experiences they reached to the conclusion that the Hindu leadership was not ready to give Muslims their fundamental and basic rights so much so that the Congress left no stone un turned to deprive Muslims from forming governments following the last pre-partition elections even in the states where Muslims were in the majority.

After experiencing this whole situation, Muslim leaders finally propounded the idea of a separate homeland. This proposal passed through various stages before transfiguring into the concept of an independent and sovereign state. Earlier, the suggestion of internal autonomy in the Muslims majority provinces had also come under consideration. However, when on March 23, 1940 the Pakistan Resolution was adopted, every Muslim living in the Subcontinent considered it as the voice of his own heart and it was this very voice that finally assumed the shape of Pakistan on 14th August, 1947.

It is imperative that we continue to ponder on the reasons leading to the formation of Pakistan while celebrating its Independence Day. The concept of nation states in principle is very far from the idea of human concord and unity. When humans got ready to live together on this planet, they learned the art of spending life collectively by tolerating dissent existing within them. They also happily accepted restrictions and confines on freedom and also exploring the beauty of disagreement within the disposition of human nature hidden in the differences of various cultures, thoughts, traditions, historical heritages and experiments. In this scenario, human being will be conscious-stricken and remorseful from within at the existence of separate nation states. However, for this to happen, all human beings must be accepted as being the creation of the one and only God so that every person is a proof of being the family of God in the eyes of every other individual. Besides, man will have to illuminate such a candle of faith in his heart so as to believe that it is the one and only merciful God Who is our Master as well as of the whole universe, He has created this earth too, this is His land and we are His servants and that all the humans have come from Adam and Hawwa (Eve). In this context, the division among humans doesn’t seem to be a natural phenomenon, but when a person witnesses the spectacle of misdemeanor and infringement on the part of others towards him, then at times there remains no option for him other than the desire to live in a separate land and this very desire is the basis of formation of Pakistan.

Let's think deeply are we not creating the same situation in today’s Pakistan for those who live in a particular area of this land, believe in some other faith or have some other social background and in this type of situation the desire for having a separate homeland grows stronger. Are not we pushing a group towards adopting other natural course by breaking the relations of nature? This Independence Day also provides us the opportunity to ponder upon this question. This opportunity is for both the public and the rulers to avail.

People keep talking to the rulers, who usually are interested in their short-lived rule and power and their days and nights pass thinking about various ways and methods to strengthen their authority and reap benefits from it. In these conditions why not the masses give thought to this question because there are two ways to solve problems. The first one is to hand over the reins of power to an able and true leadership and the second one is to struggle for a separate homeland. What will happen if, after getting a separate homeland, leaders of the same ilk are once again at the helm?

Let's come and adopt a relatively easy and better way of reforming the rulers to save humans from splitting up further. If the current leadership does not have the ability to fulfill these objectives, then choose a leadership that appears to be more in sync with these goals.