Every year, we celebrate our independence from the clutches of colonial power on this day. The struggle and sacrifices of people to gain freedom are unfathomable for today’s generations. I participated in the freedom movement and witnessed the brutality of the Gorkha unit on a street in Rawalpindi Cantt. This was the last leg of the freedom movement, and the British realised that they had to give freedom to the subcontinent’s people. However, the cunning British were in no mood to leave peacefully. They sowed the seeds of hatred among communities who had struggled together to free themselves from the clutches of the colonial power.
Lord Mountbatten, the viceroy, did everything from abruptly changing the date of the partition to changing agreed-upon boundaries to weaken the newly formed Pakistan. Although we were not treated fairly, we still celebrate freedom with joy. However, our celebration and spirit of nationalism are limited to 14th August only. We celebrate the day as a ritual but don’t treat the country as our own.
Although Quaid successfully got us freedom, he did not live long to put the country on a real path to prosperity. His predecessors did nothing but live beyond their means, adopting a lavish lifestyle and sinking the country into massive debt. While I congratulate my fellow citizens on independence, I also request everyone to work and pray for the country. Both the leadership and the citizens must prioritise the country’s wellbeing and unite to save it from complete disaster.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2022.