KARACHI: Today, September 6, is a day of national pride. This is the day when we pay homage to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defending their homeland from the enemy. Years later, once again, we are engaged in a war and our soldiers are sacrificing their lives to protect our homeland from terrorists.
But where do we stand as a nation today? Divided, fragmented. When the army can integrate people from different regions into a well-knit family, why have our politicians failed to do the same at the national level? No matter how strong our defence is, we can never defeat the enemy if we are divided. We tried to change ballot results into bullets and lost half the country. No lessons were learnt.
We must learn to stand on our own feet. Allama Iqbal remarked: momin hai tou bay-tegh bhi larta hai sipahi. We saw glimpses of this optimism in Quaid-e Azam who imbued the whole nation with hope and never gave up till he wrested this land from the enemy.
We are passing through difficult times. Any act of terrorism is attributed to Muslims. Let us once again demonstrate the same solidarity shown by our people 1965 to prove that when it comes to preserving our independence, we can stand like a rock no matter what the cost. We should all shun our internal differences and at least be united on basic national issues, for it is feared that the present confrontation, if allowed to linger, will have dire consequences. Can we revive the spirit of the great day of September 6, 1965 when the entire nation was one entity?
Lt Col (r) Mukhtar Ahmed Butt
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.