This Independence Day, let’s give back to Pakistan
August 14th is right around the corner and I decided to share some thoughts to rejuvenate our love for Pakistan. Celebrating 68 years of independence, have you ever pondered about our love for this country and why exactly we love Pakistan? Have you ever thought about channelling this love into something more positive for yourself, your country, or in fact, all of us?
As a young Pakistani female, I can say that the majority of us have this undefined patriotism, which reaches its pinnacle during a cricket match, quivers during a political debate, and dies when it comes to doing something practical for our country.
This year, around the start of the month of August, Tourism Development Cooperation of Punjab (TDCP) arranged an Azadi (independence) walk, where I and a few other photographers went to visit the most memorable monument of Pakistan, none other than our very own Yaadgar, our Minar-e-Pakistan.
Standing in front of the monument and capturing its magnanimity was an exhilarating event. Awe-struck and disconcerted, overwhelmed and yet thought provoking, the colossal history of this monument induced a rush of emotions within me.
I realised that I don’t love my country because my father or forefathers were born here, although I have a lot of respect for the martyrs who lost their lives for the sake of our country, but my love for Pakistan is something more pure and deep-rooted than that.
My love for Pakistan is for its entirety, for its people, whether living in bungalows or a slum. It’s for every inch of my country, be its scenic lush green meadows, gigantic mountainous ranges or poverty stricken small villages. It’s for its culture, whether the colourful extravaganza of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan or Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
I love my country for being the place it is, because the connection with this soil is in my genes and it will remain there forever. I feel disconcerted and remorseful at times because there’s nothing we ever do out of sheer love for Pakistan. On one side, we defend our country from all the critique that comes our way, while on the other, we lie, bribe, cheat, and litter the streets, disgracing our own patriotism and spirit.
We’re all the same. We all have committed these small sins and we all have that deep-rooted connection with our very own Pakistan. Our hearts melt when we see people dying in floods and natural disasters. We all have shed numerous tears and said hundreds of prayers for every Pakistani innings in the field. We share mutual respect for those who are protecting us at our borders, upright and relentlessly, from terrorist forces.
We all have mutual admiration for a few admirable citizens who have earned worldwide recognition for themselves, such as Fiza Farhan, Abdul Sattar Edhi or Malala Yosufzai. It doesn’t matter if we inhabit place on this soil or not, our souls have an incessant love for this country and it will remain with us till the end of our lives.
We have to rise above our petty issues, cultural differences, and political views in order to do something for our country. Be it promoting tourism through photography, entrepreneurship or innovation, or basic respect for laws, we can make a huge difference.
Let’s make a promise to ourselves to share love and spread it through our goodness, kindness, innovation, and integrity. Let’s promise ourselves this Independence Day to do something out of absolute and unconditional love for Pakistan, out of pure and pristine intentions.
All photos: Anam Saeed
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.