This Independence Day, let’s give back to Pakistan

Published: August 12, 2015

It doesn’t matter if we’re living on this soil or not, our souls have an incessant love for this country which will remain till the end of our lives. PHOTO: ANAM SAEED

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 meadowsgigantic 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 FarhanAbdul 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

Anam Saeed

Anam Saeed

The author is a Fulbright Scholar, travel photographer, economist, analytics professional and a former sales specialist, currently pursuing her masters in Texas. She tweets @Missanamsaeed. Her work can be accessed on facebook.com/anamstory and 500px.com/anamsaeed

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Khurram

    After a long gap of so many years, we are going to celebrate an independence day in its much better spirit as country is almost freed from terrorists, corrupt politicians are on run, law and order situation getting better, nation becomes more mature, media and judiciary becomes more powerful, our music, films and dramas started gettig international appreciation, economy showing positive signs and so on. I hope the good news keep coming for Pakistan while we should focus more towards education, health and infrastructure.Recommend

  • Queen

    The beauty of our country Pakistan is its diversity. This Independence Day we should not forget those who toil everyday on our borders and in hospitals for our protection and safety. Jashn-e-Azadi Mubarak to all :)Recommend

  • Omair Shahid

    right on i believe we should do practical even start from little things like not throwing trash on road,not breaking signal etc instead of putting pakistan flag on your car or bike dont get me wrong i am also up for it but we disrespect our country by putting a flag on 14 aug on our car and bikes and trash and break signal with them. lets hope we understand this. Pakistan ZindabadRecommend

  • Asad

    great article :) thank you for writing :) Happy Independence Day to all Pakistanis :) Pakistan Zindabad :)Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    who exactly are the martyrs for pakistan? those killed in partition riots? or those killed in Calcutta, august 1946? or jinnah who died of TB & lung cancer? or LIaqat ali khan, who was shot dead? WHO?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Lovely pictures….nice write up.
    …..only dogs and horses give love and ask nothing in return……humans are fickle in the utmost.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Your patriotism shows when you fail to mention Dr. Abdus-salaam,the only Muslim and Pakistani scientist to get a Nobel Prize in sciences out of 1.5 Billion Muslims in 100 years.Not your fault though.How will one know about a person who is never mentioned in text-books of Pakistan,who is constantly vilified by Mullahs,and even whose tomb is defiled.Recommend

  • Shoaib Ahmed

    I love the way you have expressed your feelings for Pakistan, I am sure millions of fast beatings hearts living in and out Pakistan must have been feeling the same for this pure land…Pakistan is so dear to us.Recommend

  • dronachary

    Diversity ? The falling rate of Hindus, Christians, Ahmadis and Shias….. The white in your flag is slowly fading. What diversity are you talking about ?Recommend

  • Hassan

    Ajay Gupta, to start with, this very thing ”Martyr” or ”Shahadat” is an strictly Islamic concept, there is nothing like shahdat in Hinduism or any other religion. i know it is something you have adopted having lived with Muslim for a long time, but asking us that how and WHO do we think is martyred is crazy, if i knew something of Hindu origin and adopted by Muslims i wouldn’t have questioned any Hindu as to HOW and WHY.Recommend

  • Hassan

    Please go and see a doctor on first priority, Diversity does not mean catering minorities or increasing their numbers, minorities are there in Pakistan but as most of other people go out to other countries to achieve their ”bigger goals” then its nobody’s fault, let them go where ever they like to, even the number of Muslims who migrated to Canada, USA or England is far more than Minorities, btw don’t spoil our moods go focus on ur country, here is a deal for you which will help u to focus more on ur own country, see, u have hardly made any patriotic song for ur country except some bollywood masala crap, try to make one this independence day.Recommend

  • Queen

    Well said :)Recommend

  • Bonga

    Wow…lets celebrate…250 child sex abuse cases, hundreds of child deaths in Thar, celebrate the misery of flood victims, celebrate killing of Hazaras, celebrate persecution of Ahmadis, celebrate jobless, celebrate drug, celebrate currency smuggling, celebrate target killings in Karachi, celebrate wrong side driving, celebrate garage heaps….celebrate …celebrate….coz we, Pakistanis are self proclaimed holier than all …we must celebrate because someone got an expensive camera who can shot beautiful pictures yet can’t sense the rotten smell of crimes and shame which is filing the environment.Recommend

  • 92er

    Many people made sacrifices.

    My grandmother’s family migrated from Delhi and the route they migrated on was one of the most violent. She lost many of her family members before making it here. The same is true for many migrants, especially Punjab,Jammu Kashmir & UP

    In Pakistan we consider the people that died trying to make to Pakistan as martyrs.Recommend

  • Deist

    No doubt about his Pakistaniat & his achievements. Religion is another matter though.Recommend

  • shiva the destroyer

    Hassan

    Hardly have any patriotic song?

    seems like u dont know who Mohammed Rafi is….doesnt matter…..all I know is Pakistanis sing the same bollywood masala crap patriotic songs and pretend that they are sung for PakistanRecommend

  • Maverick_NZ

    Pakistan is on the rise. Not since the golden days of calm of the 60s and 70s have we seen the exuberance and energy on display today in Pakistan. No amount of cynicism, either directed from anywhere in the world, or from home can drown this enthusiasm. Pakistan Zindabad.Recommend

  • Maverick_NZ

    ALL OF THEM.Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    people left in the hope of better economic opportunities, got entangled in the partition mess and were killed. where does dying for the cause of pakistan or martyrdom come in this? it was pure and simple economics, to get the first mover advantage in a new nation.Recommend

  • Marl Brando

    That shot of Isb, with the Centaurus and the Margallas in the background … Magic.Recommend

  • Hassan

    hahaha, now thats when u have nothing to say u talk like this…and Yead like Dil dil Pakistan was sung by Mohammad rafi and ye watan tumhara hai, aye jawan, watan ki mitti, mera peygham Pakistan and the list goes on and on and on, come on show me one song that has been sung by Indian and copied by a Pakistani and u think the world is sleeping, Indian are the kind of people they propagate things with such hype that the world would know that but i am sorry there is no such claims made by Indians neither have the proofs but yes they admit that they have copied some songs from Pakistan but the issue at hand is of having a patriotic song for ur country not copying which u completely failed to have one for ur country…please refer to me any song in general and national songs in particular which has been copied by us, we have a bunch of albums dedicated for patriotic song only…apart from pop ones…shame on Indians they cannot produce one nice patriotic song for their country instead r relying on us!!! pity u…Recommend

  • 92er

    This is frankly not true. Most people migrated for the idea of Pakistan. My grandmother’s family were strong supporters of the Muslim league and the Pakistan national movement, they left everything in India and came to Pakistan with nothing, and had to build their lives all over again from scratch. Took them decades to finally settle down. Many Muslims that migrated from India had lots of land and possessions, and businesses. Many left half their family back because the uncertainty or because some segments of the family didn’t share the same aspirations. Most did not have any expectations of any material benefits, they mostly had spiritual/abstract reasons to migrate.

    The people that were killed due to migrations for Pakistan, or the people died defending Pakistan, whether in the army,police,government,media or ordinary citizens – all are Martyrs in our eyes and Martyrdom is an Islamic concept. We believe any innocent person that dies for a good cause or even dies in an accident, is a martyr.Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    if those who left india did so without knowing what lay in store, they were fools. well and truly duped and brainwashed by the muslim league. Jinnah saw life from his ivory tower, and probably thought he was creating a little england next to india, where everyone followed the etiquette of Lincoln’s INn. he failed to realise the frankenstein he was creating, & so did his followers.Recommend

  • Jatin singh Tomar

    You are totally wasting your time by imparting knowledge to these type of people.Entire world know what they have done with their minority.And for reality check pakistani’s can go and check on wikipedia.They will hold themselves totally innocent and put the blame on others who try to show them truth.Recently indian government has given citizenship to hindus who suffered in pakistan!!!!Recommend

  • abhi

    ok I understand now. Any muslim who dies due to any reason becomes a martyrRecommend

  • abhi

    Why do you have patiotic songs when singing itself in unislamic?Recommend

  • dronachary

    Hmm……yes diversity does not mean “catering” minorities. But diversity in principle in democratic term certainly means containing and nourishing the diverse culture and elements equally so none of them perish or become an endangered species.
    But understanding the term diversity from Pakistani as yourself was kind of too much to assume on my part, so my bad.
    To get an education you do not need to go to doctor, just regular schools will do. Recommend

  • http://www.nomadic-by-nature.com/ Mike McCaffrey

    Another great article Anam!Recommend

  • siesmann

    Pakistaniat is the first thing you took away from him.Go read your constitution.Recommend

  • siesmann

    That is the truth;Shahadat these days in Pakistan is used for all and sundry deaths.It is just another name for death.Recommend

  • Anam Saeed

    Appreciate d, thanks a lot for your time Recommend

  • Anam Saeed

    Exactly Omair, couldn’t agree moreRecommend

  • Anam Saeed

    Thanks a lot AsadRecommend

  • Anam Saeed

    Thanks a lot Mike..although its nothing compared to your piece on Northern Pakistan Recommend

  • Anam Saeed

    Thanks a lotRecommend

  • The People Party

    I would like to request all Pakistani to teach young kids not to threw Garbage on streets, parks, visitors places They should be thankful to have free country. Ajmal Mehdi Recommend

  • sterry

    Try to be negative all you want but there is plenty to celebrate because the world financial institutions are positive on Pakistan after a long time. Those of us who live and travel around Pakistan see real improvement. We realize that the improving economy and political stability in Pakistan scares those people who are against Pakistan. Instead of trying to be negative, just accept that an up and coming Pakistan is good for the world! This government is bringing big time investment to Pakistan and Pakistan’s enemies are worried – tough luck guys – just deal with it. Pakistan zindabad!Recommend