Stories about August 14

Do we really know our national anthem?

In celebration of Independence Day, we went around asking people to recite the national anthem. As we went about trying to instill a patriotic fervour amongst the people by making them sing the national anthem, we were not surprised that many were overtaken by either shyness or disinterest as they shrugged us away and walked off. But, for the rest that did take part, it was amusing that a vast majority fumbled on the words – making the experience as adorable as it was cringe-worthy (for all of us). There were only a handful who we can confidently claim knew ...

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Being groped, harassed and video-taped on Independence Day

For anyone who has an ounce of respect for other beings, the 39-second video, which has gone viral in Pakistan, is difficult to watch.  In the said video, while on a crowded street at night, a vile young man drabbed in Pakistani national colours, evidently celebrating August 14th, sexually harasses a burqa clad woman. As his friend watches with a devilish grin wide enough to let an airplane in, he attacks a lady sitting on a bike by grabbing her from behind, gyrating against her, and then continuing the abuse for a several more uncomfortable seconds. I am not sure how this video found ...

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Remembering Shuja Khanzada, the true patriot of Pakistan

Patriotic, graceful, sharply dressed, eloquent, polite, and charming, this was my first impression of the Punjab Home Minister Colonel (retd) Shuja Khanzada. I first met him as a colleague in the Provincial Assembly of Punjab in 2008. I was 27-years-old and Khanzada became an inspiration at first sight. His careful selection of words, composure, integrity, and infectious optimism were something to look up to for newcomers in the infamous field of politics. Khanzada was one of the politicians whose presence made me believe, and repeatedly assert that there are several sincere, patriotic, and honest people in our assemblies, only they fail to get much public attention owing to lack of ...

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Jinnah’s letter to Pakistan: Who do I hold accountable?

My precious, Where do I begin? Where do I end? 68 years ago, you two breathed your first – I remember it like it was yesterday. It wasn’t ideal. They thought you two wouldn’t be able to make it, but you did. I was such a proud father – the effort, the commitment, the resolve, it all had finally paid off. After the euphoria died down, it was time to snap back to reality. The challenges ahead were steep, but both of you had my unwavering support. My health was giving up on me and I knew I did not have a lot ...

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68th Independence Day: Liberation from the prejudices of the past

This weekend, India and Pakistan celebrate their 68th Independence Day as two independent nations. Such a solemn occasion is also a time for one to reflect upon and evaluate the journey taken so far. One wonders whether the fury, rage and bloody madness that gripped the countries prior to the independence were justified? Were the killings in the name of religion perpetrated by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs justified? You cannot avoid these piercing questions. History would not allow us to forget the guilt and living in guilt is an unbearable pain. It is time to reflect upon how much damage the collective guilt and refusal ...

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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 ...

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It’s just a Pakistani thing…

Distances don’t matter if there is true love involved, I strongly believe in this. I may not live in Pakistan anymore but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it or have forgotten my country. I have been wanting to write about my country for a while now. At first, I was confused about what to write on. I wasn’t sure if it should be a motivational piece quoting oft-mentioned things about Pakistan, or a letter to Pakistanis discussing their woes or a bunch of stories of people who had left India for Pakistan. What makes the perfect write-up for Pakistan? After ...

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Rallying behind Imran Khan

I believe we can all agree that Pakistan needs, above all else, strong state institutions and the rule of law. These are the only way in which a proper modern country can function. They are necessary to ensure the social stability necessary for a functioning democracy and a prosperous market economy. But when powerful individuals can sway the institutions of the state to serve themselves, when they can bend the rule of law and use the mechanisms of the state for private gain, then that can no longer be called a modern state. When there are individuals, business leaders or politicians ...

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What would Iqbal think?

On the southern bank of the River Neckar in Heidelberg, Germany, is the Iqbal-Ufer. This street, running parallel to the river, was named in honour of Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher from India. It was here that the poet was granted his PhD in philosophy. As I glance at the images of this breathtaking city, I can understand Iqbal’s appreciation for beauty. What amazes me, however, is the depth his poetry plunges into when describing the despairing state of Muslims in India. An eye that is accustomed to beauty, a voice that thrills with eloquence, would shun despair and disillusionment. Yet these ...

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Pakistan – In search of the missing patriot

In the latest political upheaval to rock the country, all those involved may appear to be at complete odds but retain one salient feature that unites them all. The government, by the virtue of their status, espouse patriotism which is reflected in an unflinching dedication to democracy on the part of the Sharif brothers; the opposition under the tutelage of Imran Khan continues its elongated quest to reform the electoral process through a long march to the capital under the camouflage of patriotism; and the Canadian chameleon Tahirul Qadri (TuQ) invokes patriotism in his fiery rhetoric to establish the true force of democracy in Pakistan. They ...

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