75th Year of Pakistan’s Independence and Forever to Go
By Shahid Shah
In 1947, Lord Mountbatten told Jawahar Lal Nehru that Pakistan would come to rejoin India within six months of its creation as it was not economically vibrant to sustain itself. Today, 75 years have passed and Pakistan has achieved strategic relevance, economic vibrancy, diplomatic clout, and international standing. Hard times come and go but Pakistan has proven itself to be one of the most resilient nations in the world.
Two Nation Theory set the base for the Independence of both Pakistan & India. It stated the fact that Hindus and Muslims are different from each other in every way and thus they cannot live together. Explaining this Hindu-Muslim divide Muhammad Ali Jinnah on March 22, 1940, in his presidential address at the time Lahore Resolution said,
“Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies and social customs. They neither intermarry nor inter-dine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their aspect on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built for the government of such a state.”
Muhammad Ali Jinnah knew that in a united India, Muslims will be marginalized and treated as second-class citizens by Hindu majority. He has said that one day British Raj will turn into Ram Raj. His resolve was so rock-solid that on one occasion, Lord Mountbatten said, “There was no argument that could move him (Jinnah) from his determination to realize the impossible dream of Pakistan.” It was the effort of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, his team, and the sacrifices laid by the Muslims of the subcontinent that Pakistan came into existence on 14th August, 1947. It was thought that after the partition both the newly formed states would work for mutual progress. But, 75 years have passed and one of the key bone-of-contention between India and Pakistan remains unresolved issue of IIOJK (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir), an unfinished agenda of partition. Indian belligerence has caused instability in the region for a long time and it continues to do so despite worldwide criticism over the worst human rights violation against minorities in India.
Pakistan is a peace-loving country and it has no regional/global hegemonic designs, and it desires to maintain friendly and cordial relations with all its neighbors. In Afghanistan, Pakistan played a key role as a facilitator in withdrawal of US troops and successful conclusion of the intra-Afghan dialogue. With Iran and China, Pakistan is building strong economic relations with the help of projects like BRI and CPEC. Since its inception as an Independent state, Pakistan has played the role of a responsible state not only in the region but also in the world.