Happy Birthday, Pakistan!

Ishrat Hyatt

Happy Birthday, Pakistan! We should celebrate the day with enthusiasm and renewed hope despite the efforts of all forces that are trying to pull the country down and the pessimists who ask if there is a reason to celebrate! Yes, there is! We are living in a country we can call our own and with all its perceived drawbacks, it is a beautiful one anyway you look at it, so we should be thankful and celebrate whenever we can. Notwithstanding the present situation in the country we should keep our morale high and think of the good things that we are blessed with.
For those who are full of doom and gloom, it may be asked which country does not have its share of greedy, self-serving politicians? Which country is absolutely ‘clean’ as far as corruption and underhand deals go? Which country has fair weather in all seasons? Which country has only good people — the list of questions is endless and can be answered in the negative or positive, sometimes the scale dipping one way and sometimes the other.

So how does one celebrate? Those who do not attend the official celebrations in person will watch them on television and feel a surge of pride and nationalism — maybe only for the duration of the ceremony when national songs are sung by schoolchildren, with a feeling of disappointment when dull and oft repeated speeches are made by uninspiring political figures! The evening hours will, hopefully, see more social activity by all segments of society. The well to do may attend concerts in hotels and other exclusive places; organise gatherings or musical evenings and visit posh restaurants.

On the other hand the average Pakistanis, who definitely show more enthusiasm on this day — including hundreds of boys on motorbikes — will go out to eat at their favourite joint then go and have a look at the illuminated buildings with music and horns blaring at an equal pitch and no thought about it being safe or otherwise.

The majority hold the belief that death will come when your time is up and no power on earth can stop it, so why stop living? This year, those who venture out to see the illuminations will be disappointed because this government has more or less, sidelined the decoration of buildings, except for a few and only commercial or some private ones have been lit up.

It is not known whether fireworks have been planned or not but if there is such a plan, the show will be well attended or watched from afar.

Anyway, in whatever manner anyone chooses to celebrate, it is hoped they have a great day and resolve to be more optimistic about the future of this country. There is far too much negativity of thought and talk of ‘the worst has yet to come.’ While politicians play their games to grab power at any cost, stab each other in the back and care two hoots about anything except themselves, it is we, the people, who can make a difference if we truly want to, so why not resolve to do it, each in our small way? Pakistan Zindabad!

The News

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