Byline: Syed Fazl-E-Haider
"We are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, value and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendars, history and tradition, aptitudes and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook of life and on life.
By all canons of international law, we are a nation." This was said by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his presidential address on the occasion of Pakistan resolution on 23rd March 1940. Quaid had a clear vision of Muslim nationalism in the subcontinent and he presented it in crystal-clear words.
As we celebrate the 14th of August as Independence Day to commemorate the great struggle and sacrifices of the Muslims for an independent and sovereign state, we direly need to fuel the feelings of national integration in Pakistan.
The country is facing grave challenges both on internal and external fronts. We face security threats on our eastern and western borders. India has escalated tensions after it revoked the special status of Kashmir this month. The skirmishes on line of control and exchange of fire has become a routine. India from across the LoC used cluster bombs against Pakistani civilians that caused multiple fatalities and injuries.
The terrorists and the anti-state elements have increased their subversive activities to destabilize the country. Last month, ten military personnel were martyred in terrorist attacks in North Waziristan and Balochistan, which share borders with Afghanistan. thousands of civilians have lost their lives in terrorist attacks across the country. We are virtually in a state of war against the anti-state forces both internally and externally. We need to stand united today as a nation to cope with the internal and external security challenges.
National integration is rooted in the ideology of Pakistan, which is based on the Two-Nation Theory - the proposition put forward in pre-partition India that the Hindus and the Muslims were two separate nations, and so should be able to live in separate homelands.
The theory united the Muslims into a strong pressure group and forced the hand of the British into partitioning the subcontinent in 1947. By invoking the 'Ideology of Pakistan' to portray Muslims as a monolithic group, the State has ensured that being a Muslim becomes simultaneously an individual and a collective identity, one that transcends all class, race, ethnic and even national...