A cautious celebration


Pakistan celebrates their Independence day on August 14, just a day before we do in India. This was not always the case though, as the official day for the Independence Day for both the nations was August 15. In 1948, Pakistan brought it a day ahead of us as it coincided with the 27th day of the holy month of Ramadan. Here are some editorials and stories that the Pakistan media has put up for their 68th Independence Day today.

Tribune writes about the need to think about some grievous mistakes that the authorities have committed in the past which have thwarted the democratic spirits of the country. It is time that the democratic forces work towards political unity, which might not always mean agreement on all issues. It would mean building a greater tolerance and respect for each other’s opinions. The report further says that after 67 years of Independence, it is time to think why Pakistan has lagged behind on various development indicators education, healthcare etc.

The Nation remembers the sacrifices rendered by not just the iconic leaders but also the many ordinary men and women for the birth of Pakistan. It writes, “We remember where we come from, and what we had to give up to get here; to call a land our own, where life would deliver the promise of freedom, dignity and peace. Pakistan may be difficult, unfair, and sometimes even hopeless during times of difficulty, but it is home.” It says the talks of a brighter future generally meets with unenthusiastic replies, but the very fact of the formation and the existence of the nation should give the country better hope. It speaks of the atmosphere of the cautious celebration in the country and says it is time people learn how to love.

Dawn, in an opinion piece by FS Aijazuddin, an author and art historian, enumerates by Pakistan is celebrating a Crimson birthday today. The first line, beautifully written says, “Crimson, from the colour of the blood of all those — guilty and innocent alike — who have been killed during the Zarb-i-Azb campaign in Waziristan.” It says Pakistan’s birthday is crimson because the nation has thwarted a political demonstration, because of the anger 10 million Lahoris at being quarantined like internees in Gaza and numerous other causes listed out in a poetic manner.

The International News’ opinion piece by Amir Zia argues that despite the gloominess surrounding the “Azadi March”, the ordinary Pakistanis still celebrate the month of August. They celebrate rains, despite the power failures, water-logged roads and the Independence day. He says that the Independence Day celebration does not need official patronage and spontaneous celebration can be seen all over the country. “Despite our electricity woes, buildings are illuminated… there are streamers and a sea of small colourful paper flags. National songs blare, special events are held – mostly organised by the people themselves in almost each and every neighbourhood.”

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