Allama Iqbal, the great poet and thinker was remembered on Nov 9 on the occasion of Iqbal Day. The day was officially declared as holiday and various activities were carried out to remember the great poet, who is also considered to be man the behind the creation of Pakistan. The dream he saw was materialized in the form of Pakistan on August 14, 1947. The day also provided an opportunity to the nation to do soul searching as Pakistan is moving towards a very complex and difficult times. Many voices are being raised and questions being asked, has the dream of one of the greatest poet of Muslim ummah gone sour in just half a century?
Many books have been written about this and people like Roedad Khan have gone in detail to examine the failures and successes of Pakistan. But before looking at the success or failure of the dream, we need to see what the dream of Iqbal was? Iqbal’s dream which is also considered the basis of Pakistan Movement was a separate independent state for the Muslims of the sub continent where they can live a life according to the teachings of Islam.
One can ask why a separate country for Muslims of the sub continent as more Muslim live in present India than in Pakistan. Also, in almost all the countries of the world people of various religions live side by side. Then why Pakistan? Here, we have to remember, that Pakistan is an ideological state only next to Israel. The dream of Iqbal was not only a separate homeland where Muslims can practice Islam in their individual lives. His dream was a separate country for Muslims where they not only live an independent life according to the teachings of Islam but also make Pakistan a working model for the rest of the world which can provide leadership to the ummah and voice for the Muslims of the rest of the world. If Islam means only offering prayers and keeping fast, one can easily do it in US, Israel or any non-Islamic country. Here it’s also important to see that Pakistan is the only ideological country next to Israel. Probably, that is the reason Pakistan has always remain in conflict with Israel as ideology behind Israel comes in conflict with Pakistan when Pakistan supports Arab world or the Palestine issue.
Mostly, people see Pakistan’s failure in its leadership gap, military interventions, weak democracy or corruption etc but they forget that these problems are secondary and rise only because Pakistan has not delivered the promise it made to the God and to the people. This single factor is behind most of the problems of Pakistan as Islam was the only uniting factor between 5 provinces which came together to make Pakistan. Sindhis, Punjabis, Pukhtun, Baloch and Muhajir have only one thing in common i.e. Religion. Urdu was supposed to be the symbol of that unity but unfortunately Urdu was discouraged by the very own state which prefers English speaking persons over non English. Even the cricketers are supposed to speak English better than they play.
Over the period of time, people of Pakistan have been made to realize that two nation theory and idea of Pakistan as a leader for the Muslim Ummah is obsolete as Pakistan comes first and cannot afford to take risk for others. Cultural onslaught from west and especially from India is being encouraged on the name of providing soft image to Pakistan which has also raised questions among younger generations on the very concept of partition. Islam is being confined to private lives as state is being governed by global requirements and interests. Holy Quran is only read in mosques and homes but not consulted while making legislation for the country. Foreign Policy has become confused. On one hand it supports Palestine, Kashmir and Iraq and on the other hand it’s fighting with US war on terrorism and making new enemies from within. Peace process with India has never bore any fruit, while the border with Afghanistan has also become unstable, thanks to Karzai and army’s operation in the area. Situation both, inside and outside the borders is getting tough while politics in Pakistan today is as murky as it was ever.
In this context we as the nation should ponder upon whether we have achieved our dream or abandoned our dream. Have we delivered our promise for which thousands of people laid their lives and honor and left their homes? Should we expect Help from Almighty Allah, in case a tough time comes ahead? We should also see present day situation in Pakistan esp. in Karachi, Balochistan and Northern Areas. Does the earthquake and the things coming one by one in Karachi make us stop for a moment and make us think about our life styles or do we want to close our eyes and forget our woes in the ‘Dream Cruise’ till we have time. Our future lies in our history and present. Choice is ours to make