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- Asia Political & Social Issues
Pakistan, one of the most powerful Muslim nations of the world, a country with abundance of natural resources and a bonanza of excellent human resource, despite its 68 years rich history, has remained a subject of internal discord for the most part. Though the external machination also has a role but largely the problem is home grown. A group of analysts view its seeds sown even before its inception, however, a few hold the generation thereafter responsible for transgressing their purpose. Axiomatically, the causes may be found in the entire spectrum of national life. The architect of Pakistan, Quaid - e – Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah advocated national unity, political solidarity and social harmony when he asserted that Pakistan is the embodiment of the unity of Muslim nation and so it must remain; that unity we, as true Muslims, must zealously guard and preserve; if we begin to think of ourselves as Punjabis, Sindhis etc. first, and Muslims and Pakistanis only incidentally, then Pakistan is bound to disintegrate. That’s what the millions had envisioned by reposing confidence in the Quaid-i-Azam. However, after the demise of Jinnah, political instability, institutional breakdown, weak economy internal discords and friction between the East and West Pakistan, finally resulted into disintegration of the country in 1971. Thereafter a great stride has been made to address the issue.
Today Pakistan though, cannot be called as a well integrated and a cohesive nation, but the sit is not so grim as well. Pakistan is on the threshold of her future as an Islamic welfare state where in, an ideal environment of tolerance, enlightenment and moderation, economic stability and self reliance is not a dream far from realisation. To manifest the vision of Quaid, Pakistan needs an economic revolution preceded by political stability, provincial harmony, and mutual consultation in an atmosphere of reconciliation and, above all, strong defence of the homeland This would rather pave the way for reconciliation and help evolve a strategy to control price hike, check population explosion and poverty, provide socio-economic justice to the common man and put an end to extremism and would result into greater national unity and integration.
Pakistan came into being on the basis of two-nation theory. The clash of nationalism in India was based on a psychological conflict that was equally fought on the fields of politics as well as in the minds of the Muslims. The hopes, aspirations and desires of the Muslims of India were to build Pakistan on the basis of Islamic ideology. The Pakistan Movement succeeded on the basis of Islamic ideology and it was only then that the Muslims of the Sub-Continent were able to carve out a separate state for themselves. Religion was the strongest unifying bond between the Muslims of India at the time of independence.
The period of Pakistan's second military regime under General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan underlined the extent to which the process of centralization under bureaucratic and military tutelage had fragmented Pakistani society and politics. The general elections of 1970 on the basis of adult franchise revealed for the first time ever in Pakistan's history how regionalism and social conflict had come to dominate politics despite the efforts at controlled development. The political stalemate leading to armed rebellion in East Pakistan and a military intervention to crush it resulted in a third war with India, thus clearing the way for the establishment of Bangladesh in 1971. Pakistan was torn into two which was the pinnacle of disunity having very few parallels in the modern history.
Ethnicity, sectarianism and economic instability are fundamental variables of internal security threats to Pakistan. Religious extremism has created an unenviable image of Pakistan in the eyes of the rest of the world and has affected the country adversely. At the same time, inter-provincial grievances could potentially cause serious damage to the federation. Despite recent economic recovery and sound macro policies, the absence of genuine socio - economic development has provided ethno-sectarian elements and regional forces grounds to exploit and weaken Pakistan internally. Ethno- sectarian problems are major security threats to Pakistan and will remain a huge impediment to the goals of economic prosperity
Despite a number of diverging forces at work within the country, the nation has always stood together during crises; nationalism has always prevailed in such situations. The recent display of solidarity during the recent floods and terrorist activities has been a testimony to the national integration bonds that we so seek. The nation geared up determined to fight the effects of the impact of the catastrophe that lives on. The stories of individual and collective efforts to give in kind, in cash and of one’s time are spectacular. Mercifully, the critical requirement for human collective existence, compassion does live on in Pakistan. The true treasure of Pakistan, its khazaana, the people has shown that the spirit of 1947 lives on. In times of difficulties, it will always get activated proving to the critics that we are indeed a great nation.