independence day pakistanOn 14 August Pakistan celebrates the independence day (1947) with great zeal and enthusiasm and remembers all those who have struggled the cause and very many who lost their lives to arrive to this celebration. Muslims in the north of British India, represented by the Muslim League and its leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, objected to joining the independent nation of India after World War II. As a result, the parties agreed to a Partition of India. Hindus and Sikhs would live in India proper, while Muslims got the new nation of Pakistan. Jinnah became the first leader of independent Pakistan. Originally, Pakistan consisted of two separate pieces; the eastern section later became the nation of Bangladesh.

At present Pakistan have four provinces: Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhw, Sindh and Punjab. Pakistan lies at the collision point between the Indian and Asian tectonic plates. As a result, much of the country consists of rugged mountains. The country shares borders with Afghanistan to the northwest, China to the north, India to the south and east, and Iran to the west. Pakistan's lowest point is its Indian Ocean coast, at sea level. The highest point is K2, the world's second-tallest mountain, at 8,611 meters (28,251 feet). With the exception of the temperate coastal region, most of Pakistan suffers from seasonal extremes of temperature.

Pakistan is still a young country by birth, but human history in the area reaches back for tens of thousands of years when about 7000 B.C the Mehrgarh people established settlements in the region and continued to live in the area until about 2500 BC. From that time until about 2000 BC these people were slowly replaced by the people of the Indus Valley. Indus Valley Civilization created great urban centers at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, both now in Pakistan. The Indus Valley people mixed with Aryans moving in from the north during the second millennium B.C. They created the epic stories upon which Hinduism is founded. The lowlands of Pakistan were conquered by Darius the Great called Achaemenids around 500 B.C and ruled the area for nearly 200 years. Alexander the Great destroyed the Achaemenids in 334 B.C. and establish Greek rule as far as the Punjab. After his death the empire was thrown into confusion, as his generals divided, a local leader Chandragupta Maurya seized the opportunity to return the Punjab to local rule. Nonetheless, Greek and Persian culture continued to exert a strong influence on what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Minar e PakistanThe Mauryan Empire later conquered most of South Asia in the third century B.C. Another important religious development occurred in the 8th century A.D. when Muslim traders brought their new religion to the Sindh (in Pakistan) region. Islam became the state religion under the Ghaznavid Dynasty (997-1187 A.D.). A succession of Turkic/Afghan dynasties ruled the region till 1526 when the area was conquered by Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire (the Badshahi Mosque, Fort and Shalimar garden still stand in Lahore build by Mughal Emperors). Babur was a descendant of Timur (Tamerlane), and his dynasty ruled most of South Asia until 1857 when the British took control. The British Raj, the time when South Asia fell under direct control by the UK government, lasted until 1947.

Pakistan has a parliamentary democracy. The President is the Head of State, while the Prime Minister is the Head of Government. Elections are held every five years and incumbents are eligible for reelection. Pakistan’s two-house Parliament (Majlis-e-Shura) is made up of a 100-member. The National Assembly a total of 342 members. The judicial system is a mix of secular and Islamic courts, including a Supreme Court, provincial courts, and Federal Shari’a courts that administer Islamic law. Pakistan's secular laws are based on British common law. All citizens over 18 years of age have the vote.

The official language of Pakistan is English, but the national language is Urdu (which is closely related to Hindi). The dialects Punjabi, Sindhi, Siraiki, Pashtu, Balochi and a handful of smaller language groups are spoken in a large scale. Most Pakistani languages belong to the Indo-Aryan language family and are written in a Perso-Arabic script. There are 95 to 97 percent Muslims and 3 percent Christians, Hindus Sikhs, Parsi (Zoroastrians), Buddhists and followers of other faiths. Pakistan had a long history of religions coexistence but at present religious discrimination is a very serious issue in the country. The minorities are refused jobs, loans, houses and many similar things. Religious intolerance is growing everyday due to Islamist extremists.

Pakistan is a land of natural resources and minerals, but feudal mind set has limited the facilities, wealth and power is in the hand of few families. Therefore due to incapable and dishonest leadership the country is suffering very serious issues including: terrorism, provincial disharmony, weak foreign policy, lack of science and technology, water shortage, unemployment, low rate of education, lack of sanitation, women proper place in the society and corruption. On this special day we raise our hands in prayer for a good leadership in order to bring back the sovereignty, prosperity, justice, religious tolerance, peace and transparency in Pakistan.

Sr. Rukhsana Murad (Rome, Italy) 

August 13, 2018

Muhammad Ali Jinnah  speech on Making of Pakistan
between 3-14 Aug,1947 in response to Lord Mount Batten

 

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