A Cohesive Pakistan

The existing international, regional and domestic environment has presented Pakistan with a host of security challenges, posing threats to our peace, security, stability and eventually progress. Pakistan is faced with a perennial threat on the Eastern borders and also has to take into consideration the volatile Western borders. This scenario becomes further challenging in case of threats emanating from the domestic situation. With the already existing external threats, periodic domestic issues – the links in the chain of religious extremism, ethnic sloganeering and sectarian violence – can cause serious internal discord or undermine social cohesion. In this anarchic bent of mind of a few segments of the society, the state is left with the limited options of maintaining order, ensuring its writ and peace except through the mechanism of force and might.

In the 21st Century, when rules and laws exist for almost everything, no one can be allowed to take the law into their hands, with the state being the sole proprietor of power and thus the repository of ensuring law and order. The individuals or groups that preach hate and purvey bigotry are no good to any cause, rather a threat to nation’s cohesion and unity. These elements must show respect for the constitutional framework of the country, and avoid taking the law into their own hands. The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees life, liberty and equality of all citizens. It is only the institutions and law that can impose any penalty on the citizens of this country based on facts, evidence and the nature of offense. The judicial process or rule of law cannot be left upon individuals dictating decisions based on their assumptions of ‘righteousness’ and ‘justice’. Such notions are detrimental to the existence and peace of the society.

At this point in time when Pakistan is moving towards progress and development, external inimical forces are also at play to sabotage the dividends of peace that Pakistan has achieved from the hard-fought battles. The attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi is the latest example of a part of conspiracy against the Pak-China economic and strategic cooperation in which Pakistan has emerged as a key player in Beijing's plan to build a 21st century Silk Road through Asia. The sporadic incidents of terrorism in the country also indicate our enemies’ constant efforts to create turmoil.

The Founding Father of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned strong state institutions capable of serving the masses. As Quaid-i-Azam in his speech on October 30, 1947 said, “Remember the scrupulous maintenance and enforcement of law and order are the prerequisites of all progress. The tenets of Islam enjoin on every Musalman to give protection to his neighbors and to the minorities regardless of caste and creed.” Following this vision of Quaid-i-Azam, the Pakistani nation has always maintained its support and confidence in the state institutions. In the present environment when Pakistan is facing external enemies – which are also active internally and ceaselessly conducting subversive and propaganda missions – peace and order maintained through state institutions should be the only course to address the grievances, if any. Creating a crisis situation is no service to the country under any pretext.

Today’s Pakistan is knocking at the door of a new dawn: we have fairly neutralized the forces of terrorism; peace and normalcy has returned to the country; economic viability and revival is not far with projects like CPEC; and vibrant youth comprising both males and females will be our endless treasure in the decades to come. We have a bright and prosperous future ahead, provided that we stay united, not get entangled in any internal conflict, and knowingly or unknowingly do not undermine the state institutions or erode the writ of the state. Let the spirit of patience, accommodation and peaceful mutual co-existence be our driving cardinal to a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.

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