On March 23, 1940 under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam, who by then knew with certainty that Muslims couldn’t prosper and live their lives with freedom in a Hindu dominated India, creation of a new country was formally demanded, thus discerning our own destiny as an independent nation. On March 23, 2019 this country, now a septuagenarian force, saw participation of representatives from different countries in Joint Services Pakistan Day Parade – which is held in commemoration of the momentous events of that day 79 years ago – including Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, China, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Turkey. Participation of Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Bin Mohamad as the guest of honor and Azerbaijan's Defence Minister, and the Commander National Guard Bahrain among other foreign dignitaries is an indication of Pakistan’s standing in the world, much to the dismay of India and its obsession of isolating Pakistan. The aerobatic performance of the J-10 fighter jets of China’s PLAAF, the Turkish Air Forces’ F-16 Fighting Falcon Solo Turk and free fall jumps by the paratroopers from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, KSA and Sri Lanka, and the marching contingents from Azerbaijan and KSA is an indication of Pakistan’s strengthening defence and strategic ties with these brotherly countries.
The parade assumed even more significance as it was held at a time when Pakistan’s eastern neighbor was stoking renewed belligerence and threatening Pakistan with war. It is now an established fact that the Modi government is trying to distract voters from the impact of a slowing economy by doubling down on the nationalist rhetoric and militant nationalism that helped in bringing him to power.
The rise of Hindutva is putting regional peace in danger as in the aftermath of Pulwama incident when India’s plans went haywire with the arrest of Indian pilot, there was a reported increase in the incidents of internal violence apart from the external aggression that the BJP government had only recently displayed. The burning down of 200 houses of Muslims in Meerut, UP, harassment of Muslims all over India, or beating up anyone who as much as spoke in favor of Pakistan, are among the recent incidents of incitement against Muslims in India. The mass killings and scorched-earth brutality in Kashmir is one more example that has drawn rebuke from all sides, however, the resolution of this issue remains a sticking point. The only plausible reason for adopting this aggressive strategy is to underplay uprising and freedom struggle in Indian Occupied Kashmir while labeling it as terrorism.
On the other hand, out of the need to resolve issues and maintain peace, Pakistan handled the intractable conflict in a mature and responsible manner, outmaneuvering India. Pakistan’s status as a responsible nuclear state was further solidified as a result. As the President in his speech on the occasion of Joint Services Pakistan Day Parade said, “Pakistan's sovereignty has been challenged in the past and wars were imposed on us but the nation fought back. Pakistan respects all the countries' sovereignty and wishes them peace but our desire for peace should not be misconstrued as a sign of weakness".
In a nutshell, as India continues to push minorities under the radical tide of bigotry thereby making its ambitions dramatically evident, our faith in the foresighted vision of our Founding Fathers has been renewed further; and the cornerstone of his ideology has been proven again before our eyes. Pakistan has time and again proven its potential as it makes its way through the labyrinth of complexities and challenges and has given a message to the world that Pakistan is here to stay forever and is on the path to sustainable progress while carving out its route towards lasting peace.
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