The year is drawing to a close and it is time to take stock and reflect on how far we have come and how to move forward from here. In this regard, the Quaid’s birthday towards the very end of December helps us take inspiration from his life and ponder on the wisdom of his thoughts and ideals for his nation. His vision was for Pakistan to appear on the world stage as a progressive, inclusive, and prosperous nation. Ahead of his times as he was, he believed that these goals could not be achieved without women of Pakistan comprehending the significance of their role and making use of their potential. For this reason, he emphasized and reiterated how important it was for women to come forward and work for the development of the new nation.
He, however, did not see this role to be an emulation of the western thought, in fact he stressed that the women of his nation should model their efforts according to our own customs and traditions. Although he was a staunch supporter of women having their own careers, he did not believe that working outside the home was the only way women could play their part in nation building and development of the country, rather they could also make their contribution in this regard by supporting their men and raising their children as responsible, productive citizens. After all, women are best equipped to transfer morals and values essential to bringing about societal change that strengthens a nation from within; only a country that is strong from within can fend challenges that it faces to progress and prosper.
Of this strength, important components are freedom, equality and tolerance that lead to harmony. The Quaid was a firm believer of these values. He did not subscribe to discrimination on basis of gender, religion, caste or creed and believed that such distinctions are only of a personal nature not having anything “to do with the business of the state.”
Pakistan has transitioned fairly well and rather quickly from the divisions created by the wounds of Partition. The need is to keep going forward and not stagnate. Each one of us is duty-bound to act for the good of the country in our own capacity; that is the only way we can realise the dream of the Quaid and achieve our destiny.
December reminds us of some deep national wounds as well but it is important to realise that only mourning our losses will not serve us, remembering the sacrifices and celebrating the morale and resilience of the nation during its darkest hours will. Let us honour the lives and sacrifices of these immortals by resolving to turn Pakistan into a country that will never have to go through such harrowing times again.
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