This is the Diamond Jubilee year for Pakistan as it completes seventy-five years of independence and so, despite the dire economic situation that we find ourselves in, we celebrate this Independence Day with a deep sense of gratitude. Pakistan that is a result of immense determination and resolve bundled with human and material sacrifice, has seen ups and downs throughout its history but has always come on top, from a nascent nation state that many expected to fail to a state that has the allure of being everything that its detractors claimed it could never be. This year, as we commemorate and express gratitude for this blessing, women in particular need to renew their resolve to employ their full potential to contribute towards making Pakistan ever stronger so it can weather the storms that it faces now or those that it will surely encounter in the future.
Women are at the forefront of any country’s journey towards prosperity and progress. Not only are they a great pool of human potential that needs to be utilized to its fullest for the economic growth of the country, they also hold in their hands the tools to forge the path for future generations to feel pride in their national identity and pour their sweat and blood for its development. Women are making their contributions in every sphere of national life and if anything, their services to their country are diversifying. No longer do women think or work in only the traditional fields, they recognize the need to maximize their contribution by making use of their potential where it most aptly fits. This realization that finds its roots in the Pakistan Movement is what will take Pakistan to the heights of glory that its founders envisioned for it.
The recognition of the redefined role of women as productive partners has yet again confounded many that continue to look at Pakistan as a country where women are treated as second class citizens; the accomplishments of the amazing women of Pakistan in nearly every field continually break the stereotypes that have been formed about the Pakistani society. However, while we laud the efforts and successes of our women, we owe our gratitude to the founding fathers of our country who had the foresight to ensure that we had access to opportunities. Especially, when we look at the condition of Muslims in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K) and India, with women increasingly becoming the prime targets of oppression and fascist tactics of the Indian state. These women have been robbed of their rights that we enjoy so naturally. And so, while we celebrate with gratitude, we should also be aware of our responsibility of becoming the voice of these sisters who have to fight for their rights, which many a time is a losing battle.
This August 14, we should all resolve to work even harder and in so doing employ all available resources to make Pakistan a progressive and prosperous state so it can emerge out of the turbulent times it currently finds itself in. And while we work to improve our fortune making use of the freedom that Allah has blessed us with, let us not forget the to become the voice of downtrodden women of IIOJ&K who await such freedom as well as the women in India, particularly its Muslim women.
Wish you all a very Happy Independence Day. May Pakistan forever prosper!
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