Published in "The Nation" https://nation.com.pk/23-Mar-2021/the-lasting-impact-of-the-pakistan-idea
Throughout history, philosophers have debated over the reality of this world. Some have stated that the only things that are real are the ones that we can see, or touch and thus, sensory recognition is the only reality, while others have suggested that nothing is real, everything is a form of deception. Sooner or later, we all accept that every concept like space, time and energy are created by us to define the actions of the things that exist around us.
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was joined by the leaders of the All-India Muslim League addressed a gathering on a fresh spring day in 1940, at Minto Park near Badshahi Mosque. Acknowledging the idea and laying down the foundation of this idea through a demand for Pakistan, the Lahore Resolution was supported by all major Muslim leaders of the time.
Ideas have the power to change the course of history and those that are raised with strong voices have the power to change the world’s map, and still those that are strengthened by the sacrifices of its people have the courage to rise as independent states. Strong empires have been broken due to the lack of belief, yet small ideas have lived on to stand on the map as independent nations because they were believed in by strong men of history. An idea survives once it is believed, and once we accept the idea, we become the means of its promulgation.
The idea of Lahore Resolution, signed on March 23, became the basis on which the endeavor for Pakistan was built. The place where the believers of the nation once stood, created a platform representing the idea and concept that Muslims are a separate nation, emphasising that a nation is distinguished from others based on religion and traditions. The idea for the establishment of a separate nation faced criticism and resistance from other parties but the determined political struggle for this idea continued by strong-willed people, which led to the establishment of a separate state. “With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.”
The idea of including Muslim majority states into an identity of unity came to be implemented through the turbulence of a bloody partition and the pressures of mass migration, eventually laying down the first steps of its existence that experienced great resistance from every side. Pakistan was created as a witness to the idea of the two-nation theory and exactly 81 years after the Pakistan Resolution was passed, it still stands as a witness to that idea. “Pakistan…was the only just, honourable, and practical solution of the most complex constitutional problem of this great subcontinent. Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation...”, said the Quaid.
Pakistan achieved independence from colonial rule on August 14, 1947. After nine years of its independence, the first constitution was enforced on March 23, 1956. This day also signifies the endorsement of the country’s first constitution and its revolution as a democratic state. However, the goals of its idea soon met with the realities that challenged its existence. The story of Pakistan and its experience is interwoven with the story of its founders’ struggle against the resistance towards achieving freedom. The Pakistan Movement is engraved not only in its foundation but daily struggles as well. Pakistan’s life has been defined by policies that aim to capture the ideals of an Islamic state. Since its birth, it has been struggling for prosperity and fighting the wars that challenge its vision of existence.
Like a strong survivor and warrior, as Pakistan swayed from one crisis to the next, its image and experience matured into a strong purpose to prove its identity. Throughout its experience, Pakistan remained an enduring image of an independent idea. No matter the troubles whether big or small, from within or outside, our country stands as a true experience of independent ideas. The beauty of all this is that we all get the chance to play some part to some extent in defining the idea of our own country. No matter where we go or where we are, our own existence represents the idea of the country we belong to.
The human imagination and actions can play a tremendous role in laying the foundations of an idea or holding the idea of existence through an experience. When we imagine the impossible, philosophies seem useless, and nature is unable to deal with it. For a country that was impossible to be imagined at one time, the idea of Pakistan to exist against all odds is an extraordinary story that deserves to be told. Pakistan’s daily struggles reflect on the repressed opportunities available to its geostrategic position for fighting against terrorism and uprisings. Pakistan has been there for decades and it is there to stay.
“There is no power on earth that can undo Pakistan.”