Archive for the ‘National Days’ Category

Islooites, How Do You Plan to Celebrate the Independence Day this Year?

I have vivid memories of celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day in my childhood. Yes, every 14th August, I along with my cousins performed the same rituals of buying loads of buntings and flags, decorating my grandmother’s house with flags, buntings and candles, waking up early morning on 14th August to watch live the flag hoisting ceremony from Islamabad and listening to the patriotic songs sung by Sohail Rana’s trained and directed children choir. Nevertheless, one thing I always missed was the “21-gun salute”. A lot many of you would have followed the same rituals of celebrating the ‘Independence Day’ during your childhood.

I am a grown up adult by now. However, I stopped celebrating the “Independence Day” with the same zeal I used to celebrate this day in my childhood.  Yes, I stopped because I was frustrated by listening to ‘mere patriotic slogans’ every independence day whereas in reality I observed people neither abiding law, nor honoring our constitution and thus polluting the ‘land of pure’ to the extent that It has been ranked among top ten failed states in Foreign Policy Magazine’s “Failed States Index 2009”. Nevertheless, during all those years of ‘not celebrating’ the Independence Day I loved hoisting a national flag on the roof-top of my house in Lahore. But this was it all, I spent the whole day every year sleeping and resting in my room celebrating “my holiday” from work. However, I commemorated the Independence Day in 2007 & 2008 with my fellow Pakistani and Australian students in my university in Melbourne (Australia) by dancing in university with our national flag. Well, yes Pakistan with its bad reputation across the world and its ranking among top ten failed states of the world is my ‘identity’.

This year, when I am in Pakistan again and Pakistan’s 62nd Independence Day is only a week’s away, I am wondering how to celebrate this day other than urging my friends to ‘Go Green Pakistan’ and change their display pictures on facebook in order to show unity as a ‘nation’ at least for one single day . My question to all of you Islooites is “How do you plan to celebrate the Independence Day this year (if this day really means anything to you)?”

Happy Independence Day to all of you !!!

Yaum e Takbeer: The Day that Made Us Proud

I can still go down the memory lane and collect small strands from that day when it actually happened. It was a pretty regular evening for me. I was doing my BSc at that time and was roaming around in my hostel corridor, probably trying to study for a test. Being in the hostel and not very interested in current affairs I did not have much idea of the situation outside my little world. All I knew was that India had done atomic blasts some time ago and was bullying us like anything.

That time there was a lot of praise in my mind for the then government and the armed forces who were standing tall in front of the tyrant as a strong protective wall. I knew there were pressures from the bigger intimidating bully (the USA) as well which required dealing with and that filled my heart with even more gratitude for the government and the forces.

I was thinking like a little kid that why can’t we “fight” back and “punch” the bullies. I kept asking this question from myself and always came up with the answer that maybe it is not the appropriate time to retaliate. I did not dare to think even for a second that God forbid we were incapable of replying back. That thought would have been a serious nightmare.

And then in the corridors a little noise was raised. It seemed to be coming from the TV lounge. Everybody in sight or in earshot moved towards the sound. I did too with my lazy steps, thinking that maybe it was some “girly” girl who saw a lizard and was frightened [no offense to the girly girls :-) ]. But when I reached there the scene was quite different.

I heard the news that Pakistan has finally done atomic blasts. And doing so had brought the motherland to the pedestal where 6 other nuclear power nations already stood. I didn’t think of anything else any more after that. I just glided back to my room, feeling extremely light in heart and mind. I could feel the warmth of that feeling all over me. I actually felt proud at a national achievement.

I usually never show much zeal and fervor when the anniversary of this day, known as Yaum e Takbeer, is celebrated. I never go out to any events or chant out patriotic slogans. All I do is remember the day and recall that warm feeling. It lights a little light and makes my heart glow.

That was a day that made us all proud, really proud indeed. May Allah bestow more of such achievements on us, the Pakistani nation.

Pakistan Zindabad! :-)

Happy Pakistan Day

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It was 23rd of March, 1940, when Muslims of Sub-continent resolved for a country. It took them time, and cost them lives, families and everything they had, but they stood firm and made it.

Its been 69 years, into the history.

And here we stand, again. We have another situation, not same, but equally complicated.

We can still make it.

All it needs is a strong resolution.

May be !!!

Allah o Akbar: The Memories

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The lights on Chaghi’s model near Faizabad fluover commemorating this day when Pakistan became nuclear power.

A decade down the lane already. I remember when the news arrived that Pakistan has successfully tested Nuclear Bombs; people were of two views. Happier lot and the ones fretting over deteriorating economy and condition of awaam.  Still, at large we were hopeful and happy. The next year Nawaz Sharif, the then prime minister, asked Pakistanis to take part in naming the day. Since online option existed too (and there was a good good prize money :~) ), I particpated too. Didnt get the prize, still got Nawaz Sharif’s signed letter of thanks. He was not in my good books then. Yaum e takbeer, it was named.

A decade gone and we haven’t moved much. Forward not at all; backward probably yes. When I look around I see frustration. People cannot feed their kids milk, eggs, meat, pulses, fruits and even vegetables. Wheat is already short. And in these circumstances if I get to read family suicidal news, I’m not shocked. Suicide is haraam in Islam. But Islam lead towards a welfare state … that is far-fetched dream still. And when I look further, I see on roads of Islamabad young boys holding cigars and cigarettes, thumping deck of their Porsche and Convertible BMWs. Obviously hard-earned by their fathers … the stark comparison STUNS me.  I can whine at heart; in act probably I’m part of this corrupt tale.

I hope teh end I’m seeing is not a dead-end. Inshah Allah!

Labor’s Day: Mazdoor, Kids & Us

Like every 1st May, posts are made and news pieces are written all over the globe to share the care we have for the labor class.

Regardless of the fact that do we pay any heed to their needs or the simple fact they are all-human-just-like-us on other 364 days of the year; the picture below can cause anyone to feel instantly en grief for the poor kid who’s working when he’s still a youngling. But in today’s soaring dearness what more to expect?? Be it an adult or a kid … both have to work hard to earn a few bucks only. That hardly helps in meeting the two ends.

I read a few articles today and ‘am for many days crying out about CHILD LABOR at large. The situation seems similar to those earthquake days when, oblivious of the difficult terrain of Kashmir, western media was saying Pakistani army is not just trying hard.

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Child labor is an issue that needs to be healed deep. When their are mouths to fed, they dont care about age. And for that matter should they be?? With milk, oil, flour, meat, chicken, eggs, vegetables, rice … all out of one’s reach … you can do two things. Either Steal/Beg or Earn. And they are earning.

What do you think?? Will we be able to eradicate this … will we ever be prosperous enough to give books in these beautiful lil’ hands. About knowledge, they are gaining it though the hard way.

As for US, we are enjoying yet another off-day … sad it doesn’t collide in with the weekend.

<< Haymarket Affair in Chicago

Pakistan day Parade

While the nation was(barely celebrating) the Pakistan’s day this last Sunday, I for the first time in my life got a chance to see the Parade live ( although I lived in the air force community for over 20 years now).
For the past several years I had started to get disinterested in the show but theres always something about this showcasing of the ceremonial aspect of this military which is very inspiring and brings out the patriotic spirit in almost everyone, including me.
I had wished to see the parade live for several years and it was this year that my wish was granted.The president of Pakistan himself invited me to the Parade so I just had to go!!! :P (See pic below).

Invitition

The whole ceremony was just awesome from the entrance of the president, the fly past of the Air Chief with afterburners on his F-16, to the skydiving and then the folding of the flag.
Although many of us may not like the military but you cant deny that they are the most disciplined unit in the country. And discipline is what we need the most in our chaotic lives. The aircraft acrobatic team of T-37 Shirdils displayed some awesome skill on their aircraft while working as a team and performing each move with accuracy and to perfection.
The parade not only shows the military might of the country but it also shows that we are becoming self-reliant and are making advanced military products. Which not only serve our purpose but can also help us in earning foreign exchange.
Missiles like Shaheen II, Tanks like Babar and the newly developed aircraft JF-17 clearly shows the forward thinking of the country and its quest for making its self stand on its own feet.

Happy Pakistan Day

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It was the decisive day of March 23, 1940, when Pakistan Resolution (Lahore Resolution originally) was passed in general session of Muslim League at Iqbal Park (Manto Park originally), Lahore. It was this day that provided a direction to thousands of Muslims of sub-continent to move into. And it was this resolution that translated into creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947.

Keeping the current state of affairs in our beloved country in view, the day happens to be a saddening one. What it was meant to be, and what we have got it into?

*sigh*

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