It was soothing to know that all Pakistanis were on the same page and spoke with one voice during the recent skirmishes between Pakistan and India. The spirit of patriotism was all pervasive across the country. This is the beauty of the Pakistani nation. It was prior to the independence of Pakistan, when 80 million Indian Muslims realized that they were in minority and were deprived of their basic rights in the Hindu majority sub-continent. The Muslims commenced their struggle for a separate homeland and their dream came true in the shape of beautiful Pakistan, our dear homeland. It was way back in February 1941, when the Muslim League Working Committee decided that March 23 would be celebrated as the Pakistan Resolution day. We all know that Pakistan Day commemorates the passing of the Lahore Resolution on March 23, 1940 which stipulated that the Muslims wanted a separate Muslim state for the Muslims of the British Indian Empire.
Pakistan Day is celebrated every year with national zeal and fervor. Various processions are taken out and a deluge of seminars and events are organized to emphasize the significance of this day. Festivities are witnessed everywhere right from the President and Prime Minister Houses to the Governor Houses across the country. It is great to know that various high profile dignitaries from across the world come to Pakistan as the Prime Minister of Malaysia is on the visit of Pakistan this year mainly to take part in the celebrations of the Pakistan Day in addition to various business ventures for mutual benefits of Pakistan and Malaysia.
During the festivities of Pakistan Day this year, the incumbent government must have realized that there is dire need to take right economic decisions to pull the country out of the economic quagmire. Pakistan has monumental potential for the economic growth however enormous challenges lie ahead which are to be tackled. Along with the celebrations of the festivities, it is imperative to look at the conundrums which Pakistan is confronting even after almost seven decades of its existence. Pakistan confronts two emergent conundrums at this juncture and they are dilapidated infrastructure and rampant corruption and these two issues have been discussed from time to time by the people at the helm of affairs. Besides, Pakistan faces lower literacy rate which has fallen to 58%. It is believed that the literacy rate among the population of 15 years and older in Pakistan is 57% while it is 86% in Iran, 73% in Bangladesh, 92% in Sri Lanka and 99% in the Maldives, to mention just a few regional countries.
It is of core significance to address this issue so that our future celebrations may include more literate population which eventually helps the country in terms of economic prosperity and leads to sustenance. Furthermore, burgeoning population may put more pressures on the already feeble economy in the days to come since the current 210 million may cross 230 million in the not-too-distant future by virtue of the over 3% birth rate in Pakistan. We have become the world’s sixth-most populous country which requires more resources right from education to medical facilities to safe drinking water to housing to food security etc.
According to one recent study, it is heart-wrenching to know that over 80% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water and water supply sources in Sindh and Punjab in some instances are contaminated with arsenic. The incumbent government needs to take immediate steps in this emergent issue.
According to a report, around 80% of Pakistan’s poor live in rural areas which indicates that there has always been less focus by the previous governments on the rural population though it is their vote bank. Pakistan’s rural areas where over 60% population lives are far more disadvantaged in all respects be it education, medical facilities, transportation, employment opportunities etc. The rural enrolment rate in primary and middle schools is far lower compared to the urban areas.
There is no second opinion that along with the industrialization process, Pakistan’s future lies in its developed and progressive agriculture. Pakistan is an amazingly resilient country and there are ample chances to take the country forward and put it on the trajectory of prosperity with determination and vigor.
This year has been a tremendous year for Pakistan as world leaders have been visiting or are intending to visit Pakistan in the near future for better economic and political ties. Future of Pakistan is bright and the economic prosperity owing to the burgeoning interest of the global business leaders augurs well.