Mar 28 - Apr 3, 20

Following the past practice, Pakistan Day commemorating the passage of the Lahore Resolution, later called, the Pakistan Resolution, which eventually led to the creation of Pakistan, was celebrated on March 23 across the country and in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) with traditional zeal and enthusiasm amid manifold internal and external challenges posed to the country.

This day reminds us that on 23rd March 1940, a resolution was adopted in an All India Muslim League Annual Session at Minto Park Lahore called "Pakistan Resolution", which has its significance and importance in the creation of Muslim state "Pakistan". Under the visionary leadership of Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammed Ali Jinnah Pakistan came into being on 14th August 1947. For the creation of this Nation, countless lives were lost and people from both sides were slaughtered in pre-partition riots.

Pakistan was created by our forefathers to ensure that they and their future generations would be able to live with honour and dignity, free to practice their faith without anyone imposing their will on them.

Today, we Pakistanis have a huge burden on our shoulders. It is our foremost duty to safeguard the interests of Pakistan and work in every way we can to ensure the unity and prosperity of our people and nation. Unfortunately, at that time we were in search of a nation but today Pakistan is in search of its people. Those people who were willing to render any sacrifice for Pakistan. People who made every decision based on the effect it would have on Pakistan. What we lack today is the will or the resolve to serve this nation to the best of our capabilities like we did in the days of Pakistan Movement. No one is willing to understand that every single action that we take has a direct effect on Pakistan and Pakistani interest has been replaced unfortunately by self-interest.

This is especially evident in the government and other public institutions where corruption dominates life. Today, rampant corruption, bad governance, high inflation, external pressure, flawed policies, and will to sacrifice for the country are major challenges posed to the country.

Dependence on donors, accepting foreign pressure and engulfing of country's economy in clutches of donor agencies had already made difficult situation. Due to high cost of business, our businesspersons not to talk about foreign investors are shifting their businesses to other countries, which need to be checked while outflow of capital should be checked.

Pakistan Day is not just about hoisting a flag on our rooftops and finding cause to celebrate. It is about reflecting on what effect our actions are having on our country, thinking how best we can serve our nation and doing everything we can in this regard. We must remember that every action we take can have a positive or negative effect on Pakistan. Even if each one of us supports the education of one Pakistani child, it can have a major positive impact on our country. On the other hand, even something viewed as small such as throwing rubbish in the streets can have an impact on our country. Nevertheless, March 23rd is the day of renewal of pledge for making Pakistan stronger, prosperous and democratic besides achieving the goal of preserving our history and heritage.

On this day, several dignitaries visited the mausoleum of Allama Muhammad Iqbal to pay homage to the great poet and philosopher. People belonging to different walks of life also visited the mausoleum and laid wreaths on the grave and offered fateha.

Sindh Governor, Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan and other dignitaries visited the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi and laid floral wreaths and paid great homage to the Father of the Nation.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also laid floral wreath at the Quaid's mausoleum and paid rich tributes to the Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah at mazar-e-Quaid.

Pakistan Television, Radio Pakistan and private channels aired special programmes to highlight the significance of Pakistan Day and various aspects of the life and work of founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other leading personalities.

According to Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, it was our responsibility to make our younger generation fully aware of the Ideology of Pakistan.

She said Pakistan is a peace loving nation and has achieved several landmarks in the recent past which are not highlighted properly. Our armed forces as well as the people have rendered great sacrifices in the war against terrorism that is why March 23rd is being celebrated as "Day of Martyrs", she said.

Awan said marking the day should also reflect our responsibilities towards the country as in the civilized societies citizens as they on one hand enjoy the rights while on the other fulfill their responsibilities.