August is one of the happiest months for us as our beloved country was born on the 14th of this month. We celebrate independence from the clutches of the colonial power on this day every year. I took part in the freedom movement and witnessed the brutality of the Gorkha unit on a street in Rawalpindi Cantt where they ruthlessly killed innocent people. The struggle and sacrifices of people to gain freedom are unfathomable for today’s generations.

This was the last leg of the freedom movement, and the British could see the inevitable, that is, they had to give freedom to people of the sub-continent. However, the cunning British were in no mood to go peacefully. They sowed the seed of hatred among communities who had struggled together to free themselves from the clutches of the colonial power. The viceroy Lord Mountbatten did everything from abruptly changing the date of partition to changing agreed-upon boundaries at the last moment to weaken the newly formed Pakistan.

The struggle and sacrifices of people to gain freedom are unfathomable for today’s generations. Although we were not treated fairly, we still celebrate freedom with joy. However, our celebration and spirit of nationalism seem limited to August 14 only. We celebrate the day as a ritual but don’t really treat the country as our own.

Although the Quaid successfully got us freedom and saved us from complete annihilation, he did not live long to put the country on a real path to prosperity. His predecessors did nothing but live beyond their means, adopting a lavish way of living and sinking the country into massive debt. People also seem self-centered and not willing to work hard and pay taxes. Politicians tend to become more self-serving by the day and don’t care about anyone but themselves. While I congratulate my fellow citizens on the day of independence, I also request everyone to work and pray for the country. We seem to be on the path to destruction unless we make huge changes to our ways and that too sooner than later.

My request to our ruling elite and fellow citizens is to think for the country for once and unite to save it from complete disaster.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH,

Islamabad.