On Friday the 14th of August, 2009 Pakistan celebrated its 62nd Independence Day. This year the mainstream media launched special coverage of the celebration of independence on TV and on the web. The bloggers also joined in with their own campaign. The twitter Go Green Campaign continued with over 6200 twitter users from around the globe successfully bringing #Pakistan on the top of the most trending topic on twitter. Another campaign was launched by Pakistan’s biggest Blog aggregator Teabreak, where bloggers sent in their pieces reflecting their thoughts on the special day.
Hamid Abbassi on Chowrangi talks about the celebrations and joy of the internally displaced people of Swat valley region as they are traveling back to their homes:
This 14th August is more special than any other I could remember, as just a few months back we were fighting a war to save our very existence, against an evil enemy which was all out to disrupt our foundations. At the same time there was a flood of IDP’s in the open skies, uncertain about there future and fate. But the sweetest memory came last night from the streets of a valley named Swat, where the locals poured in thousands to celebrate.
Kalsoom Lakhani at Changing Up Pakistan also talked about the spirit of the IDP, narrating her meeting with the IDP families living in Islamabad and their spirit of unity:
One mother told me her daughter couldn’t attend school for nearly two years because of the Talibans. Another said they didn’t have enough money to pay their electricity bill, let alone come up with rent for her and her ten family members living in cramped quarters.(..) Sitting across from those women yesterday, their courage brought tears to my eyes. Their story taught me how important it is to reach outside one’s comfort zone to help fellow citizens in need, regardless of their caste or creed. At the end of the day, we must remember that we are all Pakistan. Hum ek hain, [“We are one.”].
Max Robinson at Teabreak’s campaign blog gives his perspective about the Pakistani People:
Despite all its troubles over the last 62 years, Pakistan is still here. Its people remain the most hospitable I’ve ever known and have made me feel as if I belong. That’s something I cherish and one-day hope to repay in kind.
The resilience of Pakistanis was shown during the IDP crisis, which prompted mass acts of kindness among ordinary people. Although the figures of cash raised may not have been as high as during the 2005 earthquake, many homes, schools and other buildings opened their doors to the displaced during the Swat action.
Many Twitter messages contained informative facts about Pakistan. Some of the most interesting tweets were from Hina, which can be seen compiled on her blog with a post titled “#Pakistan Twitter Treasure Archive”:
Farhan Masood, an inventor and a futurist initiated the GO Green Campaign was also on the game and tweeting:
Many twitterers from across the globe also joined in to celebrate Pakistan’s Independence Day inspired by the Go Green Rally on Twitter. In a friendly gesture Indian and Pakistani tweeps also exchanged wishes on the occasion.
@JoannaV40 Happy Independence Day #Pakistan Zindabad!
@maxrobinson Happy Birthday #Pakistan! May you live on forever.
The Go green campaign was also widely covered by the mainstream media. I, along with Faisal Kapadia talked about the Go Green Campaign at Breakfast at Dawn with Naveen Naqvi.
Part 1: Breakfast At Dawn- Go Green
On my own blog I wrote about the journey of Pakistan as a nation, highlighting the recent events in Gojra and the Christian community’s condemnation against Gojra riots by not celebrating the independence day and hoisting a black flag:
These gestures are symbols that many in our society are aware of their rights, and that for them the Independence Day means a lot more than just a celebratory gesture. Celebrating Independence Day is not only hoisting flags, painting green and enchanting slogans; it goes much deeper to the very roots of ‘freedom and right to exist (co-exist) as a society.’ Let us hope we all realize that soon and march forth to a much-needed change.
Pakistan Zindabad ! (Long Live Paksitan)