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Pakistan: Celebrating Independence Day

August 14 is the Independence Day of Pakistan which marks the date when the country was liberated from British colonialism and emerged as a free nation. This year, August 14 was celebrated with jubilation not only in the streets of Pakistan but also in the blogosphere.

Motivated bloggers posted about Pakistan, praying for its prosperity and success. Whereas the posts centered mainly upon the day itself, many ardent bloggers discussed the ideology of Pakistan, citing excerpts by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

Despite the prevailing social, economic and humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, the bloggers wrote optimistically, pinning their hopes on the youth and trusting it with a positive change. Awais Aftab wrote at A Myth in Creation:

The solution is in new beginnings. The solution is a liberal, secular Pakistan. The solution is toleration of diversity. The solution is in opposing extremism and fanaticism. The solution is in fighting terrorism. The solution is in a democratic culture sensitive to safeguarding human rights. The solution is in modern education and critical thinking. The solution is in our hands, the youth and those who know better, of a Pakistan that is yet to be build.

People from all walks of life came out to celebrate Pakistan Independence Day, Islamabad, Pakistan. Image by Niaz Ali, copyright Demotix (14/08/2011).

People from all walks of life came out to celebrate Pakistan Independence Day, Islamabad, Pakistan. Image by Niaz Ali, copyright Demotix (14/08/2011).

On Independence Day I wrote in my personal blog about the potential of Pakistan’s youth:

There is no answer to the now-almost cliché question ‘what are the solutions?’ We have to stop looking everywhere and fervently asking everyone. No one has the answer to that because we, the youth, are the answer. We are the answer to everything that has gone wrong with this nation. We are the answer to the lack of leadership, to corruption and debauchery, to the terrorism and militancy and to all that needs resolving. With an overwhelming populace which comprises a majority of the total population, we are a force to beckon and a power that can truly turn the tide. We are the future of this nation and it’s up to us how we want to shape this future.

Roshni posted an article by Nusrat Pasha in which Nusrat presented extensive quotes from Jinnah’s speeches while debating whether or not Pakistan was meant to be a theocratic Islamic state. He concludes:

Whenever Jinnah uses the terms “Islam” and “Islamic” with reference to Pakistan, they are by no means in the sense of a Shariah State. Instead of focusing on the apparent tenor, which more often than not remains subject to diverse interpretations, debate and dispute, Jinnah very wisely remains focused on the SPIRIT of Islamic teachings, which in essence is also the spirit of every single known revealed religion. Thus he succeeds in upholding the secular cause without sacrificing the elements of morality and universal appeal.

Celebrities and bloggers tweeted with Jinnah’s quotes and wishes of a happy independence day.

Salman Ahmed, a rock-star from Pakistan tweeted:

@sufisal “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. – Muhammad Ali Jinnah #14August #Pakistan” -

A pleasant piece of news that circulated rapidly among Pakistani netizens was a new Guinness world record, made by more than 5,000 people in Karachi who gathered to sing the national anthem. Organized by a well-known entrepreneur, Abid Beli, the event was tweeted under the hash-tag #anthemrecord and soon became the most shared item among Pakistani tweeters on the night of August 14.

Faisal Qureshi, a noted TV talk show host tweeted:

@faisalqureshi: “Pakistan National Anthem Record Event successful. 5857 patriots showed up and sang the anthem with high spirits.#Pakistan#Karachi#14August

Another plus for the country's netizens came in the form of an exclusive first-time Google doodle about Pakistan's Independence Day on Google Pakistan's home page:

The entire Pakistani blogosphere was charged up with hopes and promises for a better future. Education, youth and social activism were cited as tools that can deliver us. It is heartening to see such optimism despite the turbulent times Pakistan is going through. And one wishes that such hopes do indeed materialize and this country becomes known for peace and humanity rather than for other things.

 

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