Today is the 64th Birthday of our beloved country Pakistan. This is a day of celebration for all Pakistanis, whether at home or abroad. I recently came across a term earlier this month, ‘Pakophilia’. Pakophilia is a term used to describe love for all aspects of Pakistan, ranging from its culture and history to its food and people. I can proudly say I have quite a few Pakophiles in my family, the most ‘Pakophilic’ being my two younger brothers Mustafa and Mujtaba.
I got an email today from my aunt who had sent me a very interesting and informative forwarded article about the history of our country. The original email is from a person whose father in law gifted him a 1948 copy of Life Magazine. The contents of the email, without editing at my end, are:
‘Article on Pakistan from a 1948 copy of LIFE Magazine that my father in law gifted to me.
Some of the key takeaways from the article on Pakistan
– 97% illiteracy rate.
– Only 26,000 people working in industry
– All professionals left for India and Pakistan inherited 6 million impoverished peasants who had left their land behind.
– No real leaders besides Jinnah (interesting that LAK was not even mentioned at that time) – was it an inevitability that Army filled the void an started a cycle of producing corrupt politicians?
– The magazine suggests Pakistan needed a commercial rapprochement to India if its citizens were to be clothed.
– At the time of partition all important businessmen migrated to India with all the gold bullion and other liquid assets of the country.
– US$ 450 mln in income vs US$ 800 mln of expenditure – and of course LAK pursued borrowing /aid over investment (freedom was mortgaged right from the start)?
After reading this article, it seems that in 1947, Pakistan was further behind India than it is now. It is a miracle that the country survived even with a continuity of corrupt leaders, feudalism and radicalization of general public. The only thing that kept the country going at that time was the zeal, positivity and unity of the people. This article gives me hope that all’s not lost yet for our country. We have been called a failed state before and we have survived. All we need is a leader, a direction, faith and tolerance.
Happy Independence Day.
The original copy of the 1948 Life Magazine was also included in the email. The contents on Pakistan from there have been pasted below:
I remember reading an article few years back which had a few lines that really touched me. I do not recall the name of the article or the name of the author. I do recall the lines very vividly, and they are perfect for ending this article:
‘Ask the Chechens, ask the Palestinians, ask the Kashmiris how precious freedom is. Even an imperfect one.’
(This article has previously been posted here : http://surreallist.blogspot.com/2011/08/happy-independence-day-pakistan.html )