Pakistan and its identity crisis has its roots in disowning the history of it’s very people. It’s the history of the Indus Valley, and what Aitzaz Ahsan explained more thoroughly in his book: The Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan. This wrong way of thinking has lead Pakistanis to not only losing their identity, but has also left them confused and bewildered. Why is it so hard to accept that we once were not all Muslims yet were still not unworthy?
Zeal for nationalism has tried to pretend as if we have a common religious identity across the country. This religious identity has proven to be insufficient to overcome the cultural disparity from region to region. People over time change, their customs and behavior evolve. Are we to assume that not matter what transpires the people and their habits are going to remain stagnant? Attempting to keep the pressure cooker from changing shape while giving it more and more heat isn’t going to produce the kinds of results that are of much help.
The darkness and disillusionment with what once was, and what is, has widened. The law and order, and respect for life, strangely enough, was greater in the past, even in the colonial era, than it is now. In the name of national interest, so many lines have been crossed, and so many ideals sacrificed, that we no longer remember what it felt like to just not be fighting something or someone.
Freedom can be had without nationalism, and perhaps more so in it’s purer form. What we are lacking isn’t entrepreneurship or daring, but rather a sense of what it feels to not be bound. The idea that people can live in harmony has been replaced with the idea that people can live in harmony only at gunpoint.
Do we now look back and attempt to recreate what the founder imagined to be the ideal, or do we accept that perhaps it is time to think anew? That perhaps relying on one man to figure it all out was too tall of an order. And that it is high time to stop looking back, and instead to forge ahead, paving a new path. A path that would redefine who we are, and lead to peace, happiness, and prosperity for all.