It’s New Year time. It’s party time. Do you have your dancing shoes on, already? Have you lined up the party numbers? Are you ready to groove? This is New Year time. All hail to the New Year. But, wait. What would you presumably be this year? Are you going to be a Punjabi, a Sindhi, a Pakhtun, a Balochi, a Giligit (and so on and so forth)?

When you’re going to engage in New Year celebrations, what would you prefer introducing yourself as? A Pakistani or an overseas (Brit, American or whatever) Pakistani? When you’re going to offer your prayers this year, what would you like to be referred to as? A Deobandi, Barelvi, Shia, Salafi etc? Are you going to introduce yourself as a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu or a part of any of the other minorities that are living in Pakistan?

Hold on, who are we in essence, then? When are we ever going to be Pakistani, and nothing but a Pakistani? Where has the ‘national identity’ gone? If you’re a Pakistani, you’re a Pakistani. That’s all that matters. Mind you, I’m not proposing a secular or a theocratic model, or for that matter any other model, for Pakistan to adhere to. This is a severe national security threat. Yes, the absence of national identity does pose a national security risk.

Consider this: On September 11, 2001, there were 116,000 national flags sold and people bought 250,000 flags the next day. The number of flags sold on the same days in the previous year was 6,400 and 10,000 respectively. Prior to 9/11, the majority of the American people used to refer to themselves as Whites, Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians including Pacific Islanders. Also, there were either Catholics, Protestants or adherents of any other religion. 9/11 changed the entire dynamics. It infused national unity among the Americans. And, the results have been superb.

Wasn’t APS attack the 9/11 of Pakistan? If that didn’t unite the nation, then I wonder, what actually can. It was time for all the Pakistanis to shed their associations and the differences related thereof. It was supposed to be so. The ‘never again’ resolve was there for a brief period, but it conked out all too early.

It isn’t just the civilian and military bureaucracy that has to get the job done, but individual responsibility can’t be stressed enough. Ask yourself when was the last time you acted as a ‘Pakistani’, your behavioral patterns incorporated being a Pakistani and your existence espoused being a Pakistani.

This bunch of 200 million or so people needs to be united under one banner. This is the only choice. Time is running quickly, but better be late than never. It’s already too late. The country is fragmented. You can’t expect much unless you start thinking as a Pakistani. Everything else will fall in place.

I’m not questioning your patriotism guys, it’s a matter of national security. It becomes extremely difficult for a divided nation to survive the onslaught of Fifth Generation Warfare (5GW). Remove all the differences among you, and unite under one banner, the banner of Pakistan. The state of affairs cut a sorry figure, but hope springs eternal. Being optimistic is the key to survivability.

So, when you chalk out your to-do list for 2017, make sure to add national unity among the ranks as well.

Be Pakistani. Be original. Be logical. Long Live Pakistan!