Imtiaz Rafi Butt Pakistan is, indeed, a unique country in history. It was always meant to be unique, always destined to stand out. From its very inception, our forefathers knew that the journey they had embarked on was not to create just another realm like so many in history that have come and gone before. Jinnah, Iqbal, and so many of the visionaries along with them, knew that Pakistan was an experiment never attempted before; it was no common nation based on merely culture, linguistic or ethnic homogeny, but a country of free men based on liberation from centuries of persecution and founded on the principles of Islam. Pakistan by design was a sanctuary, an opportunity, a second chance for the dejected, the downtrodden, the ostracised alike to govern themselves, nurture an infant nation and an infant people, and craft from whatever resources they could, a new commonwealth, fair and equitable in all its dealings to all its citizens. A nation where no man with means would let his neighbour sleep hungry, or an injustice take place, a land where the humanitarian principles of Islam would be followed, a realm not just for the Muslim, but for all of the dejected minorities of the subcontinent, whom the Muslims were by far the largest proportion of. The most astonishing fact about the creation of Pakistan appears to be the sheer amount of sacrifices that the people were willing to make just to get here. We all know the horror stories of partition, but even with the massacres, the people were willing to risk everything - life, limb, family and fortune - only for a chance to be part of the great experiment of Pakistan. In those immigrants, there was a spirit, energy, and enthusiasm so rare nowadays that I fear it might be extinct. It was the love for an unborn Pakistan that far outweighed any emotion that has been expressed by Pakistanis today. Unfortunately, in contemporary times Pakistan stands out among the ranks of nations for all the wrong reasons, associated with all evils that can plague a modern society; terrorism, dishonesty, corruption, poverty, injustice, illiteracy and nepotism. It seems like the experiment is failing. The dreams, hopes, ambitions, efforts and sacrifices of millions, over multiple generations all seem to be fading into the emptiness of oblivion. However, to give in to despair would be to forget those very sacrifices, to betray that very spirit. We should not forget that our nation has had to face many challenges that go far beyond what was envisioned by our founders. Being caught ever since its inception, in a vicious cycle of war, political instability, economic hardship and greater geopolitical struggles of global superpowers, I feel Jinnah, Iqbal and others like them would be proud of the fact that we kept Pakistan alive and in its own right an important and relevant country. Our generation might not have been able to fulfil their dreams, but at least there is another generation of young ambitious Pakistanis, who have the chance to try. The writer is the chairman of the Jinnah Rafi Foundation, and Honorary Consul for Malaysia.