The Independence Day anniversary is a befitting occasion to look back at our brief history of 65 years and see whether and to what extent we have been able to realise the dream that the Founding Fathers had visualised for the country. Yes, there have been some successes but they are lost in the present-day disarray, forcing even the older generations, which were witness to them and, in fact, had made them possible, to doubt whether they really succeeded. Let us begin with the beginning. The young nation inspired with the belief of making the new country for the Muslims of India a success, overcame the seemingly insurmountable odds that accosted it at the time of the partition. Although encumbered with the overwhelming grief at the massacre of a million-odd Muslims, the people, all to a man, put their shoulder to the wheel to rehabilitate a far larger number of refugees who were flooding their new home from all sides: some virtually sacrificed all they had, food, clothing and shelter to put the new arrivals at ease; for it was what they owed to the new country.

However, as time passed and as, to the great ill luck of the country, the Quaid-i-Azam passed away, mutual squabbling between political stalwarts took the centre stage; they took years to frame the Constitution that was hardly followed in its true spirit, rather mutilated and suspended, both by military dictators and political masters alike who took turns to rule the country. Between them, they are responsible for the country experiencing its own vivisection that resulted in the separation of East Pakistan. No doubt, the machinations of inimical forces proved the catalyst for its creation, but the groundwork for the sense of alienation to take the shape of the urge for separation had been laid by our rulers, both civilian and military. The Bonapartist penchant resulted in the periodic interruption of the democratic experiment before it could find its roots in the minds of the people. Eventually when with the ouster of Musharraf, one had thought that democracy had, after all, arrived, the setup ruling Pakistan let cronyism, corruption and misgovernment flourish. The involvement in the war on terror proved another difficult pass, posing serious threat to security. The nation stands aghast at the turn of events.

Under these circumstances, it was necessary to recall the feat of epic proportions of rehabilitating the refuges that had literally amazed the world that was not expecting Pakistan to survive the crippling task. Its recall here is meant to serve as a source of hope to the people who feel utterly depressed at the present dismal state of affairs. Certainly, if a people without any resource except the commitment to help and survive could achieve that feat, there is no reason why given the will, they cannot pull the country out of the morass of decadence and reverse the all-round decline. Let the spirit of the time of independence drive our future course of action!