Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day comes at challenging times for the nation, as Anti Pakistan elements display their heinous designs to demoralize 200 million Pakistanis. There are epoch making changes taking place in the region; on one hand we have witnessed accentuated threat from across Pak Afghan border and on the other side Kashmiri people of Indian Occupied Kashmir have risen in droves to seek a final solution to the decades of occupation in order to throw the yoke of occupation.

   Internally the polity seems to be divided between India apologists and patriot Pakistanis; some of it was displayed in the Parliament few days back. Pakistan is passing through the last phase of a decade old 4th Generation War, where it is very difficult to differentiate between perception and reality.It also appears that the critics do not realize that Pakistan is in a state of war.Just to remind our readers, we are in the 21st century where the nature of war has transformed, where no formal declarations are made by governments, and where you can watch the miseries of war live from your cushy drawing rooms. If in doubt, please look at the gory pictures and videos being released from Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pakistan is not only fighting directly against the scourge of terror, but also hidden enemies and fifth columnists; our citizens, defence institutions and installations have been directly and indirectly attacked, and the Pak Army, along with other law enforcement agencies has borne the brunt of this war and continues to do so. Pakistani nation has supported the valiant forces by unflinching support and have suffered a loss of 60000 lives.

Taking a leaf from one of the articles published by Umar Waqar in The Nation and even at the cost of repetition, there is a need to sensitize the nation on the issue of moral of a military fighting a long war.

What do you do with your military commanders and soldiers in a state of war indeed, provide unflinching and unwavering support.Imagine the mental state of Churchill, General Montgomery and Eisenhower and the allied soldiers in World War II, if they were criticized every day from 1939 to the turn of tide in 1944, surely the allies would have crumbled before the might of Adolf Hitler.The British and American leadership and the media did not ask for commissions to probe every failure on part of their commanders.

If you look at the list of reverses suffered by the allied commanders between 1939 and 1944, you may be amazed at the patience and perseverance of their governments and people.

Churchill called this period of the Battle of Britain as 'Their Finest Hour and the entire British nation stood like a rock behind their military.

Whereas we firmly believe that Pakistan Defence forces and law enforcement agencies are passing through their 'Finest Hour (you may disagree), we would request all and sundry, including media critics, to look at psychological condition of soldiers and officers fighting on our frontlines and giving lives for this wonderful country.

They should spare the defenders of Pakistan for the time being, and let history decide if they found their finest hour in this long war – a war where foes attack you from all sides and 'friends clad in smart attires (and posing as well wishers of Pakistan) gnaw at your roots, laugh at every move you make and blast your defenders in every talk show.

Pakistan’s geostrategic environment is also undergoing major change, with CPEC on the horizon and Kashmiri freedom movement entering a new but decisive phase, Pakistan may have to confront new challenges from the powers that may not be happy with the new relationship with China. The anti CPEC lobby has now come in the open by finding one fault after another and beaming their demoralizing campaign against the project; main themes being floated include; Pakistan is isolated and all our neighbours are unhappy, the sole super power is also unhappy, CPEC would bring further instability and Pakistan should reconsider the new realignment in the region. While India apologists are giving us hundred reasons for mending fences with India, they have simply forgotten about what is happening to millions of Kashmiris in Occupied Kashmir.

Thus, Pakistan’s birthday comes at a crucial juncture in our history where the leadership and the people of Pakistan have to display exemplary unity and perseverance, while we mourn the shuhada of Quetta and all those Pakistanis who lost their lives and limbs in last ten years, we should also remember that our Kashmiri brothers and sisters have risen in solidarity with Pakistan and for their birth right of freedom from oppression.

Nations who stand united in challenging times and sacrifice their today for future generations, remain relevant, otherwise the time puts them into the dust bin of history. Only a united Pakistan can move us forward, there is no second option.

–The authors are freelance columnists

(waqarkauravi@gmail.com)