Indeed, there are reasons to celebrate Independence Day today. With nothing at hand at the dawn of independence, the Pakistani state has achieved feats worth celebrating.

The recent moves of Pakistan in becoming a key state in regional connectivity and stability will make Pakistan a regional power in the years to come. Under CPEC, Pakistan will connect different countries in the region. We must be optimistic about our future if we are to encourage investment and employment. At international forums, Pakistan has always struggled for maintain peace in any troubled part of the world. Pakistan can be seen as the only country that has sacrificed the most for a better world. In the War on Terror, Pakistan has suffered more than any other country for a peaceful and more tolerant international community.

Yet, on Sunday at least 15 people, among them eight soldiers, were martyred and 40 others wounded when a suicide bomber targeted a military truck near Quetta. Sadly this is not the first attack on important Pakistani institutions, and it wont be the last. What is true is that our army and our police is on the forefront of the battle against terrorism, and they are in earnest about their love for their country. Against insurmountable odds, they are standing in the line of fire, for our protection. We must recognise their efforts.

No Pakistani wants to see the state fail, not the politicians, not the military, not the judiciary, not the liberals, conservatives, leftists, seculars or theocrats. Mistakes have been made, but mistakes have also been rectified, from the 18th amendment to democratic dispensation. There is a report today that Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa remained relatively peaceful during first seven months of the year 2017 in respect of terrorism, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and target killing as compared to the previous year. There are positives to focus on if we look for them, from award winning scientists, to heroic sports men, to brilliant artists and filmmaker.

Thus, we can take a few moments today to be optimistic about our future. With the scores of problems we face daily to survive another day, we are a resilient people. There is a great need for tolerance, for peaceful dialogue whether between Pakistanis or with other countries, and better welfare safety nets for Pakistani people. Hopefully, after seventy years, Pakistani politicians and elites can wake up to these needs.