There can be little more appropriate occasion to consider the state of the country than the 73rd anniversary of the passage, at Minto Park in Lahore (now renamed Iqbal Park) by the All-India Muslim League, of the resolution ultimately known to history as the Pakistan Resolution. The Resolution, calling for the establishment of a separate homeland for the Muslim, is considered the beginning of the Pakistan Movement. As such, the anniversary is commemorated in the new country as Pakistan Day. It was also marked as Republic Day, for in 1956, Pakistan became a republic on this day, shedding the last vestiges of British rule this way. Though there is now a new constitution (that of 1973), and the Pakistan of today is only half of that which came into being, it is still a republic, and a parliamentary democracy about to go to the polls. It is thus a time when it is not just appropriate, but even urgent, that the citizens of the country should see whether it has measured up to the vision of the Founding Fathers. They had seen a democratic, Islamic welfare state. Though Allama Iqbal had died the year before the resolution was passed in the city where he passed his adult life, his vision of the new country, which he had visualized during his 1932 Allahabad address was carried in the session in the person of the Quaid-e-Azam, who had come back to the Subcontinent from the UK on the Allama’s request, so as to lead the Pakistan Movement to its logical conclusion.

The prevalent ills Pakistan suffers from such as inflation, the energy shortage which has translated into the destruction of the economy, the declining law and order which has afflicted the whole country, but Quetta and Karachi in particular, are indicators that the government has abandoned the vision of the Founding Fathers. The occasion makes it imperative that the nation make the right choice, and choose a government on May 11 that will steer it out of these shoals and take it toward the destination that is anxiously awaited. This anniversary provides another reminder that the vision of the Founding Fathers is not merely a historical fact, but is of pressing relevance even today, because that vision encapsulates, as it did then, the aspirations of the people of Pakistan. It is thus time to abandon any experiments by newcomers who tried to put the nation on a wrong track, one in which failure is guaranteed. It is only by following the original vision of the Founding Fathers that the nation can return to the right track, that of prosperity and justice. The method which the passage of the resolution represented, that of political means, shows that the coming election is not just about choosing a new government, but about putting the country on the right track.

The country that was called into being so many decades ago, needs to be put back on the track contemplated by the Lahore session when it passed the resolution that is being celebrated today. A point of significance about this is that it is also the 73rd anniversary of the Nawa-i-Waqt Group, with the first issue of Nawa-i-Waqt, then brought out as a fortnightly, appearing on March 23rd, so as to coincide with the Lahore session of the All-India Muslim League. As the coeval, not just of Pakistan, but also of the Pakistan Movement, the group has grown with the nation, and gone from strength to strength, transforming from a fortnightly to a daily with editions from other major cities, as well as other publications, including this newspaper, a children’s monthly and a family weekly, as well as a TV news channel. The group has always been a voice for the promotion of the ideals of the Founding Fathers, the ideals on which the country has been built. This gives this anniversary a special meaning not just to the country as a whole, but to the group of which this newspaper is a constituent, in particular.