Today we commemorate the March 23, 1940 Pakistan Day Resolution when Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent decided to embark on a journey to create a separate homeland. In just seven years from that epoch-making day, the dream of Allama Muhammad Iqbal turned into reality under the charismatic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The recent events in our neighbourhood have once again reinforced the relevance of the two-nation theory. In a united India, the Hindus would never have settled for peaceful co-existence. Under the Modi regime, Muslims in India are facing persecution and oppression. Kashmir, the jugular vein of Pakistan, remains under a barbaric lockdown. The facade of secularism in India lies in tatters. For the naysayers and critics of the two-nation theory, the stark contrast between India and Pakistan is undeniable. Pakistan is a blessing for its citizens, no matter of what caste, religion or creed.

But it is also a fact that Pakistan is at a crossroads once again. After successfully battling with the specter of terrorism and militancy, the country has taken on the challenge to revive the economy. In recent weeks, the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has brought normal life to a grinding halt. It will further slow down the path to economic recovery. But such a time of trial and tribulation will also test the mettle of the people. We have a chance to shed away political divisions, petty differences and join hands to truly act like a great nation — as envisioned by our founding fathers. With caution, fortitude and self-discipline, we can overcome this unfolding health crisis. The civil and military leadership, the people of Pakistan must rise to the occasion and steel for the difficult times ahead.