Every Eid-ul-fitar this publication looks back at the year and tries to capture the change and progress that has taken place since the last festival. Separated from any individual story, these look backs often chronicle a wide gamut of volatile events and emotions – much like country itself. This year, the month of Ramazan in itself has enough up and down to fill several pages, but we will focus on the major events of the past thirty days – from the dizzying heights of the Champions Trophy 2017 victory to the abysmal lows of yet another spate of terrorist attacks.

The holy month of Ramazan saw Muslims across the world enter a period of restraint and reconciliation; however, the same spirit seemed to elude the major Muslim nations of the world. Conflicts between Middle Eastern states such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey continued to fester, and the effect of Pakistan was palpable, buffeted by the demands to pick one side over the other, the nation has been struggling to remain neutral. The fact that it has been able to maintain a measure of neutrality so far is thanks to the people who refuse to participate in the Shia-Sunni schism at large.

The nation has not been universally tolerant however, laws passed to criminalise public consumption of food during Ramazan displays the same mindset that are prevalent in restrictive countries like Saudi Arabia, where the central religion is the priority above all else.

It may have muddied the waters, but it seems nobody was mercifully interested in enforcing those laws when bigger problems plague the country. Terrorist attacks in Parachinar and Quetta targeting Eid shoppers and the security forces protecting them show that despite our repeated efforts the terrorist scrooge is still active in the country. Only constant vigilance and untiring effort will yield results.

Amid acts of terror such as these and accidents like the tanker fire in Bahawalpur on the eve of Eid, Pakistanis have had little to be happy about – at least as a nation. This is why the historic victory over India in the final of the Champions trophy held so much meaning for the county. It gave the country the chance to celebrate as one, and that it did with pomp and pleasure. For a brief moment in time it forgot the matters dividing them – trivial and major – and celebrated as one.

In shows that even in testing times, this nation has something to celebrate. Eid Mubarik!