Did you think of it like this?
This date should make every Pakistani contemplate for a while. Just as we celebrate our good times; a wise nation also ponders over its failures and mishaps. A wise nation learns from its mistakes, and makes sure these are never repeated in living history again.
In today’s world it is enough to be progressive and economically strong.
Let me share with you some things that I really want to share, it was the darkest night of my life:
Flash back to December 16th 1971:
It was the darkest of dark nights, even though, the full moon shown brightly outside. I ran out of the room which was very dimly lit.
These were ‘black out’ nights.
While sitting inside, it had got unbearable for me to sit and watch the picture of Gen. Yahya on the black-and-white television set. He was announcing the surrender of Pakistan to Indians, in East Pakistan. Tears poured down my face as I rushed outside. I ran in to the shadow of the moonlight, next to a wall. I sat down on the ground, my legs unable to carry me anymore. I lent against the wall and cried my heart out.
From the shadow where I sat, I could see my cousins, coming out of the room calling out for me.
I didn’t answer.
Totally heartbroken, I knew my country had broken into two. Though a school girl still, the enormity of those moments were too hard to bear.
How could I not feel it? My own father was in East Pakistan. He was in the throes of it. My maternal grandfather was in Dhaka. The city had been under air attacks for days. My Dad’s younger brother Jafar Khan was in Jesore. My Bengali best friend Naheed Rehman was in Dhaka too.
There was no communication with anyone.
Were they alive ?
We were living a nightmare….
It took months for my mother and myself to find out finally, that my father and uncle and my grandfather were alive. What we went through those months can only be felt by anyone who has gone through it.
I hope no one ever knows how it feels.
Alhamdolillah, my loved ones made it. But many others didn’t make it through that terrible night.
The night my country broke into two! December 16th, 1971.
Fast forward 2014, Islamabad, Pakistan.
I’m driving home from my day at the job in Finishing School, next to Fatima Jinnah Park, Islamabad. I put on the radio as I drive home. A man is talking about something bad that happened to some school boys … I reach home wondering what?
As I put on the television, bit by bit the terrible news keeps trickling in.
Another nightmare is unfolding.
My heart broke into two.
Why? Because my heart is in those bodies of young children brutally killed.
Today is December 16th , 2018.
I’ve prepared a blog post to upload, but can’t.
Not on December 16th 2018. There is too heavy a load on the hearts and bodies of every Pakistani today.
If this pain isn’t there, then it should be.
Alive nations remember their faults and follies, and learn from them. Otherwise, such things can happen again.
History has a way of repeating itself.
So, what can we do?
Never forget the sacrifices made for us. Many families are still bearing the brunt of those sacrifices. May Allah give strength to the families of the ones affected by the APS tragedy.
We can do this:
- Become the best version of yourself, to help our country become strong.
- Stop arguing and criticizing each other. (for arguing only weakens a team,) and do our bit to build Pakistan into the strongest economy.
- Be the most honest and bravest form of ourselves.
- Use all talents and creative ideas for progress and development.
- Even if you live abroad, do something for your home country which no one sitting here can do.
I know, you are capable of all these things. Whether you are living abroad or in Pakistan, please do whatever you can to pay homage to the suffering that your forefathers did for this land. We owe this much, to the sufferings of the families of APS students and teachers killed during that ill-fated attack. Let us pray for their strength. Find some way to make this country a developed one.
Today, I sit here in the winter sunshine, enjoying the fruits of sacrifices of our forefathers. Let us do our bit to leave a legacy for our coming generations too.
I was really happy to know that Alhamdolillah Pakistan is one of the happiest countries in this region,( according to a recent survey.) I’m sure we can make it one of the strongest and most progressive country in the region too.
Stay blessed! Freedom and progress are two priceless commodities. Both come with a price tag. Yes, each one of us has to work hard for it, on a daily basis 🙂