Friday, 14 August 2009

'Yom-e-Azadi' - Pakistan's Independence Day

Azadi - independence - is not a destination, it is a journey. It is not something that we ‘achieved’ on August 14, 1947. It is something that we must earn, and preserve, every day.

On this particular Yom e Azadi, there can be no better reminder of just what the continuing journey that is Azadi really mean than the daily struggles of internally displaced Pakistanis (IDPs). Those who remain homeless in their own homeland.

from Pakistaniat ('All things Pakistani') article  'Azadi: Its a journey not a destination'


Its also an opportunity to think about Gojra and the recent killings there 

Christians were killed in Gojra on 1st August as a result of riots following a wedding in Koriyan (30 July)  where confetti was thrown over the newly married couple.   Local muslims allege that the confetti was made from a shredded Koran.  

The following day a mob (of c 800) went on the rampage  torching houses.   Initially it was reported that 7 had died and at least 20 were injured   (see Barnabas Fund report

Last week at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Gojra  the funeral was held for the 7 catholic victims (all from the one 'Hamid' family). An addition 3 members of the Church of Pakistan were also killed 


A Christian couple sit in front of their home in Gojra, destroyed in the anti-Christian violence


Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 'Quaid-e-Azam',  the Father of the Nation, famously said :

'Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims --Hindus, Christians, and Parsis --but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.'   
Broadcast talk to the people of the United States of America on Pakistan recorded February, 1948.


Happy Independence Day to ALL the citizen's of Pakistan - of whatever of faith - Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikhs, Parsees   and from whichever 'tribe' of Pakistan  -  Punjabi, Pushtoon, Sindhi, Balouch, Mohajar.  

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