Every year, Pakistan celebrates a national holiday on 23 March to mark the historic day of 1940 when Muslims of South Asia formalized their demand for separate homeland ‘Pakistan’. On this day, Pakistan armed forces hold a military parade in the scenic view of Margala hills. However, this year it is different. The military show has been cancelled. The focused attention of the nation’s elite is on the coronavirus. The commoners of Pakistan, however, are more concerned about their livelihood if lock-down, as advocated by many, is enforced.
Larry Brilliant, the US epidemiologist, the doctor who helped eliminate smallpox while talking to TED audience said. The cost of $1 to $3 trillion to the global economy would be far worse for everyone than merely 100 million people dying due to coronavirus. Due to acute economic difficulties, Larry is hinting at widespread panic and break down of systems resulting in an even more significant loss of lives.
The complete lock-down in Pakistan would cause economic recessions and hardships unprecedented in the history of Pakistan. 25 % of the people of Pakistan are poor and earn their living daily. Nevertheless, there is also hope, during this crisis, a sincere and selfless person; PM Imran Khan is heading the country. Thankfully, he is not illusioned by undue hype and taking mature decisions to fight the multidimensional crises emerging out of coronavirus.
There are many dimensions and angles to look at the coronavirus. To some, it is the onset of World War 3. For some, it is Mother Nature fighting back against humans for their careless attitudes and colossal damage to the ecosystems. Few say it is due to massive electromagnetic waves, coverage of radars and weapon systems, electric signals, a web of Wi-fi, 4 G and 5 G which is causing enormous loss to the humans. Yet many opine, God the Almighty, is angry with us all for the deeds unworthy of human; we are currently engaged at.
I see a lot of good for the world, and the people of Pakistan provided many countries do not opt for complete lock-down. When pandemic ends, the people who matter, I mean the influential people who make strategic decisions, are bound to realize that we all are connected. A sick or needy person anywhere affects us all. Those who live in gated posh communities, the islands of prosperity, will surely look at their poor neighbourhood, who knows the next virus might spread through wind and not by touch.
And getting back to the topic, the significance of the day; 23 March. I want to call upon the Modi government in India to look at the CAA protests in Delhi, and the situation in Kashmir afresh in the light of the struggle for Pakistan. The journey for Pakistan started from demanding a ‘separate electorate’ to ‘separate state’. Initially, Indian Muslims demanded a separate electorate, which was provided by the British Government in the Indian Council Act 1909, but not accepted by the Indian Congress. Therefore, alternatively, the Muslims had to search for a better and long-term solution for the sake of their political, social & religious rights. The BJP government must benefit from the history and take mature decisions for Indian Muslims.
On this glorious day, I also want to remind the people of Pakistan celebrating ‘Lahore Resolution’ that it was written by Sir Muhammad Zafar Ullah Khan, a Qadiani; presented by AK Fazal ul Haq (Chief Minister of Bengal) now a Bangladeshi. Therefore, after tasting the bitter outcomes, we need to develop an inclusive society in Pakistan. We must also wholeheartedly respect the white portion of our flag. Thankfully, we appear to be on the right path.