Azadi: It Is a Responsibility, Not a Privilege

Posted on August 14, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, About ATP, Disasters, Environment, Society
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Adil Najam

This post is dedicated to twins Abdullah Khan (L) and Muhammad Bilal (R), born to Bushra Humayoun at a college converted to a camp for flood survivors by the army on the outskirts of Nowshera on August 12, 2010. May you prosper, dear Abdullah and Bilal. May you live long and fruitful lives. May you never see again a tumultuous calamity like the one you were born in the midst of.

This post is dedicated to little Shahabuddin of village Pore – fondly known as Zalzala Khan – who will turn five later this year on that day that will mark the fifth anniversary of the 2005 earthquake (read here).

This post is dedicated to all the children who spent last year’s Independence Day in Internally Displaced Pakistanis (IDP) camps across Pakistan.

All of you are survivors. Born into and in times of adversity, and rising above it. Your story is the story of Pakistan. You are the symbols of our strength. The carriers of our hopes.

This post is dedicated to all the children of Pakistan. Azadi Mubarak to all of you. May your generation make more of it than our generation – or that of our parents – did.

On this day – August 14, Youm-i-Azadi – let us continue the theme that we had started last year on this day. Then, in the midst of the IDP crisis, we had written that Azadi, freedom, is a journey, not a destination. Today, as we are caught in a spiral of unprecedented devastation brought by monsoon floods, we write to remind ourselves that Azadi is a responsibility, not a privilege.

Our azadi may not be perfect, but it is a gift we must cherish nonetheless. And it is part of that responsibility to make the quality of that azadi better for each successive generation. We have not done a good job of meeting this responsibility, but the journey must continue. This year we face the additional responsibility to rise in support of those who have been displaced by the recent floods. That responsibility is just one part of the greater responsibility that we must all remember on this day. The responsibility to make the experience of Azadi for each subsequent generation more complete and more profound that it has been for us.

Let us end with the song that has played on the pages of All Things Pakistan each year on this day as we celebrate Pakistan and our Pakistaniat. Indeed, yeh watan hamara hai.

Azadi Mubarak, Pakistan.

20 Comments on “Azadi: It Is a Responsibility, Not a Privilege”

  1. sidhas says:
    August 14th, 2010 12:15 am

    I also wish all Pakistanis, Azadi Mubarak.

    May God give us strenght to protect, preserve, and defend Pakistan ( ameen).

    We will rise above and overcome challenges. We always have.

    Pakistan Zindabad!!

  2. dost says:
    August 14th, 2010 2:37 am

    How touching and how promising at the same time. May Allah help our nation.

  3. Vinnie says:
    August 14th, 2010 3:05 am

    Happy Independence Day Pakistan !

    Azadi is a responsibility. Very Well Said ! And now it is the time to know its real meaning. So lets get together and strive hard for improving the prevailing circumstances in Pakistan.

    I Pray to God That this Independence Day bring happiness and prosperity to Pakistan.

  4. August 14th, 2010 4:43 am


    Very touching article….

  5. SM says:
    August 14th, 2010 4:47 am

    Listening to this song on this very day with all the prevailing conditions, A Pakistani cant stop rolling tears in his eyes.
    May Allah save our country. Amen

  6. SJH says:
    August 14th, 2010 8:55 am

    While I fully acknowledge the fact that Pakistan’s azadi is obviously incomplete and imperfect but sometimes Pakistanis impose a standard that is too high on ourselves. Yes there are huge problems, corruption, official and unofficial callousness and unreligious bigotry. But a nation is built on its myths and its self-image. A sense of being better than one in fact is. Lets not stay stuck in this trap of thinking that somehow Pakistan is worse than it actually is. Read history and and remind yourself that nations have been tested in far worse ways, this is the time for Pakistan’s test.

  7. Idealist says:
    August 14th, 2010 12:49 pm

    “All of you are survivors. Born into and in times of adversity, and rising above it. Your story is the story of Pakistan. You are the symbols of our strength. The carriers of our hopes.”
    Thankyou Adil you have said it perfectly.Time for Pakistan to rise again,Pakistan Zindabad.

  8. August 14th, 2010 12:56 pm

    Salaams and Mubarak to all Pakistanis around the world. 14th August to me means azaadi from the British government and our country’s birth. To my parents and grand parents, it certainly means a lot more. They were part of the struggle and actively involved in the building and success of Pakistan.
    As Pakistan stands today, in my humble opinion, we are nervous to mention that we are Pakistanis. There may be several reasons for that and without dwelving into those details, I would like to see our politicians and leaders make us feel proud by leading us and protecting the country vs. their self interests first. God Bless Pakistan and its innocent people, unfortunately from its own leaders.

  9. Anweer says:
    August 14th, 2010 3:00 pm

    DAWN: Saturday, 14 Aug, 2010
    Gunmen attack bus, kill 10 near Quetta

    QUETTA: Gunmen attacked a passenger bus and shot dead at least 10 people in insurgency-hit southwest Pakistan, officials said on Saturday.

    The incident took place in Aab-e-Gum area, 75 kilometres southeast of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Balochistan province, on Friday night.

    “A group of 30-35 gunmen stopped the bus in Aab-e-Gum area, off-loaded passengers at gunpoint and shot dead 10 of them,” top provincial home department official Akbar Hussain Durrani told AFP.

    He said the bus was travelling to Quetta from the eastern city of Lahore and all those killed in the attack were Punjabi-speaking people.

    A senior local official in Aab-e-Gum area, Ismail Kurd, also confirmed the incident and casualties.

    No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. – AFP

    DAWN: Saturday, 14 Aug, 2010
    Six killed in ‘ethnic attack’ in Quetta

    QUETTA: Police say gunmen have killed six workers in southwestern Pakistan in the second apparent ethnic-based attack of the day.

    Senior police official Hamid Shakeel says gunmen stormed a home in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, and killed six workers who were painting it. Three others were wounded. All the victims were from Punjab province in Pakistan’s east.

    Earlier Saturday, gunmen singled out non-ethnic Baloch passengers traveling on a bus in Aab-e-Ghum, a town about 50 kilometers away, killing 10 and wounding five.

    The attack is sure to add to ethnic tensions in Balochistan, where a nationalist movement led by armed ethnic Baluch groups has long sought greater provincial autonomy from the central government. – AP

  10. Basheer says:
    August 14th, 2010 3:36 pm

    Beautiful words. Very very inspiring. Seeroun khoun barH gaya

  11. Anwer says:
    August 14th, 2010 10:13 pm

    یہ داغ داغ اُجالا، یہ شب گزیدہ سحر
    وہ انتظار تھا جس کا، یہ وہ سحر تو نہیں
    یہ وہ سحر تو نہیں جس کی آرزو لے کر
    چلے تھے یار کہ مل جائے گی کہیں نہ کہیں
    فلک کے دشت میں تاروں کی آخری منزل
    کہیں تو ہوگا شبِ سست موج کا ساحل
    کہیں تو جاکے رکے گا سفینۂ غمِ دل

    جواں لہو کی پراسرار شاہراہوں سے
    چلے جو یار تو دامن پہ کتنے ہاتھ پڑے
    دیارِ حسن کی بے صبر خواب گاہوں سے
    پکارتی رہیں باہیں، بدن بلاتے رہے
    بہت عزیز تھی لیکن رخِ سحر کی لگن
    بہت قریں تھا حسینانِ نور کا دامن
    سبک سبک تھی تمنا، دبی دبی تھی تھکن

    سنا ہے ہو بھی چکا ہے فراقِ ظلمت و نور
    سنا ہے ہو بھی چکا ہے وصالِ منزل و گام
    بدل چکا ہے بہت اہلِ درد کا دستور
    نشاطِ وصل حلال و عذابِ ہجر حرام
    جگر کی آگ، نظر کی امنگ، دل کی جلن
    کسی پہ چارۂ ہجراں کا کچھ اثر ہی نہیں
    کہاں سے آئی نگارِ صبا، کدھر کو گئی
    ابھی چراغِ سرِ رہ کو کچھ خبر ہی نہیں
    ابھی گرانئ شب میں کمی نہیں آئی
    نجاتِ دیدہ و دل کی گھڑی نہیں آئی
    چلے چلو کہ وہ منزل ابھی نہیں آئی


  12. ASAD says:
    August 14th, 2010 10:33 pm

    Siad with true passion and conviction. Another ATP classic.

    Why is it that we do not have a single political leader on any side who can speak with such passion and such deep love for Pakistan than blogger Adil Najam can.

    ATP and Adil Najam always give me hope about Paksitanis. Thank you for that.

  13. Nihari says:
    August 14th, 2010 11:41 pm

    Kindly make a small correction in your records.,

    We didnt got azadi…we were born…
    There was no state of Pakistan who was under colonial rule at that time. The state of Pakistan was born in August 47….

    Probably the reason we are still behaving like a drunk teen.

  14. Dawood says:
    August 15th, 2010 2:36 am

    Pakistan Zindabad. Your words are powerful. Let us always have confidence in Pakistan and Pakistanis.

  15. Zehra says:
    August 15th, 2010 2:40 am

    Very nicely said, Adil Bhai:
    “This post is dedicated to all the children of Pakistan. Azadi Mubarak to all of you. May your generation make more of it than our generation – or that of our parents – did.”

  16. Watan Aziz says:
    August 15th, 2010 6:49 am

    “Qawali” will not improve the image of Pakistan.

    And “dua” will not change the destiny of Pakistan.

    And “tamana” will not lift the boat of Pakistanis.

    And “tarana” will not deliver “haq” and “adl” to the people of Pakistan.

    What will change is when the shared resources are delivered with the wrappings of rule of law.

    Today, more than any other day, Pakistan needs to expand it’s lower courts by adding 10,000 new judges.

    Today, more than any other day, Jagan Nath Azad’s anthem:

    Daulat hai apne mulk key bay’hudd-o-bay’hisaab
    Hon’gay hum aapp mulk key daulat say faiz’yaab

    (The country’s wealth unlimited and boundless
    We will all be blessed by the wealth)

    And if Pakistan has to be known by any other name, many it be known as the land of Equity and Justice.

  17. Lubna says:
    August 15th, 2010 6:21 pm

    “Our azadi may not be perfect, but it is a gift we must cherish nonetheless. And it is part of that responsibility to make the quality of that azadi better for each successive generation.”

    Sir, you really have a beautiful writing style and a way of saying what all of us are thinking.

    Pakistan zindabad.

  18. Azheruddin says:
    August 16th, 2010 12:47 am

    Beautiful. This is the spirit of a true Pakistani

  19. ali hamdani says:
    August 16th, 2010 3:59 am

    Very well said, we must protect our freedom from the menace of terrorism and the Taliban. They continuously try to threat our freedom by terrorizing us and citizens condemn such acts.

  20. Naheed says:
    September 18th, 2010 12:38 am

    Beautiful thoughts. Thank you for writing this.

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