WRITTEN BY Ch. FAISAL MEHMOOD
As ‘we the people’ of Pakistan celebrated our Independence Day, we find our children and youth going about it with some merriment, some sadness because of burning issue of Kashmir but the senior citizens yet amongst us are stoic. Not able to smile, not wanting to cry, they are stoically pondering what Pakistan was to be and where it has arrived. The monumental efforts that went into defining and delivering the concept; the all-pervading unity that had gripped the community; the unprecedented sacrifices of human lives, properties, careers and dreams that went into its founding and stabilization are all fresh in their minds.
We started well, they say; quickly surmounting the multiple difficulties the likes of which no other country, emerging from imperial hold, has had to face. Our human resources have been and are among the best. They shone bright in cricket, squash, hockey, education, entrepreneurship, industry and commerce. We were the backbone of medical services in Europe and we set the medical institutions in the Middle East, where also we set the banking industry; our engineers built the first sets of infrastructure across our sea; we defined the road map to the prosperity which now shines in a Far Eastern north; we built a national carrier which was the wonder of the aviation industry, then centered in Europe, and it mothered several airlines now ruling the skies; we had a thriving tourism industry and travel trades.
Our own growth from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy, with eight plus percent annual growth, was admired and studied by other emerging countries. From the fall that was thrust upon us by the enemy from within and without, unhinging our eastern half, we stood up again and high. After an aberration of religion relegating the progress, we saw sets of political trials and errors, but moving ahead nevertheless, leading to another period of rapid economic growth, financial stability, debt shedding and diplomatic height from which we were heard and heeded.
Thus ponder our elders but even as they do so, they don’t fail to encourage and inspire our youth. Our young men and women are moving ahead, achieving high international recognitions in several professions like hospitality, information technology, audio visual media, journalism, marketing, management, sports, mountaineering, literature and human values. When we have our icons Samina Beg and Malala Yousufzai to remind the world about us, we do have the future!
Our Youth is building abilities and is determined; in them we have faith which sustains our hopes that we will yet meet our high destiny as was set for us on this day in 1947.
Mr. Khan, ideal of our Youth, has set very ambitious goals for his new government. His goal to improve the travel, tourism, aviation and hospitality sector of Pakistan has indeed inspired people; particularly people form the tourism industry. The basic and strongest reason for inspiration is that never ever any PM of Pakistan mentioned the tourism so clearly and loudly, the way Khan does. That gives us hope, a strong hope for the tourism industry of Pakistan.