Pakistan’s Black Day of Awakening

One of the primary differences between developing and developed nations is that developed nations are defined by the accomplishments of their past whilst developing nations are defined by their present day struggles. Since 1947, Pakistan’s primary struggle has been to unify occupied Kashmir with the rest of its western territories. After the loss of the East in 1971, the struggle for Kashmir became all the more central to the existence of a geographically contiguous and internally harmonious Pakistan.

For too long, too many in supposedly elite positions in Pakistan had forgotten the central struggle of Pakistan’s existence and as such, a collective lethargy descended over the nation – one that remained ensconced even after the harrowing national victory over foreign backed TTP terrorism.

This month however, it seems as though the long national slumber in Pakistan has ended and people have awoken to the central theme of Pakistan’s national struggle as a developing nation. This central theme is that of Kashmiri freedom and two men are to be thanked for this awakening.

The first man perhaps somewhat controversially is Narendra Modi. Modi has been brutally frank in withdrawing the mask over the ugly face that is Hindutva expansionism/Hindutva supremacy and as such, he has exposed a longstanding regime of violence aimed at all minorities in India and Indian occupied Kashmir by proclaiming his loyalty to the Hindutva agenda with pride and without any ambiguity.

The fact is that nations seeking to define their national struggle require a principal villain that one can set forth against. During China’s early years of Reform and Opening Up, the blood-soaked Gang of Four were the villains. During Singapore’s formative years, the country found that Malaysia’s anti-Chinese race policies were a suitable villain against which to define one’s own development. In Egypt under Nasser, those who collaborated with former colonists and those who insisted on backward government were the villains who helped to define the struggle to achieve Arab Nationalism and the liberation of Palestine.


In thus sense, Modi being a strong willed and vocal leader is a gift to Pakistan because Modi forced Pakistan to choose between responding to Modi with strength or else face shame, ignominy and total irrelevance.

The second man to thank for Pakistan’s awakening is of course Imran Khan. Unlike Modi but very much like Quaid-i-Azam, Imran Khan is a worldly man who understands life beyond his birth place. Another asset which defines Imran Khan is that unlike many of his predecessors, Imran Khan has no strings attached to his rule. He came to power in a singular manner and if he allows himself to do so, he can rule without having to rely on less than pure sources of support.

It was on the 15th of August – Pakistan’s Black Day that Imran Khan’s government finally articulated Pakistan’s national struggle with supreme clarity. By couching the terms of the matter in an international rather than a parochial lexicon, Imran Khan began to speak the dialect that defined his early campaigns during the formative years of PTI. Imran Khan spoke of the real dangers facing Kashmiris, he used no uncertain terms in defining the wickedness of the BJP’s policy towards Kashmiris and he called for the world to take action in order to prevent genocide in Kashmir.

Thousands throughout Pakistan and many more thousands of Pakistanis abroad in addition to their fraternal supporters throughout the world took peacefully to the streets on the 15th as a result of Imran Khan’s clarion call for justice. Beyond this, Imran Khan’s government used social media to tell the entire world of these events in words, pictures and video. As a result, the entire world has seen Pakistanis and the children of Pakistanis, groups like Sikhs For Justice, supporters of Nagaland’s struggles for freedom, Turkish friends of Pakistan and multiple western European friends of Pakistan and Kashmiris all come to the streets to peacefully proclaim their support for the message that Imran Khan issued in Azad Kashmir on the 14th.

The key now is not to lose this momentum. Now that eyes are open both in Pakistan and around the world, Imran Khan’s government must continue to repeat and repeat the central theme of the country’s struggle until the entire world commits it to memory.

Many developing countries achieved their goals through such a method. Pakistan must persist on Kashmir even if the UN continues to abrogate its duty to uphold peace and defend human life against the scourge of war. This is the only way forward. Anything else will be a retreat back to infamy.

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