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Islamabad

October 20, 2018
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People want peace for progress and prosperity

Islamabad

October 20, 2018

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One has to move in and around the city to update information about the social and economic life of the ordinary citizen worried about a blanket and a quilt needed for a guest couple expected soon from Karachi. Winter is knocking at the door.

Octogenarians like retired public servant Nazar Mohammad Khan, who opted for Pakistan in 1948, and former employee of the Capital Development Authority Mohammad Gulzar, who saw Pakistan established on 14 August in 1947.

Patriotism, national unity and children’s health and education form basis of their character appreciated by former All-India Muslim League activist Nazir Butt of Amratsar. The latter migrated to Lahore and finally settled in Rawalpindi-Islamabad after the Independence. Gulzar looks after a general store in Rawal Town, and earnestly asks customers to pray for dignified survival of Pakistan.

Old men reminiscing about the past say Muslims, Sikhs and Khatris lived in peace and brotherhood in the village before 1947 and even afterwards as good friends and neighbours. “The senior teacher- in-charge of the primary school with a wand in his right hand used to stop us from playing marbles and abusing one another. He would promote truth and discipline among children so that when they leave their school and seek knowledge from any higher institution they become good citizens in the future.”

Freedom fighter Nazir Butt told this scribe he saw Liaquat Ali Khan being shot dead at Company Bagh of Rawalpindi. “I took part in building the stage for address of the first prime minister of Pakistan to public.”

Old men of the twin cities say most people for many years after Pakistan had been achieved realised the importance of getting united to make the common man’s life comfortable.

“In our village there was no squabble; now self-seekers have come up and they serve their own interest; that’s what we call ‘nafsa nafsi’, some revolutionary steps are needed to change such a bad situation; who will hang the sugar and ‘atta’ black marketers and those who have corrupted the whole lot,” say the olds.

By the way, elders are right when they say our leaders have not learnt any good lesson from their past mistakes: the gap between the rich and the poor has widened; human values have vanished from our society; the amount of money you have in your pocket is the yardstick of respect; school and college fees have risen unbearably while the quality of education has gone down; and food prices are not within the reach of the common man.

Sufferers of socio-economic decline want revival of brotherhood for peace, progress and economic prosperity.

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