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Archive for January 19th, 2009

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Mohammed Ali Jinnah, [also known as Quaid-e-Azam] the father of Pakistan, once asserted that our country was founded upon the principles of “Unity, Faith, Discipline,” [see above image, taken in Islamabad]. However, the order of his words have long been debated – with Urdu texts often  noting it to be, Iman, Ittehad, Tanzeem [Faith, Unity Discipline, see below image] and English text books listing the order with Unity first. The difference is subtle yet significant, and made me reflect on the evolution of our country since 1947.

When my father grew up in Karachi in the 1950s and 60s, the principle of unity was manifested in the numerous faiths and ethnicities living together seamlessly [for the most part]. Pakistan seemed more about the sum of its parts than divisive internal identities. Is that still true today? Many of the country’s minorities have since left, and militants pervert religion to justify violence and intolerance. If the original motto of Pakistan was “Unity, Faith, Discipline,” does that order still hold true today? Has putting faith before unity been detrimental to the cohesion of our nation?

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