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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Pakistan press muted on anniversary
Pakistani press

Pakistan is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its independence from Britain with "great zeal and fervour" according to state radio. Independent Geo TV decorated its studio with national flags and the presenters wore traditional clothes.

However many of the country's Urdu and English-language newspapers say Pakistan has fallen short of the goals set by its founding fathers.


Though a solid 60 years old today, many of its citizens would say unequivocally that the country has not been able to achieve what its founders had in mind for it. Issues of identity, religion and faith have yet to be settled, and have probably only been made worse by a spate of rulers who tried to push religion and ideology in order to legitimise their own illegal rule.


The anniversary reminds one that the country has failed to achieve any of the ideals enunciated by its founding fathers. Quaid-e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah wanted the new country to be a modern and pluralist Islamic democratic welfare state.


Today on the 60th Independence Day of the country we should seriously analyse why we failed to achieve the targets set for us by Quaid-e Azam and Allama Iqbal. Today we should all have to carry out self-accountability and compensate for our mistakes. Otherwise, we will lose our real goal forever.


To say that we have achieved nothing over these six decades is to deny the truth. True, we have made blunder after blunder, committed terrible crimes against our own people, and in the process lost half the country in 1971. Yet the record is not all that bleak. When all is said and done, there has been progress, though, admittedly, the rate could have been faster.


We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of independence at a time when the country is passing through political uncertainty and a chaotic situation. Unfortunately, we are still indecisive about the system and goals of our country. The need of the hour is that we... transform the country into a real Islamic and welfare state.


What is worrying is the pattern of instability that Pakistan has followed since its creation. The 60 years we have lived give evidence of the fact that governments have lacked legitimacy one way or another and the army has dictated terms on "national issues" it didn't want the politicians to touch.


If we look back at the past 60 years, we will see the instability of the democratic system as our major failure. This is the root cause of the tough challenges we are facing today... The time has come for our rulers to think maturely and take decisions for the betterment of the country and nation. Remember that no person is indispensable.


On this historically important day we demand that all the politicians, religious scholars and technocrats sit together and steer the country out of these complicated crises... All Pakistanis should unite over the common interests of Pakistan.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

Pakistan marks 60th anniversary
14 Aug 07 |  South Asia
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14 Aug 07 |  In Pictures
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09 Jan 07 |  Country profiles

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