MY MOTTO: SERVE HUMANITY IN REALITY
PREMIER CELEBRATES PAKISTAN DAY,
PRAISES PAKISTANI COMMUNITY
BY JAVED ZAHEER, FREE EXPRESSION AWARD WINNER
TORONTO: The significance and celebration of Pakistan Day is a very important part of lives of Pakistanis all over the world. Supporters including VIPs, distinguished personalities, dignitaries and friends join them and share the joyous moment.
Pakistan Day festivals, parties, national songs and debate competitions are featured throughout the day, which sees many people spend time with families, friends and loved ones. Pakistan Day specials are broadcast on radio and TV. Special prayers are offered for peace and prosperity.
Pakistan Day is a public holiday in Pakistan to remember the Lahore Resolution on March 23 each year. The Lahore Resolution is considered a major milestone in the Muslim struggle for an independent state in undivided India.
In a Muslim League annual session in 1930, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, a poet and philosopher, put forward the ideal of Muslims being a separate nation. Muhammad Iqbal is accredited for weaving the Two-Nation theory, an ideology that eventually made the creation of Pakistan possible.
The Two-Nation theory stated that Hindus and Muslims were from two different nations. Muslim culture, tradition, religion, ideology, morals and language were all distinctly different from Hindu ideals. Both nations (Hindus and Muslims) shared mutually contradicting beliefs. Therefore, an autonomous state consisting of Muslim majority areas of British India was demanded to protect Muslims’ political, social and cultural rights.
In a Muslim League general session from March 22 to March 24, 1940, Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other party leaders unanimously rejected the idea of united India, endorsed the Two-Nation Theory and called for a separate Muslim homeland. The Lahore Resolution was supported by all major Muslim Leaders of the time. Pakistan gained independence from British rule on August 14, 1947. March 23 became a day to commemorate the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which eventually led to the creation of Pakistan.
Pakistan High Commission, Pakistan Consulates and Pakistanis living in Canada too organized memorable events to celebrate the occasion and highlight the importance of the day.
The Canadian Association of Pakistani Origin (CAPO) organized Pakistan Day Celebration on Sunday, March 24, 2013, at the Greek Community Centre, 30 Thorncliffe Park Drive, Toronto.
The Thorncliffe Park Drive locality is one of the most important arenas of political contest in Canada. It comprises mostly Muslims of South Asia region. Majority of them are highly educated, civilized, cultured and enjoyed very good positions, status and reputation back home. Their tremendous contributions, talent, skills, capabilities and abilities, because of which they qualified for immigration to Canada, speak for them.
Unfortunately, due to reasons and logics best known to the policymakers, rulers and leaders, Canada, despite demands and best efforts for recognition, has failed to utilize and benefit from their services, experiences and contributions. They are struggling very hard and contributing in the best possible manner to earn proper recognition and become an important part of the mainstream and society as a good, respectable and responsible citizen.
Because of large number of Pakistanis and Muslims of India, Afghanistan and other countries residing here, it is also famous as Mini-Pakistan and Islamic Republic of Thorncliffe.
Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, who is also the MPP of Don Valley West area in which Thorncliffe Park Drive falls, was the chief guest on the occasion. She enjoys great respect and popularity in the community due to her tremendous contributions and close attachment with the people. Unlike others who remain invisible and out of reach, she is accessible, remembers and loves serving the people.
Other dignitaries, who attended the celebration, included the new Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto, Muhammad Nafees Zakaria, Syed Akbar Adil Shah, Counsellor, Community Affairs, and Asghar, Vice Consul, of Pakistan Consulate, John Carmichael, MP, Michael Prue, MPP, Shafiq Qadri, MPP, John Parker, Councillor, Melvin John, Geoff Kettel, Lisa Grogan-Green, Gerri Gershon, TDSB Trustee, Marjorie Hiley, Executive Director, Flemingdon Community Legal Services, Rob Oliphant, ex-MP, Khalid Usman, ex-Councillor, Syed Aziz Nizami, Sajjada Nashin, Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia (RA), and Rafique Memon, Environmental Technologist in Canada and an important bureaucrat (NAB in Pakistan).
The gathering was large, including mostly women and children, and the hall packed. Members of the Seniors Club/Circle, based at TNO Youth Centre and supported by the TNO, also joined the celebration with the objective and belief that all bodies, organizations, leaders and members are branches of the same tree called community. They share the same trunk, root and the ground. This should be the spirit of cooperation, collaboration, love, care, help and support.
The program included Video titled `Vibrant Pakistan’, slide show from past CAPO events, recitation and translation of the Holy Quran by Azeeb Uddin, national anthems of Pakistan and Canada and some songs by Daniyal Wani, documentary on Malala Yusufzai, national songs (Shujat Ali) and dances, Punjabi Bhangra, welcome speech by Nawal Ateeq, speeches by dignitaries and others, poetry presentation by Major Muhammad Wani, cultural dress show, award presentations, moment of silence (Candle performance) and vote of thanks by Mazhar Shafiq. Refreshment was served to the guests.
The CAPO Youth Committee, which organized the 23rd March Event 2013---Pakistan Day Resolution, included Sana Khan, Daniyal Wani, Hufsa Akbar, Nida Hasan, Yumna Azeem, Uroosha Lailun, Aaysha Wani and Ahmed Mazhar
People enjoyed the music, songs, Punjabi Bhangras and other presentations but were shocked that in all the speeches, including by dignitaries and hosts, the significance and importance of Pakistan Day was not touched. They kept waiting till the last to hear something but were disappointed when it was neither mentioned nor discussed.
One of the guests, an ex-senior military officer in Pakistan and now a Canadian citizen, felt very bad, contacted Nawal Ateeq of CAPO and protested to her about this. When nothing happened he then wrote a strong protest note addressing the new Consul General, Muhammad Nafees Zakaria, and Dr Shafiq Qadri, MPP, and went to present the same to them. Since the Consul General had left, he informed Syed Akbar Adil Shah about this and handed the note to Dr Shafiq Qadri.
Many other guests felt the same and were disappointed. They surrounded me and said that the media must take serious note of all such acts. They hoped that the CAPO and all other organizations and organizers must understand the significance and importance of all such occasions and highlight them accordingly---with great respect and proper manner.
It is the responsibility of the organizers to make sure that the presentations match the dignity of the theme and program. People love Pakistan very much and attend the events with the same love, spirit and respect. They have great spiritual and emotional attachment with their motherland and feel very bad and hurt when the country and people are not paid proper respect.
The CAPO Team has good team leaders, volunteers and supporters. It is playing an important role in the community including cultural, social and political fields and emerging as a strong force. The most visible and dominant ones in CAPO are Wani Family and Mazhar Shafiq Family and their supporters.
People who keep monitoring activities, bodies and leaders feel that CAPO should remove the impression of some families’ affair and recognition and promotion of some and same families only. They say that other competent ones in the community should be brought forward who can help CAPO and the team become stronger and more effective. It is in the interest of CAPO and the community. No doubt the Wani Family, Mazhar Shafiq and their supporters are the backbone of CAPO and play an important role in its progress and success.
The community media too must focus more on the community events, affairs and promotion and prominently highlight them in a positive and constructive manner. The wastage of precious space on prominent coverage of dirty politics of corrupt Pakistani leaders and rulers must stop. People are not interested, fed up and instead get frustrated. The media must change the policies if it wants to change the mindset and really guide and serve the people.
---Javed Zaheer, Free Expression Award Winner, Desi Idol Recognition Award Winner, Member/Honorary Director of NEPMCC, Veteran Active Member (VAM) of Toronto Press Club, Ex-Member of The National Club and The Ontario Club, Honorary Editor of English Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, ex-Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `The Ambassador’, ex-Senior Sub-Editor of English Daily DAWN, Pakistan, Chairman, CANOPI, and Director, Canpak Camber of Commerce, is contributing purely on Voluntary and Honorary Basis in order to serve all people and communities. Contact: (416)firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more JZ’s exclusive articles, please visit: www. nepmcc.ca and nationalethnicpress.com (Editorial Sections. Scan years from 2004 to 2011. Visit www.javedzaheernews.blogspot.com