Frank Islam (Washington): Pakistan’s flag is green and white. The green color represents Muslims and the color white represents religious minorities.
On this Independence Day, my wish for Pakistan is that those colors of green and white also be seen to represent courage, compassion and creativity in continuing to build Pakistan as a country committed to principles of Islam while promoting equality and opportunity for all regardless of religion. Pakistan: one nation under one unifying flag.
A Flag whose Green stands for:
- Harmony across caste, community and people,
- Hope for every segment of society,
- Prosperity for poor and rich alike,
- Protection of all types – physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
A Flag whose White stands for:
- Faith and Purity of intentions, thinking and actions,
- Peace and light
- Cleanliness everywhere,
- Positivity in personal and social lives.
A Flag whose Green and White stand for working together in order to:
- Ensure an inclusive and impartial government
- Build citizenship and civic engagement
- Promote peace and moderation throughout the land
- Make Pakistan a place of welcoming and caring people
- Encourage an inclusive cultural diversity
- Cultivate and develop new businesses and entrepreneurs
- Provide for freedom of the press
- Establish a 21st century learning framework for all irrespective of social and economic standing
- Emancipate and tap into the talent of the female population
- Establish universal access to basic utilities such as safe water, electricity, gas and transport
- Bring all out-of-school children aged 5-16 into school
- Reduce the neonatal mortality rate
Those are my green and white wishes for Pakistan on this Independence Day. I realize that wishes do not make things come true. People do.
I present these wishes with the confidence that Pakistanis have the courage, compassion and creativity to make these wishes come true because they are in the best interests of the country and its citizenry. Everyone has a role to play.
Every individual has a contribution to make. Small deeds of sharing and caring for families, communities and the country matter. Some segments of society can make special contributions.
Pakistan’s youth with their critical thinking skills nurtured can become the next generation of leaders solving the complex problems confronting their communities, the country and the world.
Religious leaders can be ambassadors and role models for peace, harmony and interfaith dialogue.
Political leaders can be the torchbearers creating and implementing policies and programs that for unity and responsible growth.
Business, community and civic leaders can collaborate in raising the economic and social standards of all.
Those are my thoughts and my wishes. In closing, I have one final wish for Pakistan on this Independence Day.
It is a wish made as a Muslim whose motherland was India. It is that on some Independence Day of Pakistan – at some point, in the not too distant future – that India and Pakistan can come together to celebrate a shared prosperity and peace that has benefited both of these great nations and this region as a whole.
Happy Independence Day to all and may my and your green and white wishes for Pakistan come true!
(Frank F. Islam is an Entrepreneur, Civic Leader, and Thought Leader based in Washington DC. The views expressed here are personal)