Seventy years of the independence of Pakistan are not hard to imagine. The time has had infinite colours - unfolding beauty around. In this long journey of seventy years, there were upsetting moments but at the same time exciting as well. In fact, the people of Pakistan never let the darkness prevail. There was always light at the end of the tunnel leading them to cover hundreds and thousands of miles with courage and new hope.
Today, we see bright Pakistan full of colours, glowing in all aspects economically, socially and politically as well. Though I am not witness to the partition process, history tells a grim story full of bloodshed, separation of loved ones; many relations lost never to be found again. Pakistanis never let themselves down before the circumstances and continued the travelogue from night to day and darkness to light. Without breaking linkage with the past, Pakistan grew and grew, and now it is one of the biggest economies of the world and recognised as a peaceful and peace-loving country. There might be some phenomenon like terrorism tarnishing the image of Pakistan abroad but the nation is determined to wipe the stigma and the efforts continue till the last enemy is defeated.
Socially, Pakistan is a state where men, women and even minorities are thriving independently and contributing to make Pakistan successful among the comity of nations. The right of freedom of expression is given to all strata of society. As compared to neighbouring countries, media in Pakistan is also free, helping people in developing their independent views and opinions about any social or political matter. As compared to caste system in India, Pakistan is open to all communities and provides equal opportunities to all to move horizontally as well as vertically. Women in Pakistan are no more victims to male chauvinism and are free to adopt any profession. They are flying planes, performing leadership role and playing their roles in all fields of life with equal competence.
Pakistan is the only Muslim country with atomic power. Economically, Pakistan is being considered one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Pakistan's Vision 2025 has served as a comprehensive strategy for achieving sustainable growth and mapped the country to join the top 25 economies in the world leading to 'upper middle income' country status by 2025.
The abundance of natural resources coupled with natural beauty is a distinctive feature of the country. Pakistan stood second in the world with above 100 millions tonnes of salt reserves, third in copper with 1,352 million-tonne reserves, fifth in coal with 175,000 million-tonne reserves, and had fifth largest reserves of gold.
Besides, Pakistan was fourth largest producer of cotton, 8th of wheat, 11th of rice, 5th of milk, and 9th of meat.
Chinese investment is another reason why the world is reassessing the Pakistan calculus. Since Xi Jinping first announced the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in 2014, the project has quickly become the centrepiece of diplomatic relations between the two countries. CPEC will include highways, railways and oil and gas pipelines - all constructed via Chinese companies. The CPEC project aims to connect China and Pakistan, ending in Pakistan's Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea. It includes plans of huge investments in the fields of infrastructure development and energy sector.
It is true that Pakistan has a great potential to develop and grow. It was a peasant country in 1947 and it had to go through all these phases of socio-economic evolution. It has assumed the status of emerging economy from developing economy. So, fingers are crossed, as opportunities are unlimited for a country to shed its unpredictability and flourish on the global horizon.
The writer is a freelance contributor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in Daily Times, August 13th 2017.