Every year we commend and commemorate the 14th of August as a historic day when the Muslims of the subcontinent were able to carve out a country of their own on the map of the world wherein they could lead their lives in accordance with their culture, ethos and Islamic teachings. Seventy-four years ago, Pakistan gained independence after remarkably stupendous efforts made by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Undoubtedly, he was a statesman blessed with larger than life vision, an incorruptible character and matchless intellect. As a lawyer of the highest class and acumen, he pleaded for Pakistan while making it his sole brief. He won the final victory against the narrow-gutted Hindu leadership and awfully astute British Raj with an indomitable will and rare courage. He outwitted them all and thus created a free land for his people, materializing the dream of the great poet philosopher Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal. This was by no means a child’s play but a watershed development in human history. The Muslims of the subcontinent rendered colossal sacrifices of men and materials for several years as they were not allowed to practice their own religion with freedom and were treated with disdain as a minority. Quaid-e-Azam reasoned with facts and logic that Hindus and Muslims were two distinct nations, rooted in history with mutually exclusive ideologies and beliefs. He made a strong case for two-nation theory and further solidified it with the power of an ideology which separated Muslims from Hindus and others. In this backdrop, on Independency day the people of Pakistan celebrate it like a festival with huge enthusiasm and an immense joy. They unite together under the green and white flag of Pakistan and rejoice their happiness with friends and family. Although the people of Pakistan celebrate the Independence Day with profound patriotism and great passion, but they must also remember the Jinnah’s dream. Although the people of Pakistan celebrate the Independence Day with profound patriotism and great passion, but they must also remember the Jinnah’s dream. They should always question themselves whether they have made this country according to his dreams or they have forgotten the rationale behind the creation of Pakistan. This is indeed a very pertinent point to ponder. As a nation to progress we must have a clear idea of our longer-term goals and aspirations. Without this clarity, we will neither be able to prepare a coherent roadmap for action nor adopt and implement the policies that would lead towards the avowed objectives. A national vision is desperately needed and agreed upon by consensus to provide clarity to our shared vision of the future. Indeed, Pakistan was founded on such a great vision-the “Pakistani Dream”, a vision of a prosperous, equitable, tolerant, and dynamic society-which was at the heart of the Independence Movement. It was the defining vision for the new country, inspired by that generation of leaders, and articulated through the struggles of our people for independence and nationhood. Since 1947, Pakistan has made considerable progress on many fronts. However, on the eve of our 75th independence day, there is consensus that the pace of progress has not been commensurate with the promise and potential of our nation. Therefore, we need to do much better and faster. Plans only succeed when they manifest the aspirations of a nation, empower the citizens, and especially the private sector. Pakistan today faces a multitude of formidable social, economic, security and governance challenges. Many nations have faced similar challenges in history and successfully turned them into opportunities through sound economic planning, good governance and consistency in policy implementation. Recent years have witnessed the transformational impact of the deepening of democratic culture and institutions. There is a growing consensus that the future of the country is linked with the upholding of the principles of the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and constitutionalism. There is a growing and engaged civil society in the country, which is giving greater voice to citizens in shaping the future direction of the country. The new government, elected with a mandate to fix and reform Pakistan’s economy and make it one of the leading economies in Asia, has taken several immediate steps to arrest economic decline and stagnation. These include measures to reduce non-productive expenditure and raise revenues, managerial changes to stop the hemorrhaging in public sector enterprises, the announcement of an energy policy, resolution of the circular debt issue, rationalization of subsidies, and introduction of incentives for the private sector. These steps have helped in stabilizing the macroeconomic environment of the country, which is evident from growing foreign exchange reserves, robustness in the stock market, growing economic activity in the development sector, and stabilization of the Pak Rupee. Having taken necessary short-term actions to stabilize the economy, it is logical that the focus shifts towards the medium to long term framework that will bring Pakistan’s economy to its full strength and potential. We must recollect that on the eve of independence, our heroic Quaid-e-Azam held out a simple but compelling vision for Pakistan’s future-a responsible government, based on the rule of law, constitutionalism and democracy, striving for the prosperity, wellbeing, and security of the people, especially the poor. Although the country has exhibited respectable economic growth with a phenomenal increase in the quantum of inherited infrastructure, it continues to lag behind in the sphere of human and social capital development and national cohesion. These are daunting challenges. However, the Pakistani nation has overcome overwhelming odds in the past; its creation and very survival in the early years was seen by many as impossible, but in the first decade after independence a shared moral purpose and dedicated leadership changed the impossible into the possible. Today, Pakistan again needs the same winning combination to recreate the Pakistani Dream: a national vision to provide a shared destination, a motivation for synergizing efforts, and a structure to enable leap-frogging on the development pathway. These are ambitious goals but not unprecedented in recent history. Indeed, the achievements of the Asian Tigers represent the pursuit of precisely these integrated goals: high levels of human development (including universal access to health and education services, poverty eradication, and empowerment of women), rapid rates of sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and an unfailing adherence to the rule of law. As we prepare ourselves for celebrations in connection with our Independence day on 14th August, we must not forget to express our unflinching solidarity with the hapless people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) who have been held hostage by the despotic Modi-led government which is unleashing a reign of tyranny and terror. Pakistan must continue to offer its political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris until they are granted their promised right of self-determination in accordance with UN Resolutions on the subject. We cannot and should not celebrate in festivity while our brothers and sisters in IIOJK continue to live in blood and tears. The writer is a civil servant by profession, a writer by choice and a motivational speaker by passion!