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Spirit of Eid-ul Azha,Eid-ul Azha history

EDITORIAL (November 17, 2010) : Eid-ul Azha is being observed in Pakistan today in circumstances unique in the country's history since its creation in 1947, in that we have never faced such heavy and multiple odds before. There has never been greater need for us to observe the spirit of Sunnat-e-Ibrahimi of sacrifice, which Eid-ul Azha commemorates.

Massive devastation and dislocation the worst floods in Pakistan's history find no parallel in our history, which have turned our national life upside down. The day commemorates willing compliance of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) with Allah's command to sacrifice his son in His name, though through a miracle the son was replaced with a lamb before the knife struck. This act of Prophet Ibrahim has rightly been termed a supreme sacrifice.

Eid-ul Azha today calls for observing a similar spirit of sacrifice by Pakistan's rich and mighty who have enjoyed perks and privileges they would probably not have anywhere in the world, because what they possess today they essentially owe it to this country. Pakistanis need to re-live the pristine spirit of Eid-ul Azha, which alone can help us tide over our national woes.

Unhappily, the paucity of internal response has prompted some of the donors to call for a matching response, though the international community seems so far to be willing to help us out in a substantial way. Pakistan's demand for a $50 billion debt write-off may not be met in its entirety, though the donors seem willing to help, largely because of the critical role we have been playing in the global war on terrorism, and have in the process suffered crippling blowbacks in terms of worsening law and order, among other things. Acts of terrorism across the country have badly hit economic activity, breeding deep public scare.

Pakistan's commercial and industrial hub of Karachi, which accounts for around 60 percent of the country's revenue generation, has become the centre of mayhem currently gripping the country. This means that our ability to make a matching contributory response will be further reduced. Pakistan needs to narrow "trust deficit" through targeted initiatives, including tax reforms, and reduction of administrative flab and corruption.

There has been a steady rise in our Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking, which in practical terms means unavoidable loss of revenue and a blow to efforts aimed at attracting FDI. The spirit of egalitarianism which Eid-ul Azha represents needs to be practiced across the board to ensure distributive justice, in which alone lies our collective salvation.

Secondly, there is a need to make healthy policy changes, China-like, that will allow us to focus mainly on our own problems. Pakistanis can enjoy fruits of economic progress only when there is peace inside the country, though this peace should not be gained at the cost of the country's long-term interests.

We should celebrate Eid-ul Azha with inclusive egalitarianism, which won't be possible without a drastic change in policy and mindset. There is a need to develop a multi-cultural national identity, which will help neutralise divisive forces. We can achieve this objective with determination and sincerity of purpose. A very happy Eid to all Pakistanis.

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