Written by Ali Basit
Publish by : Umber Hussain Syed
As Pakistan prepares to celebrate the 75th Independence Day, it is vital to shed light on the event that changed the course of history in the subcontinent. As “Magna Carta” laid the foundation stone of people’s power in Great Britain, the independence made on 14th August 1947 gave the Muslims of the subcontinent a new home land and a new purpose to follow and struggle for.
The journey for independence was embarked under the leadership of Quaid e Azam. He put forth the demand for a separate country for the Muslims, based on the concept of nationhood. It is because he knew that the Hindus and the Muslims were two distinct nations with different strategic culture that can never co-exist. Jinnah, who pursued the dream of a separate country, was aware of the fact that Muslims cannot live their lives in accordance with their religion in an independent India with a Hindu majority, being ruled by Hindu regime.
Pakistan thus came into being providing a secure and a promising political, economic, social, cultural future to the Muslims, and providing them the way to live their lives in accordance with the principles of Islam.
A few leaders have been indebted with farsightedness to precisely predict the course of future and the vigor to get ready for it and Jinnah had both. Not only he won independence for the Muslims but also accurately predicted the dangers the infant state may have to face. In his address to the officers of the Pakistan Navy on 23rd Jan, 1948, he stated that “Pakistan must be prepared for all eventualities and dangers. The weak and defenceless in this imperfect world invite aggression from others. The best way we can serve the cause of peace is by removing the temptation from the path of those who think that we are weak and therefore they can bully or attack us.”
Due to Pakistan’s peculiar geostrategic location and the hostile neighborhood in East, Jinnah was knowing that the country needed strong security forces. Among them, he saw Pakistan Navy as an instrument to defend the maritime boundaries on which the newly established state’s economy was dependent. In his aforementioned address, Jinnah outlined his vision for the Pakistan Navy by observing “Pakistan is still in its infancy and so is its Navy and other branches of the armed forces.
But this infant means to grow up and God willing will grow up much sooner than many people thinks. You will have to make up for the smallness of your size by your courage and selfless devotion to duty for it is not life that matters but the courage, fortitude and determination you bring to it. People from all over the globe pass through Karachi and the eyes of the world are on you. I trust that, by your behavior and deportment you will never let Pakistan down, but would keep up the best traditions of the service and maintain high the honor and prestige of Pakistan as one of the greatest nations of the world.”
Pakistan Navy always espouses high standards of professionalism. In the 1965 war, Pakistan Navy conducted successful operations aimed at strategic deterrence and gave a befitting response to adversary, a similarity of which is hard to find in the domain of naval warfare. The act of valour displayed during the operation “Somnath”, which caused irreparable damage to Indian Navy including the destruction of Indian Radar system, is an explicit example of Pakistan naval personnel’s professional dedication and commitment involved. Moreover, Pakistan Navy apprehended the intentions of Indian Navy and deployed Pakistan Navy Submarine Ghazi to establish patrol near to Bombay harbor to challenge Indian warships.
The psychological fear of Ghazi adversely affected morale. Yet again in the 1971 war, sinking of Indian naval warship Kukri brought an immense wartime casualty by Pakistan Navy Submarine Hangor, is the only incident after WWII so wherein any conventional submarine sank a Warship. The detection of Indian Navy submarines during post-Pulwama and Uri military standoff by Pakistan Navy evidently portrays effective employment strategy coupled with superior professional acumen.
Having transcendence in operational preparedness, Pakistan Navy is no less at meeting its internal obligations by effectively engaging in the event of natural calamities to shoulder the government’s efforts to mitigate the risks underway by such eventualities. In recent times, the outbreak of COVID-19, which has trembled the existing geopolitical and economic structure of the world, has also affected Pakistan.
The country is synergizing all its available means and resources to limit the pandemic’s spread and its unbearable human cost. Pakistan Navy in this regard is contributing very effectively in emergency response operations and provided immediate relief through massive air and ground efforts. It is not only assisting the civil administration in the relief operations but is also executing self-sustained nationwide humanitarian assistance program with the help of civil society which includes large number of donors, philanthropists and volunteers. On the basis of official press releases shared by Pakistan Navy that more than 70,000 Ton of Ration, 50,000 PPEs and Medical equipment have been distributed all across Pakistan with special focus on far flung villages of coastal areas.
To sum up, Pakistan Navy has a greater role with increase and expansion in its operational scope, countering sea-based global terrorism, smuggling, piracy, providing land and sea-based security to shipping lanes. But staying true to the Quaid’s words, Pakistan Navy has stood every test and trial.
Each year 14 August, revives the essence of nationalism among common people of Pakistan. As we breathe in a free country today, tribute must be paid to the ones who sacrificed their present for us. On this historic day, the Nation must be reminded of Quaid’s words that defined the purpose and meaning of Pakistan. The whole nation should cement the spirit, integrity and dedication needed for the prosperity of Pakistan.