The best definition of Pakistan which I have found anywhere, was given by the poet Sehba Akhtar (1930-1996): “Pakistan is faith as well as certainty; it is ideology as well as land. In this many-hued world, there is only one way to recognize it: I am Pakistan, and you are Pakistan too.”
We inherit faith from ancestors but we need to find certainty on our own. Likewise, the ideology of Pakistan was handed down to us by Rumi, Attar and Bhittai but we had to acquire a land for it by ourselves. You cannot understand this through any number of debates and discussions unless it comes from within.
Hence again we come upon Simorgh or the collective ego: everyone becoming aware of their individuality at the same time is the Unity sought by genuine Sufis. It is not the otherworldliness of charlatans and hypocrites. It is the oneness of humanity, and Pakistan is the first state in modern history which was founded on this concept.
The poet Sehba Akhtar was the son of Rehmat Ali Rehmat, a contemporary of Agha Hashr Kashmiri. He was born in Sri Nagar, brought up in Amritsar and first visited Karachi with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to attend a gathering organized by students. Later he settled in this city where a beautiful road and a library are named after him. He is widely known as ‘The Poet of Pakistan’.
Like other celebrities who are being introduced in this series, he was ostracized by the academic circles for saying, “I am Pakistan.”
Next: Sohni Dharti – we all know this national song but who was the man behind it?