The national integration and prosperity of any country is not possible without national unity and cohesion. The Pakistani nation comprises different areas and the people of different races. They speak different languages like Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi but Islam is the common religion among them. It is the base of national brotherhood and integration. Urdu was a medium of interaction among the people of different areas at the time of emergence of Pakistan. Therefore it was declared the national language of Pakistan.
Meaning of National Integration and Cohesion
Integration means to become united. It is a process through which the parts are merged into a whole. For example, the smaller units are integrated into the whole. Integration also means the reconciliation of the interests of different parts or groups for the benefit of whole system or nation so that there could, develop a national interest. National integration also means to integrate all the social and political groups of a society to form a nation. For example, many nationalities arid units were merged in Pakistani nation. The following common factors are essential for national integration.
1. Common Religion
The common religion plays very important role in creating national integration. If the population belong to one religion, the chance of developing of common nationality increases, which ensures national unity. The religion of Pakistan is Islam, which unites the people at national level, and ensures solidarity of the people with the country.
2. Common Territory
If the whole population lives within the same common territory, it will be easily integrated into a nation. The national geographical limits of a state make its defense and unity very strong. For example, East and West Germany were integrated into one nation due to the common geographical territories.
The common language plays important role in creating national unity. According to Ramsy Muir "There is none important than common language, which creates national unity". By speaking common language, the people are able to understand one another and convey their feelings to others very easily. It is helpful in developing a national integration.
4. Common Race
If the population belongs to a common race, they feel integrated socially and psychologically, which leads to common nationality and national integration.
5. Common Tradition
The common traditions are essential for national unity. In the view of John S. Mill, "The common historical traditions are necessary for the national unity. The glorious past always predicts the glorious future." Therefore, some common traditions can easily create the national integration.
The democracy also plays important role in creating the national unity. All the groups are equal in the democratic set up, and are not disappointed. The sense of equality is very helpful in creating national integration.
Importance of National Integration and Cohesion
If national integration is created in a nation, it will lead towards the national prosperity. The national integration and cohesion has great significance and utility, evident from the following points:
We can bring prosperity in the country by creating national integration and cohesion. At present 35% of the population of Pakistan is living below the poverty line. Therefore, there is need to eliminate the poverty and to bring prosperity in the country so that the gap between the rich and poor may be reduced. Thus, we can do this through unity.
2. Peace and Order.
If we bring national integration and cohesion in the country, it will remove the differences and conflicts among the people, which will lead the country towards the peace and security. Thus peace is the result of national unify.
3. Mutual Cooperation
After creating national integration and cohesion we can create an atmosphere of mutual cooperation by removing all the differences and conflicts among the different groups of the society.
4. Welfare of the People
The government can plan about the welfare of the people, who do not face any cont1ict or differences. We can remove all these evils by creating national integration. Then the government can spare time for the welfare of the people.
5. Strong Administration
The administration becomes strong through national integration and cohesion. The strong administration fully controls the affairs, and does not allow -any chance of disorder and conflict.
6. No Wastage of Timeand Wealth
The national integration and cohesion protect the nation from the wastage of time and wealth because the nation is integrated and all the parts work in close coordination.
Islamic Democratic State and National Integration
Islamic state was founded by the Holy. Prophet (PBUH), which aimed at the establishment of sovereignty of Allah and the welfare of the people. The pious Khalifahs played their role in strengthening the Islamic state after the demise of the Holy Prophet (SAW). They highlighted the concept of democratic welfare state, and took many steps in this regard to make it an exemplary state in the world.
Following are the characteristics of an Islamic democratic state.
1. Example of National Integration
The Islamic state is an example of the national integration. There is no maltreatment with any group or individual within Islamic state, and no injustice with any member of/the society. Therefore, there is no question of lack of integration. But the provision of equity and justice, development of democratic traditions and complete religious liberty develop the national integration.
The Islamic state provides equity and justice. It never allows any maltreatment with any individual or group, and ensures equal and just treatment to every one.
3. Democratic Tradition
The Islamic state develops the democratic traditions like equality, justice, tolerance and liberty. It prohibits the non-democratic tactics like persecution and victimization of the citizens. It provides equal rights to all.
4. Elimination of Corruption
The Islamic state eliminates all types of corruption. Administration is made honest, and every act of state is performed honestly. Dishonest elements of the government are never tolerated.
5. Establishment of Prosperity
Islamic state is a welfare state therefore, it develops the prosperity in the society and puts the state on economic progress. Islamic state' provides the necessities of life to every one.
6. Religious Freedom
Islamic state provides religious freedom, liberty of faith and worship to the religious minorities within its jurisdiction. It cannot impose unjust limitation on anyone, which roots out the disintegration in a nation.
7. Responsible Government
There is always a responsible government in Islamic state. It is not only accountable before the people, but also before Allah. It means that Islamic state has dual responsibility.
Everyone, whether a government official or non-government official is accountable in the Islamic state. Every government official has to go through the strict process of accountability, and is punished for his in-ability or carelessness. Thus an honest administration emerges in the Islamic state.
9. Relationship between Rulers and Ruled
There is close relationship between rulers and ruled in the Islamic state, which provides information regarding the problems of the people, and chance to redress their grievances. It also helps in understanding the difficulties of the government
10. Principle of Merit
The principle of merit is always observed in the Islamic state. The jobs are given to the competent persons. It means that no job is provided to incompetent persons. They are not tolerated in the government service.
Islamic state adapts itself according to the changing environment and new requirements of the time. Orthodoxy and stagnancy are prohibited in Islam. Islam emphasizes on progress and development. The Holy Quran contains the clear-cut instructions "who-so-ever tries to search the hidden treasuries of the skies and earth, he will find them".
12. Right of Non-Muslims
Islamic state emphasizes specifically on the rights of non-Muslims. Generally all rights are given to the citizens but, the non-Muslims are declared Zimmis, and state provides security to their lives and properties.
Problems for National Integration and Cohesion in Pakistan
Now-a-days Pakistan is passing through the political crisis; Thus, Pakistan needs the national integration, but Pakistan faces many problems in this regard, which are:
Lack of political consciousness
Difference of regional progress
Difference of culture
Political control of a Particular class
Degradation institutions of political and administrative
Regional political parties
There is need to solve the problems of national integration in Pakistan. The solutions are as follow:
1. Increase in Literacy
The wealthy people are always encouraged instead of educated people in Pakistan. Therefore, the government of Pakistan must encourage the educated people in politics and in assemblies. They can build the society on proper lines, and can create the environment, of national integration.
2. Equal Development of all Areas.
The equal development of all areas of the country plays significant role in developing the national integration arid cohesion in the country. Pakistan is trying to develop all its areas on the basis of equality. Therefore, the present government has declared "Gawadar" as a free port for the development of Balochistan so that the foreign investment can be encouraged, and the province can be put on the road to progress. The Government's main task will be the development of Balochistan, NWFP and Sindh at par with Punjab.
3. Establishment of Democracy
Absence of democracy creates groupings among the people, which is dangerous for the national integration. Therefore, there is a need to establish true democracy in the country, which will reduce the sense of deprivation, and enhance the feeling of national integration and cohesion. The rich classes are the master of governmental authority.
4. Support to National Political Parties
The formation of regional parties is dangerous for the national integration. Therefore, there is need to support the national parties like Pakistan Muslim League, Pakistan Peoples Party, Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Pakistan, Jamiat-eUlama-e-Islam, Jamaat-e-Islami. They are functional at national level.
5. Abolition of Supremacy of Specific Classes
After, the emergence of Pakistan the feudal class established their supremacy in the country, which has proved dangerous for the national integration. Therefore, there is a need to abolish the authority of the particular classes, and allow all the classes to enjoy the liberty, which will increase the feelings of national integration and cohesion.
6. To Strengthen the National Institutions
The national institutions should be strengthened in Pakistan. There is an impression in Pakistan that every incoming government destroys the national institutions. The deprived people do not get justice due to the weak institutions, which hurt the national unity. Therefore, the national institutions must be strengthened so that the deprived classes and areas may be benefited.
The reforms in the fields of economic, politics, sociology and religions may be introduced on the basis of equality so that people of "every area may be benefited. When the people of Pakistan have equality, they will work for national integration and cohesion. .
All the areas of Pakistan are not equal with regard to their resources. Some areas are less irrigated and some are more and the standard of living of people also vary from area to area. If the resources are equally distributed among the people, the country can make progress economically, and the sense of deprivation of the people of particular area may be reduced, .and national integration and cohesion can be strengthened.
9. Establishment of Social Equity
By the establishment of social equity, the national integration may be ensured and political tension and disaster may be eliminated, which results in the shape of united and integrated nation. If social discrimination is not removed from the society, the class-struggle will become dangerous for the national unity.
10. Islamic Teachings
Pakistan was established on the basis of Islamic teachings and democratic principles. Quaid-e-Azam while defining the goals of Pakistan said, "We have not demanded Pakistan for a piece of land but we wanted a laboratory, where we could implement the principles of Islam". According to Quaid-e-Azam, we must develop an environment based on Islamic teachings, which will be helpful in creating national integration and cohesion.
To provide equal rights and liberties to all the individuals of a country leads to national integration. If we provide the rights and liberties to all the individuals irrespective of race, religion, area and sex in Pakistan, it will strengthen the national integration.
12. Inter Provincial Marriages
We must encourage the inter-provincial marriages, which provide chances for the interaction of individuals of all units, and remove the misunderstandings of one another. It will lead towards the national integration and cohesion.
QUESTIONS What do you know about national integration and cohesion? Which factors are necessary for national integration?
What is the utility of national integration and cohesion in an Islamic democratic state?
What are the problems of national integration in Pakistan? And What are its solutions?
What is the importance of national integration and cohesion?