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Saturday, April 13, 2024

No holiday on 9th November; work hard, urge Ministers

News Desk |

The National Assembly has rejected a resolution presented by a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers seeking public holiday on November 9th. It is important to mention here that birth anniversary of Pakistan’s national poet, Allama Iqbal, is celebrated on the said day.

Interestingly, Dr. Nisar Cheema of PMLN moved the resolution, which was opposed by the government as well as the opposition parties, including the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), and PML-N itself. The lawmaker insisted that since Allama Muhammad Iqbal is the national poet of Pakistan, his birth anniversary must be celebrated with reverence and zeal across the country. Therefore, “9th November should be a public holiday,” he maintained.

Addressing a session of the National Assembly Shehryar Afridi said, “Naya Pakistan’s vision is to work seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

Mr. Cheema’s own party leader Mr.Ahsan Iqbal was one to reject the proposal, adding that it had been put up before him last year too when he was serving as the interior minister. “Instead of enjoying picnics and parties and sitting idle on a holiday, schools and colleges should be asked to arrange special ceremonies and programmes to pay tribute to Allama Iqbal on Nov 9”, he emphasized.

Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi also opposed the resolution, arguing that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government believed in hard work and Prime Minister Khan would never allow closing off offices on 9th November. He also made it clear that the resolution did not represent the sentiments of the nation but only an opinion or wish of the presenter.

Read more: Iqbal tereay daes ka kya haal sunaon

Iqbal popularly termed the “Poet of the East”, was born on November 9, 1877, in Sialkot. This birth anniversary had been celebrated every year on the national level. Until 2015 there used to be a public holiday on November 9th but the then-interior ministry abolished the holiday and made it a working day.

After the announcement about the cancellation of the public holiday, social media users made pleas to PM Khan to announce the holiday. “@ImranKhanPTI dear PM we expect you to restore Iqbal day holiday as Iqbal is the national hero. You like many Pakistanis are a follower of Iqbal’s great ideology. Restoration of Iqbal day will help spread it among the young generation,” said a citizen on Twitter.

But as the minister has clarified the PTI-led government believes in hard work, therefore, there is no holiday on 9th Nov. Addressing a session of the National Assembly Shehryar Afridi said, “Naya Pakistan’s vision is to work seven days a week, 24 hours a day.” He continued, “Prime Minister Imran Khan and federal cabinet have not taken a single day off.”

Read more: Iqbal: A philosopher of East & West; but misunderstood by most..!

It is hoped that the day will be celebrated at school and colleges where different seminars and competitions will be conducted in order to familiarize the young generation with the poetry and ideology of the national poet. Allama Iqbal wrote extensively in Persian and Urdu and was the spiritual father of Pakistan Movement.

He was the leader who theorize Muslim distinctiveness in the sub-continent and urged both the political elite and masses to initiate the struggle for a separate political setting where they could establish a system based upon the principles of Islam.