The Scots are the inheritors of a deep and long history through which they have formed a rich culture and heritage that they are immensely proud of. Their forefathers protected and guarded their nation vehemently against many an adversity. They fought with their life and blood to keep this great and Bonny nation a free and an independent country.
Based on a strong foundation of its past Scotland has evolved dramatically over the centuries to become a leading nation with numerous achievements under its belt.
However, it is no longer a free nation. It has not been for over 300 years. This is what is missing from its ultimate evolution of becoming a world class nation amongst the nations of this world.
Given its rich history and proud culture, its resources and its vast potential it has the right to self-determination. It has the right to steer its own destiny with its own hands.
Born in Karachi, I am of Pakistani origin. I have lived in Scotland with my family for 43 years. This great land became my home very quickly after I arrived. Living in Glasgow as a Glaswegian has shown me wonderful experiences, shaped my character and enabled me to live my life to the full.
I did not feel I was alienated because of my background, colour or faith. I wasn’t treated unfairly.
I have kept my background, my roots and my origin, I am bilingual, and my religion is still the same as the day I came here. Instead of losing anything I gained a whole new way of life, a bonus that compliments the other, a new language, a new history and a new culture. All of which I am so immensely proud of. This composition of not losing anything but instead gaining more is to me being Scottish.
I feel I am just as Scottish as the man who was born here (if not more). This feeling of belonging, being Scottish instils in me a sense of patriotic duty, a degree of loyalty, responsibility and caring like that of a son nurtured by his mother. To me Scotland is my mother land. I only want what is good for her. I may not have any ancestors who fought for Scotland in its gory struggles of the bygone centuries but I have nonetheless made my mark on it with enough of my blood and sweat to call it my country.
The independence that Scotland is seeking today is about financial independence. It’s about having the right to raise its own taxes and spend them on providing the top quality public services that the Scots so desperately need. It’s about deciding ourselves how we should play our role and responsibility on the international stage. It’s about not marching our troops into illegal wars and occupations. It’s about making all of our own decisions in our Parliament. It’s about doing away with a disenchanted and distance out of touch powerhouse such as Westminster. It’s about creating an equal society.
As a Pakistani Scot I believe I will benefit immensely from staying in an Independent Scotland. In fact I can’t wait to Vote Yes next year.
I would urge you to do the same.
Cllr Shabbar Jaffri