Patriotism means love for the motherland or devotion to one's country. A patriot loves his country and is willing to sacrifice when the need arises. The word patriot comes from the Latin word 'patriota' which means countryman. It is considered a commendable quality.
Patriotism gives people the strength and courage to safeguard the interest of the country and nation. For a patriot the sovereignty, integrity and honour of the country are supreme values on which no compromise can be made. Patriots render sacrifice for the preservation and protection of these values.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a nation builder and a great patriot. He wanted to protect the values, culture, and traditions of the Muslims of the subcontinent. He gave the Muslims a sense of identity by securing a separate homeland for them. He said, "We must develop a sense of patriotism which galvanizes us all into one united and strong nation."
The spirit of patriotism makes us stay alert in the wake of foreign invasion. In the history of Pakistan there are many instances when people laid their lives for the defense of the country. In the wars of 1965, 1971 and the Kargil War, many brave soldiers gave their lives in an attempt to protect the homeland.
Captain Muhammad Sarwar, Major Tufail Muhammad, Major Aziz Bhatti, Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, Major Muhammad Akram, Major Shabbir Sharif, Sowar Muhammad Hussain, Lance Naik Muhammad Mahfooz, Captain Karnal Sher Khan and Havildar Lalak Jan -- all embraced martyrdom while fighting bravely for their motherland. All of them were awarded Nishan-e-Haider, the highest military award given to great patriots who lay down their lives for the country.
Patriotism, therefore, is not just a feeling, it is a live spirit that continuously inspires and guides a nation. In the words of S.W. Scott, a man devoid of patriotic spirit, is like the one who:
"Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land."