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National Anthem of Pakistan

Discussion in 'The History of Pakistan' at Pakistan.web.pk started by rubPzai, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. rubPzai

    rubPzai Popular Pakistani

    National Anthem of Pakistan

    The National Anthem of Pakistan approved by the Government in August 1954.However, the music for the anthem had been composed in 1950 and had been used on several occasions before official adoption. It is a harmonious rendering of a three-stanza composition with a tune based on eastern music but arranged in such a manner that it can be easily played by foreign bands. The Anthem is evocative in spirit, extolling Pakistan as the centre of faith and freedom, a land of beauty and strength drawn from the people and the country. The words touch upon the various facts of national life, with an invocation for integrity of Pakistan. The Verses of the Anthem have been composed by a renowned poet of Pakistan, Abul Asar Hafeez Jallundhri; while the tune has been composed by Ahmed G. Chagla, the well known musician and composer.


    At independence, on August 14, 1947, Pakistan did not have a national anthem. When the flag was hoisted at the independence ceremony it was accompanied by the song, "Pakistan Zindabad, Azadi Paendabad". The flag itself had only been approved by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan three days earlier. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, asked Lahore-based Hindu writer, Jagannath Azad on August 9, 1947 to write a national anthem for Pakistan in five days. Jinnah may have done this to promote a more secular idealism for Pakistan. The anthem written by Azad was quickly approved by Jinnah, and it was played on Radio Pakistan.Azad's work remained as Pakistan’s national anthem for approximately eighteen months.

    In early 1948, A. R. Ghani from Transvaal, South Africa, offered two prizes of five thousand rupees each for the poet and composer of a new national anthem. The prizes were announced through a Government press note published in June 1948. In December 1948, a National Anthem Committee (NAC) was formed, initially chaired by the Information Secretary, Sheikh Muhammad Ikram. Committee members included several politicians, poets and musicians such as Abdur Rab Nishtar, Ahmed Chagla and Hafeez Jullundhri. The committee had some difficulty at first in finding suitable music and lyrics.

    In 1950, the impending state visit of the Shah of Iran, resulted in the Government asking the NAC to submit an anthem without delay. The committee chairman, Federal Minister for Education, Fazlur Rahman, asked several poets and composers to write lyrics but none of the submitted works were deemed suitable. The NAC also examined several different tunes and eventually selected the one presented by Chagla and submitted it for formal approval. Chagla produced the musical composition in collaboration with another committee member and assisted by the Pakistan Navy band.

    The anthem without lyrics was performed for Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and later for the National Anthem Committee on August 10, 1950. Although it was approved for playing during the visit of the Shah, official recognition was not given until August 1954. The anthem was also played during the Prime Minister's visit to the United States. The NAC distributed records of the composed tune amongst prominent poets, who responded by writing and submitting several hundred songs for evaluation by the NAC. Eventually, the lyrics written by Jullundhri were approved and the new national anthem was first played properly on Radio Pakistan on August 13, 1954. Official approval was announced by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on August 16, 1954. The composer Chagla had however died in 1953, before the new national anthem was officially adopted. In 1955 there was a performance of the national anthem involving eleven major singers of Pakistan including Ahmad Rushdi.

    Initial version:

    Information on the first anthem by Azad is very sparse. The lines presented below, were originally quoted by the Dawn (newspaper).


    O land of Pakistan,
    Each particle of yours
    Is being illuminated by stars.
    Brighther than the galaxies by far
    Are today your camels.

    Present anthem:

    The music composed by Chagla reflects his background in both eastern and western music. The lyrics are written in highly Persianised Urdu, even using Persian grammar. Every word in the entire anthem is of Persian or Arabic origin, with the one exception "ka", having purely Urdu origins.The anthem lasts for 1 minute and 20 seconds, and uses twenty one musical instruments and thirty eight different tones.

    English translation of anthem:

    Blessed be the sacred Land
    Happy be the bounteous realm
    Symbol of high resolve
    Land of Pakistan
    Blessed be thou citadel of faith

    The order of this sacred land
    Is the might of the brotherhood of the People
    May the nation, the country, and the state
    Shine in glory everlasting
    Blessed be the goal of our ambition

    This Flag of the Crescent and Star
    Leads the way to progress and perfection

    Interpreter of our past, glory of our present
    Inspiration of our future
    Symbol of Almighty's protection.​