National Anthem of Pakistan
By Rashid Zia Cheema
A. R. Ghani was a Muslim from Transvaal (South Africa). In early 1948, he offered two prizes of Rs. 5,000 each for the poet and composer of a national anthem for the newly independent state of Pakistan. He published an advertisement in the newspapers for prizes in June 1948. So, the Government established National Anthem Committee in December 1948. It selected Ahmed G. Chagla’s tune (80-second duration) and the Government of Pakistan adopted it on 21 August 1949.
First Performance of National Anthem of Pakistan
Pakistan Navy band performed the national anthem, without lyrics, for the first time on the state visit of the Shah of Iran to Pakistan in Karachi on 1 March 1950. Later, a band of the United States played it for Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan during his official visit to USA on 3 May 1950.
In 1952, the lyrics written by Abu Al-Asar Hafeez Jalandhari, were selected from among 723 entries. Radio Pakistan broadcasted the new anthem for the first time, sung by Hafeez Jalandhari himself, on 13 August 1954. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting officially approved it on 16 August 1954. However, the composer, Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla, had already died in 1953, before it was officially adopted.
The lyrics are written in Urdu, but use a heavy Persian poetic vocabulary. The word کا (kā) in the second stanza is the only word which is exclusively Urdu and not borrowed from Persian.
Lyrics in Persian and Urdu
National Anthem of Pakistan in the Hand Writing of Hafeez Jalandhari. On 25 May 1968, Abu Al-Asar Hafeez Jalandhari, the writer of Pakistan’s national anthem, wrote the national anthem in his own handwriting. He wrote it for one of his acquaintances, Muhammad Aslam Malik.
Commemorative Postage Stamp Honoring Hafeez Jalandhari
National Anthem on YouTube
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