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