Image: Rekhta


In 1952, the poet Hafeez Jalandhri penned the Pakistani anthem. In 1954, it was officially adopted by the state of Pakistan. Pakistan got its national anthem nearly seven years after the country’s creation. In 1984, when the Indonesian President Sukharo was to be the first foreign head of state to visit the country, Pakistan had no anthem of its own to present.

In 1950, when the Shah of Iran was to visit Pakistan, the government put pressure on an ‘anthem committee’ to finalize an anthem. At that time, only a tune by Ahmed G. Chagla was selected. Between 1950-1954, Pakistan’s national anthem existed as a mere tune.

Jalandhri’s words were finally approved in 1954 and the complete anthem was played for the first time on radio. The lyrics of the anthem are all in Persian, with only one Urdu word (‘ka’).