The Mystery about our National Anthem

The Mystery about our National Anthem

Among a few things that are truly the identity of any nation, national anthem holds a significant position. Along with the national flag, it represents the country throughout the world and adds to the national pride. It is basically a patriotic hymn or other song adopted by a nation for use on public or state occasions and is the individuality of any state.



Coming back home, Pakistan’s national anthem, written by Hafeez Jalandhari, has always been a subject of criticism as it is completely in Farsi (Persian), rendering it incomprehensible for majority of Pakistanis. While the current national anthem is hardly approved, Pakistan’s first national anthem remains a mystery and just a few people know the existence of another national anthem approved by founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (R.A) prior to Hafeez Jalandhari’s ‘Pak Sar Zameen Shaad Baad’.


Jagan Nath Azad, a Lahore based Urdu poet commissioned the first national anthem of Pakistan just three days before the independence on 11th August 1947 at the behest of M.A. Jinnah. According to a Professor of History hail to University of Karachi, Jagan Nath was equally excited and amazed when came to know that Jinnah wanted him to commission Pakistan’s national anthem regardless of his religious identity.


The lyrics of the anthem were….


“Aye sar zameen-i- paak
Zarre Tere hain aaj sitaron se tabnak
Roshan hai kehkashan se kahin aaj teri khaak
Tundi-e-Hasadan pe hai ghalib tera swaak
Damon wo sil gaya hai jot ha mudatton se chaak
Aye sar zameen-i-paak”


About a year and a half after the partition, after Mr Jinnah’s death in September, 1948, the government of Pakistan, headed by its first Muslim Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, decided to discard the anthem. National Anthem Committee was formed in December, 1948 to recommend new anthem.


However, unfortunately, we do not have any account pertaining to the first national anthem in our history books. With all these accessible evidences, none of the historians ever tried to discover the fact that what prompted the then leaders of Pakistan to discard the first national anthem as envisioned by Mohammad Ali Jinnah to get it written by a non-Muslim writer in Urdu.


The question arises: what prompted the then government to discard Azad’s ‘Aye sar zameen-i-paak’ that was also in our national language? And it remains unanswered.
It is common observation that cognizance of a minor child to an adult person is restricted to the given facts that Hafeez Jalandhari commissioned the first national anthem of Pakistan. Misleading people is a crime but concealing historical facts to its nation is beyond the criminal act. One must think about it with all dimensions opened.

Roohan Ahmed

A researcher at the online editorial desk of The News

  • I always wondered that why our national anthem was in Farsi despite Urdu being the national language. In fact, there were other big languages as bengali and punjabi……at tha time. we should also have national anthem translated in to all regional languages of Pakistan… Moeed

  • M.Saeed

    It is not known to most Pakistanis that, initially Pakistan’s
    National Anthem was only a musical rendering composed by Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla
    which was adopted in 1950. Then the poets were invited to write appropriately worded lyrics fitting the music. More than 700 contestants had submitted their lyrics out of which the National Anthem Committee had selected the lyrics written by Hafiz Jalandhari. The National Anthem was then officially adopted by the Government. The whole exercise took more than 4 years and Radio Pakistan had broadcasted it for the first time on 14th August 1954.

  • Farooq Hashmi

    It was years ago that I had learnt to my shock that Pakistan’s National Anthem is a replacement of one composed by a Lahorite non-Muslim poet, Jagan Nath Azad. Urdu diction of abandoned national anthem is lucid and its imagery simple.How it was expedient to annul it, is a tantalizing question.

  • AdeelJ

    If you read through our current national anthem, It contains mostly urdu words and has a more balanced verse.

  • Guest

    Religious identity dont have any link with “Love for Country”. It has been by proved this Writing

  • Shamil Khan

    Religious identity dont have any link with “Love for Country”. It has been proved by this Writing

  • Agha

    Deception is norm in our history. I still remember, when I was in 4th grade in 1957, we used to read the history (Muashtarti Uloom). It had a chapter on Quid-e-Azam, which had the information “Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born in a small town “Jhiruk” of Distt. Thatta on 25 Dec. Come 1958, and changed to Karachi:):)

  • azeem abbas

    Roohan Ahmed! I think you have some much free time to write a blog on this subject. WE have so many other important issues, it would be better you select some important topic instead of bothering about our national anthem. Mind your business please and dont waste yours and the peoples time.

  • Sharif

    Urdu contains several words from Farsi. There is nothing wrong with the national anthem.

  • Jehangir Masud

    The national anthem had to be composed in a hurry in 1950 because of the impending state visit of the Shah of Iran. President Sukarno had been the first head of state to make a state visit and there had been no Pakistani national anthem to play upon his arrival. A.G. Chagla produced his beautiful composition within a few weeks, in time for the Shah’s visit. The lyrics were added later through a process described in M. Saeed’s comment. By the way there is one line of Urdu in the anthem (Pak sarzameen ka nizam)!

  • Nab

    well urdu comes from several different languages including turkish, arabic and persian, so there is nothing wrong with the national anthem being in persian if it conveys our ideology. it is clear to see why the older one was rejected, as it sounds simple, whereas the current one literally gives me goosebumps and awakens the patriot in me, not to mention that it also sounds better to the ears. it should be part of our education system and school curriculum to explain the national anthem to children so that they understand what it is about, so that they dont just sing empty words in school assembly etc