Qaumi Taranah

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Qaumi Taranah
قومی ترانہ
English: Be Blessed The Sacred Land
National Anthem

National anthem of  Pakistan
LyricsHafeez Jullundhri, June 1952
MusicAhmad G. Chagla, 21 August 1949
Adopted13 August 1954
Audio sample
Qaumi Taranah (Instrumental)
Ahmed Rushdi recorded the National Anthem of Pakistan in 1954

The Qaumi Taranah (Urdu: قومی ترانہ‎, Qaumī Tarānah pronounced [ˈqɔː.mi ˈt̪ə.rɑː.nɑ], lit. “National Anthem”), also known as Pāk Sarzamīn (Urdu: پاک سرزمین‎, pronounced [ˈpɑːk ˈsər.zə.miːn], lit. “The Sacred Land”), is the national anthem of Pakistan. Its music was composed by Ahmad G. Chagla in 1949, preceding the lyrics, which were written by Hafeez Jullundhri in 1952. It was officially adopted as Pakistan's national anthem in August 1954[1] and was recorded in the same year by eleven major singers of Pakistan including Ahmad Rushdi, Kaukab Jahan, Rasheeda Begum, Najam Ara, Naseema Shaheen, Zawar Hussain, Akhtar Abbas, Ghulam Dastagir, Anwar Zaheer, and Akhtar Wasi Ali.[2]


In early 1948, A. R. Ghani, a Muslim from Transvaal, South Africa, offered two prizes of five thousand rupees each for the poet and composer of a new national anthem for the newly independent state of Pakistan. The prizes were announced through a government press advertisement published in June 1948. In December 1948, the Government of Pakistan established the National Anthem Committee (NAC) with the task of coming up with the composition and lyrics for the official national anthem of Pakistan. The NAC was initially chaired by the Information Secretary, Sheikh Muhammad Ikram, and its members included several politicians, poets and musicians, including Abdur Rab Nishtar, Ahmad G. Chagla and Hafeez Jullundhri.[citation needed] The NAC encountered early difficulties in finding suitable music and lyrics.

When President Sukarno of Indonesia became the first foreign head of state to visit Pakistan on 30 January 1950, there was no Pakistani national anthem to be played. In 1950, the impending state visit of the Shah of Iran added urgency to the matter and resulted in the Government of Pakistan asking the NAC to submit an anthem without further delay. The NAC Chairman, then 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 Ahmed G. Chagla and submitted it for formal approval.[3] On 21 August 1949, the Government of Pakistan adopted Chagla’s tune for the national anthem.[4]

The anthem, without lyrics, was performed for the first time for a foreign head of state on the state visit of the Shah of Iran to Pakistan in Karachi on 1 March 1950 by a Pakistan Navy band.[citation needed]

It was later played for Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan during his official visit to the United States on 3 May 1950. It was played before the NAC on 10 August 1950.[5] Official recognition to the national anthem, however, was not given until August 1954.[5] 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 Hafeez Jullundhri were approved 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. The composer, Ahmed G. Chagla, died in 1953, before the new national anthem was officially adopted. In 1955, there was a performance of the national anthem involving 11 major singers of Pakistan, including Ahmad Rushdi, Kaukab Jahan, Rasheeda Begum, Najam Ara, Naseema Shaheen, Zawar Hussain, Akhtar Abbas, Ghulam Dastagir, Anwar Zaheer and Akhtar Wasi Ali.[6]


The Qaumi Taranah is a melodious and 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.[citation needed]

The music, composed by the Pakistani musician and composer, Ahmad G. Chagla in 1949, reflects his background in both eastern and western music. Twenty-one musical instruments[4] and thirty-eight different tones[4] are used to play the Qaumi Taranah,[7] the duration of which is 80 seconds.[1][4][8]


The Urdu lyrics, written by the Pakistani Urdu-language poet, Hafeez Jullundhri in 1952, have commonality with Persian, making them understandable in both languages. No verse in the three stanza lyrics is repeated.[1] The anthem has heavy Persian poetic vocabulary,[9] and only uses one exclusively Urdu word 'kā'.[10]

Urdu lyrics
كشورِ حسين شاد باد پاک سرزمین شاد باد
ارضِ پاکستان!‏ تُو نشانِ عزمِ عالی شان
مرکزِ یقین شاد باد
قوّتِ اُخوّتِ عوام پاک سرزمین کا نظام
پائنده تابنده باد!‏ قوم، ملک، سلطنت
شاد باد منزلِ مراد
رہبرِ ترقّی و کمال پرچمِ ستاره و ہلال
جانِ استقبال!‏ ترجمانِ ماضی، شانِ حال
سایۂ خدائے ذوالجلال
Transliteration (ALA-LC) Translation[11] (poetical) Translation (literal)

Pāk sarzamīn shād bād
Kishwar-i ḥasīn shād bād
Tū nishān-i ʿazm-i ʿālī shān
Arẓ-i Pākistān!
Markaz-i yaqīn shād bād

May the holy land, stay glad;
Beauteous realm, stay glad.
Thou, the sign of high resolve—
O Land of Pakistan!
Citadel of faith, stay glad.

Blessed be the sacred land,
Happy be the bounteous realm.
Thou symbol of high resolve,
O Land of Pakistan!
Blessed be the citadel of faith.

Pāk sarzamīn kā niz̤ām
Quwwat-i Ukhuwwat-i ʿawām
Qaum, mulk, salt̤anat
Pāyindah tābindah bād!
Shād bād manzil-i murād

Order of the holy land,
Power of fraternity of the populace;
The nation, country, and domain;
Ever luminous remain!
The cherished goal, stay glad.

The order of this sacred land,
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.

Parcam-i sitārah o-hilāl
Rahbar-i taraqqī o-kamāl
Tarjumān-i māẓī, shān-i ḥāl
Jān-i istiqbāl!
Sāyah-yi Khudā-yi Ẕū l-jalāl

Flag with the star and crescent,
The leader of progress and ascent,
Dragoman of past, the pride of present;
Soul of the future!
Shadow of the God of grandeur.

The flag of the crescent and star,
Leads the way to progress and perfection,
Interpreter of our past, glory of our present,
inspiration for our future!
Shade of God, the Glorious and Mighty.


  • 1947 – The new state of Pakistan came into being on 14 August.
  • 1949 – Music for the Qaumi Taranah is composed by the Pakistani musical composer, Ahmad G. Chagla (running time: 80 seconds).
  • 1950 – anthem, without lyrics, was performed for the first time for a foreign head of state on the state visit of the Shah of Iran to Pakistan in Karachi on 1 March 1950 by a Pakistan Navy band.
  • 1952 – Verses written by the Pakistani poet, Hafeez Jullundhri, are selected from amongst 723 entries.
  • 1954 – Officially adopted as the national anthem and broadcast for the first time on Radio Pakistan on 13 August
  • 1955 – Sung by 11 famous Pakistani singers including Ahmad Rushdi, Shamim Bano, Kokab Jehan, Rasheeda Begum, Najam Ara, Naseema Shaheen, Zwar Hussain, Akhtar Abbas, Ghulam Dastgir, Anwar Zaheer and Akhtar Wassi
  • 1996 – Rendered in electric guitar for the first time by Pakistani rock band Junoon in their album Inquilaab
  • 2009 – Rendered as an acoustic instrumental for the first time by Pakistani musician Jehangir Aziz Hayat
  • 2011 – On 14 August, 5,857 people gathered in a stadium in Karachi to sing the Qaumi Taranah and set a new world record for most people gathered to sing a national anthem simultaneously.[12]
  • 2012 – On 20 October, 42,813 people gathered in a stadium in Lahore to sing the Qaumi Taranah and set a new world record for most people gathered to sing a national anthem simultaneously, which was certified by Guinness World Records.[13] The record was subsequently broken on 26 March 2014 in Bangladesh.[14]
  • 2017Coke Studio released a collaborative rendition of Qaumi Taranah on 4 August by the featured artistes, to celebrate the 70 years of Pakistan in the tenth season.[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Information of Pakistan". Archived from the original on 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  2. ^ "Death Anniversary of Ahmed Rushdi". Duniya News. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  3. ^ Michael Jamieson Bristow, "Forty National Anthems". Retrieved 2006-04-12.
  4. ^ a b c d Aqeel Abbas Jafari (2010). Pakistan Chronicle (in Urdu) (1st ed.). 94/1, 26th St., Ph. 6, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan: Wirsa Publishers. p. 42. ISBN 9789699454004.
  5. ^ a b "National Anthem". Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  6. ^ Mazhar Iqbal, "Ahmad Rushdi". Retrieved 2006-04-12.
  7. ^ Mazhar Iqbal, "National Anthem of Pakistan". Retrieved 2006-04-12.
  8. ^ Information Ministry, Government of Pakistan. "Basic Facts". Retrieved 2006-04-12.
  9. ^ Alex Vatanka. Iran and Pakistan: Security, Diplomacy and American Influence. I.B.Tauris. p. 14. ISBN 9780857739155.
  10. ^ [1], The National Anthem of Pakistan
  11. ^ Pasha, Muhammad A. English Composition (Part II). Lahore: Command Publications.
  12. ^ "Pakistan creates new anthem record". The Express Tribune. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  13. ^ "Pakistan reclaims anthem singing record". The News. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  14. ^ "Pakistan Record Broken". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  15. ^ Rafay Mahmood (4 July 2017). "Exclusive: Coke Studio 10's line-up will leave you starstruck". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  16. ^ Coke Studio (4 August 2017). "The National Anthem of Pakistan". Retrieved 4 August 2017 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]