Coming back home, Pakistan’s national anthem, written by Hafeez Jalandhari, has always been a subject of criticism as it is completely in 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.
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.