Shortly before independence, an interim anthem hastily written by Jagnnath Azad, a Hindu, was put into use at the time of Pakistan’s independence in August, 1947. Then in December, 1948, a committee to select a national anthem for Pakistan was formed. A member of the committee, Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla, was asked to produce a composition. Mr. Chagla’s background in music involves study in both western and eastern music, and characteristics of eastern music can be found in the anthem.

After some “test runs” which included performances for the Prime Minister, for a visiting head of state, for the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States, and finally for the committee itself, it was then approved by the anthem committee in August 1950 and gained official recognition in December 1953. The words, written in a highly Persianized form of the national language, Urdu, were composed by another member of the committee and officially approved in August 1954. The anthem is sometimes referred to by its first line (“Pak sarzamin shad bad” (Blessed Be The Sacred Land))

Special thanks to: Markus Wiehler for some of this information.