WHEN Pakistan came into being, the nation was in need of a national anthem. Out of 723 pieces of lyrical writing, a composition by Hafeez Jalandhari was selected in 1952.

The musical composition was rendered earlier in 1949 by Ahmed Ghulam Ali Chagla. To my knowledge, the National Anthem was finally adopted in 1954 — seven years after Pakistan’s inception.

For his rendering, Hafeez Jalandhari was awarded the “Pride of Performance” in 1958. Mr Chagla’s contribution was not acknowledged, for reasons best known.

In 1996, I happened to meet Abdul Khaliq Chagla, the only son of the late Ahmed Ghulam Ali Chagla.

He was on a visit to Pakistan from the United States.

Our family friendship went back decades. I enquired if his father’s musical rendering had been officially acknowledged. I was stunned to know that his efforts had not been rewarded even after 40 years.

I asked for Ahmed Chagla’s resume, and subsequently wrote a long official letter in March 1996 to then prime minister Benazir Bhutto, highlighting the injustice (I was then the defence minister of Pakistan).

My efforts bore fruit when it was announced on Aug 14, 1996, that Mr. Chagla had been posthumously awarded the “Pride of Performance”.

The credit for this recognition goes to Ms Bhutto.

On the subsequent Pakistan Day, Mr Abdul Khaliq Chagla was invited to visit Washington by our Ambassador to the US. He flew in from Houston on that day and received the award at a formal ceremony.

Every time one hears the national anthem, which is the symbol of our nation’s pride and unity, one is appreciative of the efforts of these two legends, whose names will live on forever.

Aftab Shahban Mirani

Karachi

The writer is a former Chief Minister of Sindh and Defence Minister of Pakistan. At present he is an MNA.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2018

Opinion

Editorial

Spy games
Updated 02 Oct, 2022

Spy games

The audios leaked so far appear to have been carefully curated: they apply pressure but do not do major damage.
‘Geopolitical football’
02 Oct, 2022

‘Geopolitical football’

THE US-China rivalry is by all measures one of the globe’s most dangerous competitions for power and influence. ...
Fuel price reduction
02 Oct, 2022

Fuel price reduction

ISHAQ Dar is back; so are his signature policies. The reduction of a little over 5pc in fuel prices announced by him...
Untruths and politics
Updated 01 Oct, 2022

Untruths and politics

It would arguably be in the national interest for the Supreme Court to take up the cipher and settle the matter.
Farmers’ protest
01 Oct, 2022

Farmers’ protest

SEVERAL hundred farmers have converged on Islamabad for the last three days to protest against the soaring costs of...
Dasht-i-Barchi bombing
01 Oct, 2022

Dasht-i-Barchi bombing

ON Friday morning, Kabul’s Dasht-i-Barchi neighbourhood was rocked by a terrorist attack targeting an educational...