CHAUDHRY Rehmat Ali, the man who coined our country’s name, was born on November 16, 1895 in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. He was known as the originator of the Pakistan nomenclature.
Ali was passionately dedicated to the cause of a separate Muslim homeland for South Asian Muslims and believed that the Muslims of India had to reform politically in order to become a viable, progressive and independent state.
It was during the years 1930 through 1933 that he established the Pakistan National Movement, with its headquarters at Cambridge, UK. Until 1947, he continued publishing various booklets about his vision for South Asia. On Jan 28, 1933, he issued his first memorable pamphlet ‘Now or Never: Are We To Live or Perish Forever?’
The highlight of this pamphlet is that it was the first time the word Pakistan was used. He also published a book Pakistan, the Fatherland of Pakistani Nation in which he gave a detailed explanation of how he came up with the term Pakistan.
In August 1947, Pakistan was established and in 1948 Ali visited Pakistan. Later, he proceeded to England to champion the cause of Kashmir through the United Nations. He passed away on Feb 12, 1951. Rest in peace Mr Ali!
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2019