Fifty six years ago in 1954 Radio Pakistan broadcast the country’s national anthem for the first time. The “Land of the Pure”, born in so much bloodshed and sorrow with the partition of India, had all the trappings of a state. But was it a nation?
More than half a century later and things aren’t looking so good. Foreign Policy magazine ranks the “blessed and sacred land” among the world’s 60 failed states; basic indicators like child mortality and life expectancy are dreadful; and the country is wracked by sectarian violence, rampant corruption, political violence and festering Islamist militancy which has soaked into the very fabric of the ruling elite.
Blessed be the sacred land
Happy be the bounteous realm
Symbol of high resolve
Land of Pakistan!
Blessed be thou, citadel of faith
The order of this sacred land
Is 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
This flag of the crescent and star
Leads the way to progress and perfection
Interpreter of our past, glory of our present
Inspiration of our future!
Symbol of the protection of God, Owner of Majesty