Know Your Neighbor: Pakistan

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Post-independence politics and conflict have given way to stereotyping and misconceptions. Both Indians and Pakistanis have constructed homogeneous, fixed and opposing images about each other. Most Indians imagine Pakistan as a Muslim nation where everyone is Muslim, speaks Urdu (imagined as a completely different language than Hindi), where all women wear burqa and men salwar kameez and Muslim topi and has homogeneous views on all issues and most importantly, about India and Indians (All Pakistanis hate anything Indian and does not want peace). The biased and political media, the main source of information about Pakistan, has also helped sustained this image.

This section is a platform wherein Pakistan represents itself. This section provides resources to provide a basic introduction to Pakistan – about it’s nationhood, politics, society, culture, media and daily life. It is designed to be a compass, not map. It only lists some keys to enable you to begin your exploration on Pakistan.

How Pakistan Represents Itself (National Symbols)

National Flag

Pakistan flag with black boundary line

The National flag of Pakistan was designed by Ameer-ud-Din Kidwai and was adopted upon independence on August 14, 1947.

The national flag of Pakistan is dark green in colour with a white bar, a white crescent in the centre and a five-pointed star. The green section represents Islam, the majority religion while the white section represents the religious minorities. The crescent represents progress and the star symbolizes light and knowledge.

National Emblem

Pakistan Emblem

The National Emblem of Pakistan is usually colored green. The crescent and star at the top represent the Islamic majority religion of Pakistan. In the centre of the emblem is a shield that represents agriculture through the portrayal of the four major crops of Pakistan: cotton, jute, tea, and wheat. The floral wreath around the shield is representative of the history of Pakistan as the wreath is a Mughal design.

The scroll at the bottom contains the national motto of Pakistan in Urdu which  is a saying of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Iman, Ittehad, Tanzeem (Faith, Unity, Discipline).

National Anthem (Quam-i Tarana)

The national anthem was written by Hafeez Jallundhri in 1952. It is written in the Persian language and it has only a single word “ka” in its national language, Urdu.

Pak Sarzameen Shad bad
Kishwar-e-Haseen shad bad
Tou Nishaan-e-Azm-e-aalishan
Markaz-e-yaqeen Shad bad
Pak Sarzameen ka Nizaam
Qaum mulk Saltanat Painda Tabinda bad
Shad bad Manzil-e-murad
Parcham-e-Sitara-o-Hilal Rahbar-e-Tarakkeey-o-Kamal
Tarjuman-e-mazee-shaan-e-Hal Jan-e-Istaqbal

Watch on Youtube (With English Translation)

Access News of Pakistan from Pakistan

Here are some of the leading national newspapers of Pakistan

Experience Pakistan Through Celluloid

Here are some critically-acclaimed Pakistani movies:

  • Bol (Speak) 2011
  • Dukhtar (Daughter) 2014
  • Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) 2003
  • Khuda Ke Liye (In the Name of God) 2007 Read Review by Pranava Pakala
  • Main Hoon Shahid Afridi (I am Shahid Afridi) 2013
  • Manto (2015)
  • Moor (Mother) 2015
  • Na Maloom Afraad (Unidentified Persons) 2014
  • Zinda Bhaag (Run for your Life) 2013

Understand Pakistan Through Literature

Here are some critically-acclaimed English novels:

  • A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammad Hanif
  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • Ice-Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa
  • My Feudal Lord by Tehmina Durrani
  • Raja Gidh by Bano Qudsia (Urdu Novel, English Translation Available)
  • Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

*All Photos are from Internet

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