Pakistan’s Independence Day comes before us, and to be precise just a day ahead of India’s Independence Day, which is, on 14th August. As both the adversary nations stand on the brink of their respective 72nd Independence Day, let us dig a little more deeply and learn about some trivia on the same. We’re all mostly aware about India and its Independence but facts about Pakistan’s Independence Day are mostly unknown to a majority.
Here we look at 11 such interesting facts about Pakistan’s Independence Day which may change the way we look at a nation we’re constantly in loggerheads with.
1. The Flag And The Name
The word Pakistan is coined by two words Pak, which means ‘pure’ and Stan which means ‘land’. This was a conjuncture provided by Choudhary Rahmat Ali. The Pakistani flag is representative of its official colors green and white; of which, green stands for Islam and the majority Muslims in Pakistan, whereas the white stripe represents religious minorities and minority religions. The crescent and star in the flag, symbolize progress and light respectively.
2. India is perennially in debt of Pakistan
Though we might all believe it to be the other way around, it is actually India who owes over Rs5.6 billion to Pakistan. As per historian and expert, S Aijaz Husain, RBI was initially agreed upon to be the the central monetary authority for both countries. But this was changed from July 1, 1948. After the give and take and exchange of currencies following this decision, SBP received assets worth only Rs1.2 billion as against the actual asset value of Rs1.7 billion. The unsettled difference has snowballed into Rs5.6 billion now, considering the rate of interest, inflation rate, exchange rate revisions and appreciation of underlying securities from 1948 to 2018.
3. The actual Independence Day
The first time around, Pakistan’s Independence Day was also celebrated on 15th August. However, as Pakistan sought for an identity completely distinct from India, and did not want to celebrate Pakistan’s Independence day on the same day as India’s, they changed it to 14th August.
4. Dominion to Republic
Pakistan’s first official/public name was declared as the Dominion of Pakistan. This was, however, later changed to Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
5. 27th Day of Ramadan
As per the Islamic calendar, Pakistan’s Independence Day in 1947 fell on the 27th Day of Ramadan, thus increasing its significance in religious terms.It fell on the eve of Laylat al-Qadr.
7. A huge nation
At the time of it’s Independence in 1947, the total land area of Pakistan was 943,665 km² . After its division into East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and West Pakistan, the area became 796,096 km² .
8. Territories of Pakistan on its Independence Day
On the day of its formation and Independence, Pakistan was divided into six territories. These included East Bengal, West Punjab, Sind, and Chief Commissioner’s Province of Baluchistan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which was then the North West Frontier, was considered and recognized as a Pakistani territory because of the referendum.
9. The First Head of the State
Interestingly, though Pakistan chose to be recognized as an Islamic nation, their first Head of The State, after Pakistan’s Independence Day came to be, was George VI Albert Frederick Arthur George.
10. Religious Nation
Both India and Pakistan were named on the basis of the religion by which they wanted to be represented or known (Hindustan and Pakistan). As per the provisions of India Independence Act 1947, “The Dominion of India may be regarded as an expression of the desire for self-government of the Hindus in India, and the Dominion of Pakistan as the expression of the demand for self-government by the Muslims.” But, in the later years India chose to be a secular country. However, Pakistan still identifies itself as an Islamic/Muslim country.
11. Then vs Now Coat of Arms
With the passage of time (7 decades now) the Pakistani Coat of Arms has undergone changes too. At the time of Pakistan’s Independence Day in 1947, the country’s official Coat of Arms looked like this:
Whereas the current Coat of Arms, which came about in 1954, looks like this:
Though now separate from India, most of these facts remind us of the roots of this Islamic country, which stay lay in India.