Sunday, September 6, 2009


Major Raja Aziz Bhatti (عزیز بهٹی) was a Pakistani soldier who received Pakistan's highest award for valor. He was born in Hong Kong in 1928.[He moved to Pakistan before it became independent in 1947, living in the village of Ladian, in the district of Gujrat. There he enlisted with the newly formed Pakistani Army and was commissioned to the Punjab Regiment in 1950.
His father's name was Master Abdullah Bhatti, and his mother's name was Bibi Amna. He had four brothers, Nazir, Bashir, Sardar and Rashid, and two sisters, Rashida and Tahira. He himself had six children, four sons named Major Zafar Javed Bhatti, Dr Zulfiquar Ahmad Bhatti, Rafique Ahmad Bhatti, and Iqbal Javed Bhatti and two daughters named Riffat Bhatti and Zeenat Bhatti. Throughout his career, he was a brilliant officer and stood out in his class. He did very well at the Academy and was awarded the Sword of Honour best in his year's batch of 300 officers, and the Norman Medal. He received his honours from Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, who was later assassinated.
On 6 September, 1965, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 broke out between India and Pakistan. Major Bhatti was posted in the Burki area of Lahore sector. As the company commander, Major Bhatti chose to move his platoon forward under constant firing from Indian tanks and artillery. For three or more days he went without rest. He resisted for five days and nights defending a Pakistani outpost on the strategic BRB canal. On 11 September, he was reorganizing his company and directing the gunners to shell the enemy positions. In order to watch every move of the enemy, he had to place himself in an elevated position, where he was exposed to enemy fire. He led his men from the front under constant attack from Indian Artillery batteries. Although he countered every Indian offensive in his area, he was hit by an enemy tank shell in the chest while watching the enemy's moves, and thus dying instantly. His death struck many hearts and is remembered by many.
A day before his death, the commanding officer had sent to him word that since he had been fighting untiringly for the last six days, he should take a little rest and that another officer was being sent to replace him. Major Aziz, who was filled with a battle spirit and the will for martyrdom replied, "Do not recall me. I don't want to go back. I will shed the last drop of my blood in the defence of my dear homeland". He is buried at his village in Ladian[ in the Gujrat district.
Each year, Major Bhatti is honoured in Pakistan on 6 September, also known as Defence Day. Bhatti was awarded the Nishan-e-Haider, the nation's highest military award for gallantry for the exemplary courage he displayed till his death.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Qaumī Tarāna the National Anthem of Pakistan

The Qaumī Tarāna is the National Anthem of Pakistan. The Pakistani national anthem is unique in that its music preceded its lyrics. At independence, on August 14, 1947, Pakistan did not have a national anthem. When the flag was hoisted at the independence ceremony it was accompanied by the song, "Pakistan Zindabad, Azadi Paendabad". The flag itself had only been approved by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan three days earlier. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, asked Lahore-based Hindu writer, Jagannath Azad on August 9, 1947 to write a national anthem for Pakistan in five days. Jinnah may have done this to promote a more secular idealism for Pakistan. The anthem written by Azad was quickly approved by Jinnah, and it was played on Radio Pakistan. Azad's work remained as Pakistan’s national anthem for approximately eighteen months, despite competition from a rival attempt by a Mr B T Baghar.


Ahmed Ghulamali ChaglaIn early 1948, A. R. Ghani from Transvaal, South Africa, offered two prizes of five thousand rupees each for the poet and composer of a new national anthem. The prizes were announced through a Government press note published in June 1948. In December 1948, a National Anthem Committee (NAC) was formed, initially chaired by the Information Secretary, Sheikh Muhammad Ikram. Committee members included several politicians, poets and musicians such as Abdur Rab Nishtar, Ahmed Chagla and Hafeez Jullundhri. The committee had some difficulty at first in finding suitable music and lyrics.

In 1950, the impending state visit of the Shah of Iran, resulted in the Government asking the NAC to submit an anthem without delay. The committee chairman, Federal Minister for Education, Fazlur Rahman, asked several poets and composers to write lyrics but none of the submitted works were deemed suitable. The NAC also examined several different tunes and eventually selected the one presented by Chagla and submitted it for formal approval. Chagla produced the musical composition in collaboration with another committee member and assisted by the Pakistan Navy band.

The music of the anthem was composed by Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla, with lyrics written by Abu-Al-Asar Hafeez Jullundhri. The three stanza composition was officially adopted in 1954. However, the music for the anthem had been composed in 1950 and had been used on several occasions before official adoption. The lyrics allude to a "Sacred Land" referring to Pakistan and a "Flag of the Crescent and Star" referring to the national flag. Unofficially, the anthem is sometimes referred to by its first line "Pāk sarzamīn shād bād" (Urdu: "Blessed be the sacred land"). The national anthem is played during any event involving the hoisting of the flag, for example Pakistan Day (March 23) and Independence Day (August 14).

The anthem without lyrics was performed for Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and later for the National Anthem Committee on August 10, 1950. Although it was approved for playing during the visit of the Shah, official recognition was not given until August 1954. The anthem was also played during the Prime Minister's visit to the United States. The NAC distributed records of the composed tune amongst prominent poets, who responded by writing and submitting several hundred songs for evaluation by the NAC. Eventually, the lyrics written by Jullundhri were approved and the new national anthem was first played properly on Radio Pakistan on August 13, 1954. Official approval was announced by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on August 16, 1954. The composer Chagla had however died in 1953, before the new national anthem was officially adopted. In 1955 there was a performance of the national anthem involving eleven major singers of Pakistan including Ahmad Rushdi.


1949 - Musical composition by Ahmad G. Chagla (running time, 1 minute 20 seconds)
1952 - Verses written by Hafeez Jullundhri, selected from 723 entries
1954 - Released on Radio Pakistan on 13 August. Singers of the anthem were: Ahmad Rushdi, Shamim Bano, Kokab Jehan, Rasheeda Begum, Najam Ara, Naseema Shaheen, Zwar Hussain, Akhtar Abbas, Ghulam Dastgir, Anwar Zaheer and Akhtar Wassi.

Friday, July 10, 2009

AHMED GHULAM ALI CHAGLA (who wrote the score for the national anthem of Pakistan)

Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla was the musician who wrote the score for the national anthem of Pakistan, (Qaumi Tarana) in 1950. He was born in May 1902 into a prominent Karachi family. His father, Ghulamali Chagla was the third elected president of the municipality of Karachi, serving from 1921 to 1922. Ahmad Chagla attended the Sindh Madrassat-ul-Islam in Karachi and took lessons in classical Indian music in 1910 and western musical composition in 1914.

Early life

Chagla became interested in the study of the theory of music (both eastern and western). In 1922, he began studying eastern and western systems of music under the famous art critic James H. Cousins. He was particularly interested in points of contact between the two systems. Chagla undertook several journeys to gain an insight of various eastern systems of music. In 1923, he travelled from Karachi to Iraq, via Balochistan and northern Iran (including the Caspian Sea, Teheran, Tabriz and Kermanshah). After touring Iraq, he returned to Karachi by way of Basra. In 1928 he qualified from Trinity College of Music in London.

In 1929, Chagla undertook an overland journey from Europe to Karachi to study how far west the influence of eastern music extended. Amongst the countries he visited were Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Iraq. Chagla gained considerable practical experience from opera houses and symphony orchestras along the way. In addition to classical music, Chagla became proficient in orchestral, operatic classical composing and conducting of western music. This journey was followed by two more major visits to Europe in 1935 and 1938.

Later life

After the 1935 trip, Chagla moved from Karachi to Bombay for several years while studying the foundations of Indian music in collaboration with other scholars. From 1947 onwards, he wrote a series of articles on music, art and culture of the countries he had visited during his travels.

In 1948, Chagla was a member of the National Anthem Committee (NAC) of Pakistan, which had the task of creating a new national anthem to replace the earlier one written by Jagannath Azad. The impending state visit to Pakistan by the Shah of Iran in 1950, created an impetus for a national anthem to be ready with or without lyrics. The NAC examined several different tunes and selected a tune presented by Chagla which was submitted it for formal approval. Chagla then produced the musical composition in collaboration with another committee member and assisted by the Pakistan Navy band.

Unfortunately Chagla died in 1953, before the national anthem was officially adopted in 1954. His contribution to the national anthem was recognised by the government of Pakistan in 1996, when he was posthumously awarded the "President's Pride of Performance award", which was presented to his family on March 23, 1997.

Chagla was also an author, journalist, and writer, with most of his articles written prior to the partition of India in 1947. His works included a series of articles on classical Urdu poets such as Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal and an article on the Sindhi poet Shah Abdul Latif, which appeared in the Illustrated Weekly of India in December 1937. He also composed music for a number of Urdu, Gujarati, Sindhi and English plays, and composed music on eastern and western instruments for various films.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shandur is the highest Polo Ground in the World

Shandur Top

Elevation 12,200 ft.
Location Pakistan
Range Hindukush Mountains
Coordinates 36°09′54″N 72°45′29″E / 36.165°N 72.75806°E / 36.165; 72.75806Coordinates: 36°09′54″N 72°45′29″E / 36.165°N 72.75806°E / 36.165; 72.75806

Mountain passes of Afghanistan
Shandoor Lake By Rakaposhi
Polo in PakistanShandur Top (el. 12,200 ft.) is a high mountain pass that connects Chitral to the Gilgit in Pakistan.

The top is flat, a plateau and can be crossed between late April and early November. The grade is very gradual, and the area is crossed by small streams of trout. Grazing in summer is plentiful.

Every year there is a polo match played on Shandur Top between a team from Chitral and a team from Gilgit.

Shandur Top is one of the four major mountain passes to enter Chitral. The others are Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Lowari Pass from Dir, and Broghol from the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan.

The people who live on both sides of Shandur Top speak the Khowar language.


Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament which since 1936 has been held annually in July between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit. The tournament is held on Shandur Pass, the highest polo ground in the world at 3,700 meters (the pass itself is at 3,800m). The festival also includes Folk music, dancing and a camping village is set up. The polo tournament is featured in the first episode of Himalaya with Michael Palin.

Gilgit, Chitral and Skardu have always played the game of polo closest to its original form. In the past, local Rajas, Mirs and Mehtars were the patrons of the game. At times, more than 50% of the annual budget of their principalities would be spent on supporting the game.
Shandur is the highest Polo Ground in the World (3738 meters above sea), situated in Chitral along the border with Gilgit. Chitral is a beautiful valley in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Every year a three day Polo Festival takes place during the second week of July (July 7, 8 and 9) in this remote Polo ground of the World.


M. Ashraf was the most dominating and the most productive music director in Pakistan. He had the highest number of super hit film songs compared to any other music director in Pakistan. He composed approximately 2.800 films songs in more than 400 films in his 45 years long film career - only Wajahat Attre had more films (or songs) than M. Ashraf, but he mostly was known as Punjabi film music director and M. Ashraf was popular in both Urdu and Punjabi films.

M. Ashraf started his film career with his mate Manzoor (film Svera song tu jo nahin hay to kuchh bhi nahin hay... by S.B.John fame) in film Speran (1961) and his first song Chand sa Mukhra gora badan... was not only his first super hit song but also the first hit song of Ahmad Rushdi who was struggling since his debut in 1956.

M. Ashraf composed music with Manzoor in 28 films in the 1960's. After separation from Manzoor his first film as M. Ashraf was Sajda in 1967. In the 1970's he reached the peak of his film career and composed music for many big films. He continued his success march in the 1980s despite the downfall of Urdu films and a dominance of Punjabi films. In the 1990's he was blamed for piracy of old Pakistani and Indian songs and his answer was that to survive, it was necessary because it was a demand of film producers.

M. Ashraf got music lessons from his Nana (grand father who was Mamu (uncle) of Master Inayat Hussain). He assisted his uncle Akhtar Hussain Akhian (film Patey Khan fame) in five years. His son M. Arshad is also a well known music director and he was instructor for late musician Nazir Ali who assisted him in few films in the 1960's before becoming a top music director.
M. Ashraf passed away on February 4, 2007.

M. Ashraf introduced..

M. Ashraf introduced many famous singer in his long film career. Here are some details on some big names:

Shoukat Ali
Famous folk singer Shoukat Ali was introduced in director Haidar Chodhary's inaugural super hit musical film Tees Mar Khan in 1963. Shoukat Ali sang a theme song:
Pagri sanbhal Chora, Pagri sanbhal oye...
which was picturized on Allauddin who was solo hero in this film first time. Playboy and White Gold were some other films.

Naheed Akhtar
She was introduced by M. Ashraf in film Nanha Farisha in 1974 with the song:
Janey kyun dil tarapta rehta jee addi tappa gaen..
which was filmed on Deeba. Naheed Akhtar sang many super hit songs in many films with M. Ashraf.

Nayyara Noor
A very sweet and melodious voice Nayyara Noor actually had her fist appearance in Punjabi film Ziddi but her first super hit song was:
Tera saya jehan bhi ho Sajna, palken bichha dun...
in film Gharana (1973). She sang many hit songs with M. Ashraf in films like Pardey mein rehne do, Rangeela aur Munawar...

Rajab Ali
He appeared in his film Yaden in 1971 with a super hit duet song with Madam Noor Jehan:
Mujh sa tujh ko chahney wala, is Duniya mein koi aur ho...
Playboy was another famous film with M. Ashraf.

Asad Amanat Ali Khan
Legendry Ghazal singer Ustad Amanat Ali Khan's son Asad Amanat Ali Khan was introduced by M. Ashraf in film Saheli (1978). His first ever film song was:
Ankhen Ghazal hayn aap ki aur hont hayn Gulab...
Abhi to main jawan hun was other film with M. Ashraf.

Anwar Rafi
His first song:
O Salma, meri tum se ek guzarish hay...
was a nice song in film Tere Ghar ke samne (1984)

Saira Naseem
She was also a big discovery by M. Ashraf in film Qatil (1988).

Some memorable film songs

(Famous film songs not mentioned in "Memorable Musical Films" on Pakistan Film History segment and not yet included in music videos from YouTube).

With Madam Noor Jehan

Ja we dil de chhadia teinu we dildar jan ke...
(film Kochwan 1969)
Ham ko jeeney ke liye, sirf mili ek hi raat...
(film Bazar 1972)
Tu milen kaddi kaddi, sabab ki a, main tere baghair reh nain..
(film Inteqam 1972)
Tu ne pehli baar liya hay, pyar se naam mera...
(film Dil ka Shehar1972)
Zara bach ke chalna, sanbhalna sanbhalna ...
(film Aina aur Surat 1972)
Main pyar nibhaun gi, aaja mere Chann Mahi...
(film Do Badan 1974)
Shama hay bujhne wali, raat hay dhalney wali...


Thursday, June 4, 2009


Abdus Salam (January 29, 1926 Jhang Punjab – November 21, 1996; Oxford, England) was a Pakistani theoretical physicist, astrophysicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his work in Electro-Weak Theory. Salam holds the distinction of being the only Pakistani Nobel Laureate.

Career in science

The road named after Abdus Salam in CERN, GenevaSalam returned to Pakistan in 1951 to teach Mathematics at the Government College, Lahore. In 1952, he became the Head of the Mathematics Department of the Punjab University. In 1954, Salam went for a lectureship at Cambridge, although he visited Pakistan from time to time as an adviser on science policy to the Government of Pakistan. His work for Pakistan was far-reaching and influential. He was a member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and work their as a chief scientist with his students, a member of the Scientific Commission of Pakistan, Founder Chairman of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission and Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of Pakistan from 1961 to 1974.

From 1957 onwards, he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College, London. From 1964 onwards, has combined this position with that of Director of the International Centre For Theoretical Physics, a research institution in Trieste, Italy.

Salam had a prolific research career in theoretical elementary particle physics. He either pioneered or was associated with all the important developments in this field. He also served on a number of United Nations committees concerning science and technology in developing countries. Many prominent scientists, which includes, Ghulam Murtaza, Riazuddin, Raziuddin Siddiqui, Munir Ahmad Khan, Ishfaq Ahmad, and I. H. Usmani, considered him as their chief mentor and a teacher. Abdus salam played a important and a crucial role in preparing and teaching of future pakistani engineers and scientists in the field of mathematics and physics.


Salam's primary focus was research on the physics of elementary particles. His particular contributions included:

two-component neutrino theory and the prediction of the inevitable parity violation in weak interaction.
gauge unification of weak and electromagnetic interactions, the unified force is called the "Electroweak" force, a name given to it by Salam, and which forms the basis of the Standard Model in particle physics;
predicted existence of weak neutral currents and W particles and Z particles before their experimental discovery.
symmetry properties of elementary particles; unitary symmetry;
renormalization of meson theories;
gravity theory and its role in particle physics; two tensor theory of gravity and strong interaction physics;
unification of electroweak with strong nuclear forces, grand unification theory;
related prediction of proton-decay;
Pati-Salam model, a grand unification theory;
Supersymmetry theory, in particular formulation of Superspace and formalism of superfields in 1974.
the theory of supermanifolds, as a geometrical framework for understanding supersymmetry, in 1974.
Supergeometry, the geometric basis for supersymmetry, in 1974.
application of the Higgs mechanism to the electroweak symmetry breaking;
prediction of the magnetic photon in 1966.


Hopkins Prize (Cambridge University) for "the most outstanding contribution to Physics during 1957-1958"
Adams Prize (Cambridge University) (1958)
First recipient of Maxwell Medal and Award (Physical Society, London) (1961)
Hughes Medal (Royal Society, London) (1964)
Atoms for Peace Medal and Award (Atoms for Peace Foundation) (1968)
J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Medal and Prize (University of Miami) (1971)
Guthrie Medal and Prize (1976)
Matteuci Medal (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome) (1978)
John Torrence Tate Medal (American Institute of Physics) (1978)
Royal Medal (Royal Society, London) (1978)
Einstein Medal (UNESCO, Paris) (1979)
Shri R.D. Birla Award (India Physics Association) (1979)
Josef Stefan Medal (Josef Stefan Institute, Ljublijana) (1980)
Gold Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Physics (Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague) (1981)
Lomonosov Gold Medal (USSR Academy of Sciences) (1983)
Copley Medal (Royal Society, London) (1990
Nishan-e-Imtiaz for outstanding performance in Scientific projects in Pakistan.
Sitara-e-Pakistan (1959)

Friday, May 15, 2009


Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi (November 20, 1916 – July 10, 2006) was a legendary Urdu language Pakistani poet, journalist, literary critic, dramatist and short story author. With some 50 books of poetry, fiction, criticism, journalism and art to his credit, Qasmi was a major figure in contemporary Urdu literature. His poetry stood out among his contemporaries' work for its unflinching humanism, and Qasmi's Urdu afsana (short story) work is considered by some second only to Prem Chand in its masterful depiction of rural culture. He also published and edited the prestigious literary journal Funoon for almost half a century, grooming generations of new writers.

Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi was born in village Anga of Khushab District in Pakistan. A graduate of the Punjab University, Nadeem Qasimi started his career as a government clerk, which he eventually left to pursue journalism. He became active member of the Progressive Writers Movement, for a time holding the position of secretary, and was consequently arrested many times during the 1950s through the 1970s.

In his long career as a writer and editor, Qasmi Sahib had the distinction of editing several prominent literary journals, including Phool, Tehzeeb-i-Niswaan, Adab-i-Lateef, Savera, Naqoosh, and his own brainchild, Funoon. He also served as the editor of the prestigious (now defunct) Urdu daily Imroze. For several decades Qasimi contributed weekly columns to national newspapers; a classic example was "Rawan Dawan" in the daily Jang, which focused on current issues.

Qasimi was the recipient of the President’s Pride of Performance (1968) and the Pakistan Academy of Letters’ lifetime achievement award, as well as the country’s highest civil honour, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, for literature. Published collections of his best-known work include the poetry volumes Jalal-o-Jamal, Shola-i-Gul and Kisht-i-Wafa, and the short story collections Chopaal, Sannata, and Kapaas ka Phool, Bagolay, Tal-o-Gharoob, Sailab-o-Gardab, Anchal, ghar se ghar tak..

Following an illness, Qasmi died on the 10th of July, 2006 of complications from asthma at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore.

ek lamhe ko Thahar, maiN tujhe patthar laa duuN
maiN tere saamane ambaar lagaa duuN lekin
kaun se rang kaa patthar tere kaam aayegaa
surKh patthar jise dil kahatii hai bedil duniyaa
yaa vo patthraa’ii hu’ii aaNkh kaa niilaa patthar
jis meN sadiiyoN ke tahayyur ke paRe hoN Dore

kyaa tujhe ruuh ke patthar kii zaruurat hogii
jis pe haq baat bhii patthar kii tarah girtii hai
ik vo patthar hai jise kahte haiN tahziib-e-safed
us ke mar-mar meN siyah Khuun jhalak jaataa hai
ik insaaf kaa patthar bhii to hotaa hai magar
haath meN teshaa-e-zar ho to vo haath aataa hai

jitne mayyaar haiN is daur ke sab patthar haiN
sher bhii raqs bhii tasviir-o-Ghinaa bhii patthar
mere ilhaam teraa zahn-e-rasaa bhii patthar
is zamaane meN har fan kaa nishaaN patthar hai
haath patthar haiN tere merii zubaaN patthar hai
ret se but na banaa ai mere achchhe fankaar

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Sohail Rana, the son of renowned Urdu poet Rana Akbar Abadi, was born in his native city, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, to a highly literary, academic and respectable family. They all migrated to Pakistan after partition. Years passed by and Sohail Rana successfully completed his primary and secondary school education in Hyderabad, Sindh -Pakistan.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Karachi through D.J. Science College initially. Later he received his final B.A. degree from National College, Karachi. Sohail Rana met Waheed Murad for the first time at a get together at Waheed Murad’s party in Karachi.

In due course of time, Sohail Rana and Waheed Murad became very close friends, because of their several common interests such as music, films and literature. Incidentally, Sohail Rana took admission in the University of Karachi for Masters degree in English literature when Waheed Murad was attending the convocation that year. Thus started a durable friendship between them, which lasted up until Veedu’s death on Wednesday, November 23, 1984.

Sohail Rana demonstrated an unusual aptitude for music as a teenager. He learned music from various ustads and familiarized himself with numerous musical instruments, which added to his experience.

The film ‘Insaan badalta hai’ was the production debut of Waheed Murad. Theatrical release was on May 5, 1961, starring, Darpan, Shamim Ara and Lehri. The film ‘Jab say deikha hai tumhain’ was Waheed Murad’s second film as a producer and the musical debut of promising Sohail Rana. Theatrical release was on March 29, 1963, Cast included Darpan, Zeba, Lehri and Agha Jan.

Huge audiences were drawn to the two highly popular numbers of ‘Jab say deikha hai tumhain’:

‘Ye khushi ajab khushi hai’ (singer: Ahmed Rushdi)
‘Jab say deikha hai tumhain, dil ka ajab Aalam hai’ (singer: Saleem Raza)

Movie zealots agree that ‘Jab say deikha hai tumhain’ proved to be a stepping-stone in the fabulous movie career of talented Sohail Rana.

Sohail Rana composed the super hit songs for the golden jubilee film, ‘Heera Aur pathar.’ Theatrical release was on December 11, 1964. The film completed 68 houseful weeks. That is part of what sets the quality so far above its competition. Its music is so innately appealing, so fresh-spirited, that one has to admit that the standards were set for a much grander scale.

‘Heera Aur pathar’ became a musical phenomenon, and Sohail Rana became a necessity in the burgeoning music industry. Moreover, he accepted every new challenge, which required a concerted effort and always came out with the appropriate stuff, what people wanted to hear.

By the mid-1960s, Sohail Rana had become such a success, where he was able to fathom the depths of emotions through his musical masterpieces. At the end of every accomplishment, he raised his levels of aspiration and expectation. One could discern that every piece of music was torn straight from his soul.

Sohail Rana earned plaudits from his fans for the superb composition of ‘Mujhay tum say mohabbat hai’ (Film ‘Heera Aur pathar’, duet, Ahmed Rushdi – Najma Niazi), which figuratively added fresh elements to his stew. The tragic score, ‘Ja ja ray chanda ja ray’ was recorded in Mala’s voice and the song was composed by the great Sohail Rana, for ‘Heera Aur Pathar.’

Pakistan’s first platinum jubilee film, ‘Armaan’ was released on March 18, 1966, which may be the finest and most gripping movie to date. It is an epic tale of broken hearts and broken dreams.
Sohail Rana’s excellent composition for the songs of ‘Armaan’ is, indeed, his greatest achievement as a music composer, which will stand as a musical high point as long as the Pakistani film industry exists.

A savant said years ago that, ‘Lyrics may come from ones mind. But music comes from the heart.’

There might not be a better example of the above statement than the evergreen song, ‘Akele na jana,’ superbly composed by Sohail Rana. In fact, marvelous Mala mesmerized millions through her greatest singing achievement, when ‘Akele na jana’ was recorded in her magnificent voice.

Most definitely, Sohail Rana’s music compositions in general and ‘Akele na jana’, with sixty five musicians then, the biggest orchestra ever, in Mala’s voice, in particular, came from the innermost recesses of his heart. Further, Sohail Rana won the prestigious Nigar and graduate Awards for the best composer for the film ‘Armaan.’

According to the proponents of music, Sohail Rana’s contribution to the cause of music is immense and that it ranks him among the most acclaimed composers in Pakistani music history.
To listen to the musical genius, Sohail Rana, is an experience like no other. Over and above, his music compositions seem to echo his sentiments.

By the end of 1966, music maestro, Sohail Rana, had reached his zenith with astonishing rapidity.
In the words of the film journalists of the 1960s, ‘Sohail Rana is growing by leaps and bounds.’
Parables of love, vividly caught by Sohail Rana, while composing the songs like ‘Akele na jana’, not only brought fresh laurels to him but also rekindled the old flames, which is much easier with Sohail Rana’s music than one may think.

The rhythm of sound is music and Sohail Rana can best be described as maestro of the music.
His is a music, which can lift people above particular circumstances and inspire them.

Sohail Rana, who is widely known as an extremely decent human being, worked diligently and came out with yet more superb compositions for the film ‘Ehsaan.’ Theatrical release was on June 30, 1967.

The idea, which keeps him motivated, is the glory of his remarkable achievement. His charm and musical virtuosity had won every heart. The film ‘Ehsaan’ attained silver jubilee with such favorites as ‘Ik naye maur pay’, ‘Aye meri zindigi aye meray hum safar’, ‘Do akhian, ye do sakhian.’

Sohail Rana’s musical career is a success story with few parallels. Celebrated composer, Sohail Rana unleashed all his artistic talents, while composing songs for the film ‘Doraha.’ Sohail Rana is also the producer of ‘Doraha.’ ‘Mujhay tum nazar say gira to rahay ho’, ‘bhooli huwee hoon dastaan’, ‘tumhain kaisay bata doon tum meri manzil ho,' the songs he composed for ‘Doraha’ also evince that he is an extraordinary composer and an authority of the highly specialized realm of music compositions, where his competency and artistic skills are unmatched.

His adorers are surrounded by a lifetime of numerous memories of his immortal compositions.
Over the years, he worked his magic throughout Pakistan and across the borders. His magnificent compositions for the Nazm, ‘Qasm us waqt ki, jab zindigi karwat badalti hai.’ (Film: ‘Qasam us waqt ki.’, director, A.J. Kardar, lyricist, Josh Malih Abadi, singer, Mujeeb Alam) is a cornerstone of Pakistani entertainment that reflect reality.

Sohail Rana produced lilting music for Nigar Pictures ‘Meray Humsafar’, directed by Pervez Malik in 1972, three of its popular numbers are:

‘Wada karo milo gey.’ (Singer: Ahmed Rushdi)
‘Hai bay qarar tamanna.’ (singer: Mujeeb Alam)
‘Tujh jaisa dagha baaz.’ (singer: Runa Laila)

The longing or the unfulfilled desire, which reflects in ‘Hai bay qarar tamanna’, is a testament to Sohail Rana’s musical prowess.

Similarly, the despondency and despair in ‘Tujhay apnay dil say mein kaisay bhula doon’ were vividly caught in the unparalleled music composition of Sohail Rana. ( Film: ‘Shehnai’, singer: Ahmed Rushdi)

I am pretty sure that if some one were to ask Sohail Rana what he thanks God for most, then presumably his answer would be that he would thank God, for giving him the gift of composing songs and the ability to listen to them.

In the early 1970s, from 1974 to 1976, Sohail Rana was appointed as the General Manager National Orchestra, for Pakistan Television Corporation, based at KTV center Karachi. Consequently, he redoubled his efforts to compose national songs.

His musical masterpieces, ‘Sohni dharti’ (singers: Shehnaz Begum, Mehdi Hassan, lyricist: Masroor Anwar) have become part and parcel of Pakistani culture.

Likewise, ‘Jeeway Pakistan’, and ‘Mein bhee Pakistan hoon’ achieved tremendous success.

Additionally, he devoted his time and energy to compose songs for children and immortalized each and every song. Sohail Rana’s program for children were telecast from Pakistan television for 19 years from 1968 to 1987, from ‘Kaliyoan Ki Mala’, to ‘Sung Sung Chalain.’ In those days, he wrote and composed more than two thousand songs for children. Given here below are the names of some of Sohail Rana’s bright students who attained name and fame for themselves and for their mentor as well:

Mohammad Ali Shehki, Amjad Hussain, Alamgir, Mona sisters, Benjamin sisters, Adnan Sami, Wasim Baig, Nazia Hasan, Zohaib Hasan, Afshan Ahmed, Nazneen Wahidi and Fatima Jaffrey. Among the above talented students, Anwar Ibrahim, the youngest student made a special name in naat khwani and hamd-o-sana. Sohail Rana released two cassettes of Naats by Anwar Ibrahim “Jaan-e-Madina” vol.1 and 2. Both of these cassettes contained the Naats and Humds by Sohail Rana’s father Janab Rana Akbar Abadi sahab.

Reverting to Sohail Rana’s musical accomplishments, the film ‘Badal Aur Bijli’ was also a huge success, essentially due to his effective music. Below are ‘Badal Aur Bijli’s’ three all time favorites, which are still fresh in the minds of moviegoers: ‘Bansi bajanay walay.’ Noor Jehan. ‘Aaj janay ki zid na karo.’ (Singer: Habib Wali Mohammad and a little later a private recording by Farida Khanum) the Farida Khanum version has been used in an Indian film ‘Monsoon Wedding’ though without Sohail Rana’s permission. It was later sung by Asha Bhonsle and sadly the album credits Nisar Bazmi's name as the composer of this unforgettable song.

Apart from that, Sohail Rana also composed music for the films, ‘Phir chand niklay ga’, 1970, and ‘Usay deikha Usay chaaha,’ 1974.

Sohail Rana also served as Resident composer in PIA Arts Academy sponsored by Pakistan International Airlines from 1972 to 1974, where he conducted Ballet Heer Ranjha, composed and re-arranged music for folk dances and under the directorship of legendary personality Mr. Zia Moyeddin and with a team of eighty eight dancers, musicians, singers, etc, he toured the whole world performing in prestigious auditoriums and earned the appreciation of international audience.

He is hail and hearty and radiates from his eyes the exuberant musical dreams, beaming with pride, hope and enthusiasm.

Moosa Reza, a loyal fan of Sohail Rana and well versed on him as well, asserts: ‘A nation is, indeed, very poor, which does not value its artists and in case of Sohail Rana, the music lovers should be all the more indebted to this extraordinary music composer–cum-song writer, because Sohail Rana not only impressed his contemporaries but he has proved resourceful, ingenious and pioneering all through these times.

Moving beyond songs, Sohail Rana had the rare touch and he used it well, perhaps, peerlessly so.
During his forty monumentally influential years as a music composer; lyricist and producer, Sohail Rana also composed the Summit Anthem ‘Allah- O - Akbar, for Pakistan television corporation, in the voice of Mehdi Zaheer and a group of hundred singers, for the first Islamic Summit conference held in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1974. TV awarded him as well as Mehdi Zaheer on the release of this anthem. Pakistan’s most powerful purveyor of popular music, all his music compositions carry a sweet, open tone and a freshness that never sounds forced.

Sohail Rana also composed and conducted the background music for the documentary film, ‘Moenjodaro’, and also composed and conducted the entire musical score of ‘Beyond the last mountain’ (Musafir) by producer/director/ ex-senator Mr. Javed Jabbar.

Loved by audiences as well as a new generation of listeners, Sohail Rana has a knack for finding the best in music. Consequently, he received the prestigious Presidential Award the “Pride of Performance”, Gold Discs from EMI for the vinyl album, ‘Khyber Mail’ and his musical works touching the highest sales figures of EMI ‘s records from 1954 to 1974 in their final sales figures. He was also given the United Nations Peace Messenger Award, conferred on him, at the United Nations in New York in 1987.

Along the way, Sohail Rana achieved legendary status by influencing and shaping the Pakistani culture. He participated and represented Pakistan in various international music festivals and conferences and undertook several cultural and commercial tours almost all over the world. From 1972 onwards, visiting and performing shows in Iran, Afghanistan, Australia, Fiji Islands, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Jordan, China, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, France, Spain, USA, Dominican Republic and Canada. The details of some of the tours are appended below:

Jashn-e-Kabul in 1977.

Carnival, Australia, in 1978.

Cultural Troupe, Australia and Fiji Islands with Mehdi Hassan, Moin Akhtar and Afshan Rana in 1981.

Cultural Troupe to Romania, in 1983.

Cultural Troupe to Russia, in 1983.

Children’s Festival in Jordan, in 1987.

Pacific traditional music conference in China, in 1985.

Cultural troupe to USA in 1988.

Turkish Radio Television festival, Turkey, 1988-89-90.

Cultural troupes to UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 1989-1990.

Additionally, Sohail Rana composed and produced music for two Mass Gymnastic Displays held in Islamabad in 1975-76 under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Education. His last performance in Pakistan before he migrated to Canada happened to be the great ‘South Asian Federation Games’, which was held in Islamabad in 1989 and in which he participated with a group of ninety-five singers, twenty-five piece orchestra and 110-piece brass band.

Sohail Rana is a flame, which has been glowing brightly for over four decades. Masha Allah!

One of Sohail Rana’s innumerable accomplishments is that he also worked for the Pakistan’s ministry of culture as Director General from 1976 to 1978. He headed the project of National Orchestra and Choral Ensemble of Pakistan in Islamabad.

Sohail Rana has done, what I do not think anybody else has done before: be victorious in both Urdu and English films—his highly superb music composition for Javed Jabbar’s bilingual movie, ‘Musafir’, whose English version ‘Beyond the last mountain’ is the first Pakistani film produced in English language. Moreover, ‘Beyond the last mountain’ won the critical acclaim by the renowned Indian actor, Raj Kapoor, at the Bombay film festival.

The film ‘Hesaab’ which was released in 1986 happened to be the last movie for which Sohail Rana composed music. The choices he made, helped ignite a renaissance of quality that lives on today.

During his memorable show business career in Pakistan, Sohail Rana composed music for merely twenty-four movies. Three of those movies, ‘Guriya’ ‘Pagal’ and ‘Hulchul’ could not be released. However, popular numbers from the film ‘Guriya’ and ‘Hulchul’ are available on cassettes and vinyl EPs.

From ‘Jab say deikha hai tumhain’ to ‘Hesaab’, and from the children’s songs to the national songs, Sohail Rana came full circle. Nowadays, Sohail Rana resides in Toronto, Canada. Essentially he operates two music schools and he is also working diligently to establish a multi media company in Toronto. He takes active participation in music compositions as well.

Lately, he has focused on several projects of course in the realm of music, which he plans to complete in 2005. His passion and enthusiasm to create music has been remarkable and praiseworthy all through these times.

Best of all, the human spark, spirit, compassion, love and understanding which are the basic ingredients of his music and which have been imbibed in the hearts of a myriad of music lovers the world over, will never go away.

Allah aisi rimjhim
Lehrata rahay percham
Mera dil hai Pakistan
Phool chuney hum
Saath hamaray chalo
Sooraj karay salam
Sooraj karay salam (part 2)
Ae meri hirni
Daak babu
Dosti aisa naata
Khala mai chalo
Lahore chalain
Mausam theher
Mera des mera mahiya
Naiyya younhi
Saras jaisi gardan
Shava bhaiye shava
Zameen ke rehnay walo
Aao karain salam
Apni zabaan Urdu
Bara maheenay
Chali baadlone ke sung
Chaman sheher
Cricket hi apna khel
Dus thaath
Jao na jao na
Laain pani say moti
Morni O Morni (Instrumental)
Morni O Morni
O tangay walay
Phoolone mai phool
Sung sung chaltay rehna
Tu hi hamar

Meri Humjoliyan - Reshma

Jaoun mai kahan - Mehnaz
Naina jagte rehna - Mehnaz
Jhoola dalo ri - Bushra Ansari, Mona Sisters
Tum say hum bichhray - Bushra Ansari
Basant hi bahar hai - Mona Sisters

Jab Say Dekha Hai
Heera Aur Patther
Do Raha
Phir Chand Nikle Ga
Bees Din
Dil Deke Dekho
Usay Dekha Usay Chaha
Maa Beta
Mere Humsafar
Qasam Uss Waqt Ki
Badal Aur Bijli
Dil Deewana
Pagal Rootha Na Karo

Article Courtesy of Anis Shakur