Choudhury Rahmat Ali


The one who coined the word Pakistan. Rahmat Ali was the person who gave Pakistan its name in the booklet, 'Now or Never', which he published while he was a student in Cambridge University and a young activist of freedom movement. On January 28, 1933 Rahmat's Pakistan declaration pamphlet: Now or Never: Are We to Live or perish Forever? was issued. In it he coined the word Pakistan. This name Pakistan spiritually means pure in Urdu ( P for Punjab, A for Afghanistan border states, K for Kashmir, S for Sindh and TAN as in Baluchistan), an acronym, soon caught the imagination of the multitudes and everybody began to call the proposed country by this name. Ali visited Pakistan, in 1948, after the country's birth in August 1947. During his visit to the country that he had named and dreamed of many years ago, he was being hounded at every turn by the CID and was deliberately made to feel unwelcome by the Government of the day. Dispirited, he left for England never to return. Back in England, he worked as a lawyer in Cambridge. The house in a middle-class suburb of Chesterton in Cambridge has now become a place for Pakistani pilgrims. Choudhury Rahmat Ali was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. He was employed as a Private Secretary to the ruler of Bahawalpur at a salary of seven hundred rupees per month, 'a handsome amount in those days.' Later he was paid a very large amount of money as appreciation of his services. Rahmat Ali was then able to travel to England and complete his education at Cambridge University. Choudhury Rahman Ali died in a flu epidemic and was buried at Newmarket Road Cemetery, England.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin

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