Chaudhry Rehmat Ali is a renowned figure of the Pakistan
movement. Among other things, he is known for two main reasons. Firstly,
he coined the name “Pakistan”, and secondly, for writing an eight-page
pamphlet known as “Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever”.
There are several facts attached to his life which are not well-known
and are often lost in the pages of our history.
Early Life & Achievements
He was born on 16 November 1895 in a Punjabi Gujjar family in Hoshiarpur
District of Punjab. He graduated from Islamia Madrassa, Lahore in 1918.
After teaching at Aitcheson College, Lahore, he joined Punjab University
to study Law. In 1930, he moved to England and joined Emmanuel College,
Chaudhry Rehmat Ali published the famous pamphlet”Now or Never”
in 1933. The major highlight of this pamphlet is that it is the first
time the word Pakistan was used. He also published a book ‘Pakistan,
the Fatherland ok Pakistani Nation’ in which he gave the detailed
explanation of how he came up with the term Pakistan.
What PAKISTAN means?
The letter ‘P’ in Pakistan is associated with most populated
province, Punjab. He asked for the territory proportionate to the
population of Muslims.
‘A’ was taken to represent Afghans/ Pakhtuns. It was the real
name of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
‘K’ is for Kashmir.
‘I’ represented Iran. In the past when the Persian Empire was
attacked by Alexander of Macedonia, he invaded the area which forms
Pakistan today. Pakistan was a part of ancient Persia and Persian was
the language of the educated.
‘S’ was for Sindh.
‘T’ is for Tukharistan. This name is no longer used but the area
is now known as Turkmenistan and some other parts of Central Asian
‘A’ is for Afghanistan.
‘N’ is for Baluchistan, which makes 44% of the landmass of
Struggle for Pakistan
In 1933, he started the Pakistan National Movement in England. He
continued publishing some outstanding piece of literature based on his
vision for South Asia. Chaudhry Rehmat Ali firmly believed and
patiently wanted to have political reforms for Muslims. He believed in
unity of Muslim Ummah which was the key element to struggle for a free
His literary work, along with the writings
of Allama Iqbal, acted as a channel in the formation of Pakistan.
Muslims living in Bengal were suggested a name “Bangistan” for a home
land. He also proposed a name “Osmanistan” for a Muslim homeland in
Deccan. Dinia is a name which was suggested for South Asia because of
the presence of various religions in the region. He is also known for
his dedication to the idea of Pakistan. He also argued over the issue of
Kashmir and the rights of Muslims in the United Nations on Pakistan’s
After the Independence
Chaudhry Rehmat Ali was quiet disappointed on severe massacre and
mass migrations after the independence of Pakistan. Distribution of
areas was also not according to his will. He was a very impulsive and
fidgety person. He was against any negotiations with Hindus and that is
why he developed the difference of opinion with Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
During the Pakistan Movement, he remained in England and came to
Pakistan after a year. He strongly criticized Jinnah and the Muslim
League for compromising the ‘full idea of Pakistan’ which he gave in his
After Jinnah’s death in 1948, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan ordered
him to leave the country. He died in England on 3rd February 1951 and
was buried there.
View Original Article Written by Ata Rehman Zaki: