For most Pakistan’s Qazi Abdur Rehman Amritsari is a strange and unknown name but do you know he was the one who suggested ‘Islamabad’ as the name for the new capital of Pakistan? This biography will provide some glimpses from the life of Qazi Abdur Rehman including about his early life, family, literary contributions and then death.
But it will also reveal despite promises the government of Pakistan failed for 63 years to honor the man who named the capital city.
It is said that Qazi Abdur Rehman was born in 1908 in Amritsar, hence he become ‘Amritsari’. At that time Amritsar was part of British India which means he lived under the colonial rule of Britain this wasn’t a pleasant era for most Muslims, as the opportunities were limited and soon atrocities against Muslim minority from Hindu nationalists will become a norm.
He started his education from Government High School Amritsar and then studied in Islamia College Railway Road, Lahore. It is said that he participated in Pakistan Movement. After independence of Pakistan his family moved to Arifwalla and he served as a school teacher in different government schools and got promotion until his retirement as a headmaster in 1968. It is reported that he died on 25 April, 1990.
Qazi wasn’t only a teacher rather he was also an Urdu poet and author. One of his published collection of poetry is called ‘Hawaye Tayyaba’ which consists of praise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He also wrote articles which were published in different newspapers and magazines such as Zameendar, Islah, Chattan, Qandeel, Nawai-e-Waqt, Sayyara and Urdu Digest.
Suggestion for Capital City:
On 21st January, 1959 President General Ayub Khan appointed a commission to evaluate whether Karachi is suitable for being the capital, if not then the commission was responsible to suggest a suitable place for construction of New Capital of the newly established Pakistan.
Government announced the construction of new capital near Rawalpindi On 15th July 1959 and then after few days Qandeel, a newspaper in Lahore, asked people to suggest names for the new capital offering them award of Rs. 1,000.
Among those suggestions was ‘Islamabad’ which was made by Qazi Abdur Rehman Amritsari. Majid Nizami, editor of Qandeel, tried to get Qazi Abdul Rahman the promised reward of Rs. 1,000 by the President of the State General Yahya Khan, but failed and then dispatched the prize money directly to Qazi Abdul Rahman.
According to media reports, Qazi Abdul Rahman wrote a letter to the President, stating that the name approved on 24 February 1960 was his suggestion. Luckily he got a response from Government of Pakistan informing him on instructions of President Ayub a plot is being awarded to him in Islamabad.
But the promise was not fulfilled, on numerous occasions the issue was highlighted but every government ignored the promise made by the government of Pakistan. Until after 63 years, The Capital Development Authority (CDA) under Noorul Amin Mengal, revealed that soon the promised plot will be offered to the family members of Qazi Abdul Rahman and the man who named the capital of Pakistan will be honored for his contribution.