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How Pakistan Got Its Name

Dateline: 05/17/99

The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!

Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never. They came up with the term "Pakistan" as "composed of letters taken from the names of our homelands: that is, Punjab, Afghania [North-West Frontier Province], Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and Balochistan. It means the land of the Paks, the spiritually pure and clean."

Although the suffix "stan" means country in Hindi and Persian, the students were able to fit the names of homelands to make an appropriate country name.

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