The day we obtained our much fought for independence wasn’t always commemorated through pulling out silencers and participating in car parades in the middle of the night. And it didn’t warrant long marches either. What the 14th of August really did was act as a reminder of the sacrifices that our ancestors had to make and the struggles and hurdles our Quaid had to face so that Pakistan could come into being. And with that came the appreciation for the freedom we now know and enjoy. But the gratefulness characteristic of this day is sorely missing this year.

The political turmoil in the country seems to have politicized our independence day as well. 14th August was meant to be a day to celebrate our beloved country, not a bunch of men vying for the control of it. There is therefore a need for a reminder of the good ol’ days when there was just one flag to represent Pakistan, and at least one day that ensured unity among even the most divided.

On the music scene, pop groups continue to churn out songs after songs consisting of auto tuned voices, thousands of back-up vocals, heavy use of instruments and nonsensical, overly complex lyrics. Covers exist of basically every good song to come out of the 70s or 80s. But none of them hold a candle to the originals.

Below is a list of the most patriotic songs ever made in the honor of Pakistan to bring a little of that zest and patriotism back into the equation. These milli naghmay have stood the test of time, and sound as fresh as they did back when they were released. This post is a tribute to the times when everyone used to listen to them obsessively, all the while pinning on green badges and putting up the green and white flags everywhere.

This is meant for those who no longer remember why to be grateful for their homeland, and also those who love Pakistan but are having a hard time keeping their spirits up. I highly encourage everyone to click on the names for easy access to the links and give each of them a listen. If nothing else, that’s the least you can do right now.

Tere Bina Dil Na Lagey

The beautiful voice of Faakhir and the soulful lyrics are what make this upbeat song worth a listen. Whereas newer songs seem to be all about unrequited love, this composition is about the one love that is truly worth dying for: the love of our homeland. In a way that is sure to strike a cord with both the locals and expats, this piece mentions the ethereal nature of this love, unaffected by distance or difficulties. It serves to remind us that no matter where we are or what we’re up to, our hearts are always with our homeland, kyunke dil deewana tere liye.


This song by Jawad Ahmad is one that really stands out in the past decade. It was blasted on radios and broadcast on television screens come every Independence Day. What better way to celebrate our freedom than revering those who have fought to ensure it? Before the mention of the Pakistan Army conjured images of the GHQ and dictatorships, the men in khaki were truly revered as the heroes they are. If you admire the qualities that our soldiers represent in the way of love and friendship, this song is a must listen.

Ae Jawan

With the beautiful vocals and motivational lyrics, this gem from the 90s goes out to the Pakistan Army as well. It celebrates the spirit that these young men hold and represent as they aim for the survival of their homeland and victory over those who threaten it. As it says, when it comes to the zest and zeal of our heroes, and the victory that is sure to come, the sky is the limit.

Mera Paigham Pakistan

This masterpiece by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sings the praises of Pakistan and heralds it as the blessing of God it is. It lists all the attributes that make this country and its people what they are. And in an age where Pakistan is labelled an intolerant and terrorist state, it reminds us of the peace and love that really embodies our homeland.

Aye Murd e Mujahid

Alamgir starts this 80s piece with the praise of Allah, and the great significance of what our soldiers do on a regular basis. This song commends the spirit of martyrdom that all our young men hold, and recalls what Pakistan means for Islam and what that translates to for those putting down their lives in the name of our land and consequently, God.

Aye Quaid e Azam, Tera Ahsan

This song sung by Munawar Sultan celebrates the man who gave us Pakistan. It mentions the hold the foreign rulers once had over us, and the men who delivered us from all those difficulties. The role of Iqbal is mentioned, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah is commemorated for the great favor he has conferred upon us. If you don’t know what to be thankful for today, just listen to this for a slight idea.

Maaon Ki Dua

Alamgir sings of the blessing Pakistan is for us all, and the independence we now take for granted. But he also goes further to remind us that we owe our homeland a lot more than we realize, and it’s time we work to show the world what this country really stands for.

Hum Zinda Qaum Hain

This song is all about what really makes a country great: its people. Our nation is one of the greatest, having fought for the land that we know call home. This composition reminds us that what we have in common is far greater than all our differences. If there ever was a song about loving your neighbor, this would be it.

Aye Rah e Haq Ke Shaheedo

Naseem Begum best does what we all wish we could do: appropriately thank those who lay down their lives just so we can live ours freely. As she says, the martyrs will be rewarded in heaven. And on earth, even the free winds that blow through these lands commemorate their sacrifice.

Ye Watan Tumhara Hai

Mehdi Hasan really knew what he was talking about back in the 60s. This song perhaps delivers the most important message of all the milli naghmay we know: this is our land, our country, and these are our people. Pakistan deserves to be loved with all our hearts. Every single inch of this place belongs to us. If we don’t take care of it, who will?