History of Radio Pakistan

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Radio Pakistan has a rich history in the media industry of Pakistan. It was firstly named as “Pakistan Broadcasting Service” on the creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, after that it turned into “Pakistan Broad Casting Corporation”.  Radio Pakistan provided platforms for many young talents. It was the only platform after the creation of Pakistan for entertainment, educational and informational communication.

The history of Radio Pakistan is as old as the state itself. In its are Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation had a great monopoly in the airwaves that long-lasted for many decades.

Radio Pakistan

Early Days OF Radio Pakistan

In the beginning, there were three radio stations working in Pakistan under Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation. Radio Pakistan started its journey from Lahore. After that in Peshawar and Dhaka Radio Pakistan also started its services to entertain and communicate with the audience.

On June 3, 1947, Quaid-e-Azam addressed the nation from all India Radio, he announced the success of “Tehreek-e-Azadi” from this platform.  Radio Pakistan was the platform from where the independence of Pakistan was announced on August 13, 1947 at 11:59 pm. “Mustafa Ali Hamdani” and “Zahoor Aazar” made the announcement from Lahore in Urdu and English. On the other hand “Abdullah Jan Maghmoom “made the announcement from Peshawar in Pashto.

In order to celebrate the establishment of a new country a program was telecasted on Radio Pakistan in which Zahir Qasmi made the recitation of Holy verses from the Holy Quran and then National anthem of Pakistan was offered by Hafeez Jalandhri. On that night, Peshawar Radio also announced the independence of Pakistan as a new country in the world

The historic words of Mustafa Ali Hamdani were:

“Assalam-o-Alikum! Pakistan Broadcasting Service. Hum Lahore SE Bol Rahe Hain. Terran Aur Chauda August Sun Saintalees Ki Darmayani Raat, Bara Baje Hain, Tuloo-e-Subhe Azaadi!”

Zahoor Aazar delivered the English announcement :

“Greetings PAKISTAN broadcasting Service, we are speaking from Lahore, the night between thirteenth and fourteenth of August, Year forty-seven. It is twelve o’clock, the dawn of freedom.”

After two weeks on August 31, 1947 Quaid-e-Azam addresses the nation for the first time through Radio Pakistan. Karachi is first radio station was made under the supervision of the Sindh government on August 10, 1947. Ali Muhammad Chagla and S.K.Haider were the frontmen for starting a new radio station at Karachi, but unfortunately, Karachi station was closed just after 20 days of its inauguration. The station re-continued its transmission just after 1 year on 14 August 1948.

In 1950 a new radio station was made in Karachi. After that this chain continued and radio stations were expended. Hyderabad (1951), Quetta (1956), Rawalpindi (1960), Peshawar (1960), Islamabad (1970) and Multan (1970) were the new Radio station across the country.

Evolution of Radio Pakistan

Radio Pakistan raised the voices of many emerging talents like Noor Jahan, Legendry Mehdi Hassan, Masood Rana, Ashfaq Ahmed, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Hafeez Jalandhri and other young talents of that time. It was an all-rounder service that includes newscasting, entertainment shows, musical shows and different transmissions for kids also. Radio Pakistan earned great fame in its era, its fame was raised to the heights of glory. Till the 1990s, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) enjoyed a monopoly in the whole media sector in Pakistan, after that print media and electronic media in the shape of TV mobile phones came into existence.

The broadcast network has highlighted other classics of music too “Apki Farmaish” was a famous show, which played film songs. A western music request show hosted by Yasmin Tahir played as the name suggests western tunes from countries like the US and UK.

Munni Baji was the host of the popular Radio show “Bachon ki Dunya”. Radio Pakistan also unleashed many iconi newscasters like Shakeel Ahmed and Anwar Ahmed were Urdu newscasters, on the other hand Anita Gulam Ali and Edward Carapiet read the news in English.

In 1961, Pakistan Radio started advertisement. It became so popular that advertisers had to book slots and asked for more advertising time. Radio Pakistan also played a crucial role in informing audiences about floods, earthquakes, wars, lockdowns, marshal laws and other natural disasters. Radio Pakistan also served as a coaching center for many television artists, hosts and presenters. It provided a platform for young youth to raise their talent.

Radio Stations in Pakistan

Radio Pakistan launched the first FM radio service in 1993 FM Gold Service. The station could not make a mark in the radio industry and did a vanishing act very quickly.

Radio FM 100 which came into existence in 1994 was the pioneer of the private radio station in the country. It had as well as bases in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and had a youthful approach.

Referring to the comparison between Radio Pakistan and FM 100, Qasim A.Moini says in his article for dawn:

“If Radio Pakistan was a five-course format sit-down dinner; FM radio was fast food to be consumed on the go. It was radio for the modern age.”

Learning from its earlier experiences, Radio Pakistan got back into the act in 1998, launching its FM101 platform also in the three metros. Taking a leaf out of the FM100 book, 101 also introduced young DJs who could chat up the audience on pop culture, sports, entertainment and poetry in jargon the urban youth of Pakistan could identify with. From thereon, as the new millennium approached, the country witnessed explosive growth in FM radio channels.

Some of the radio stations are as follow:

  • FM 93
  • Central Production Unit
  • Dhanak FM 94
  • FM 101

News and Channels

News and Current Affairs Channel was introduced by Radio Pakistan in November 2000 and was changed into National Broadcasting Service in 2008. It broadcasts 13 hours of programs from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily from Islamabad and 8 hours daily from the Provincial Headquarters.

  • Islamabad 1152 Khz
  • Lahore 1332 Khz
  • Karachi 639 Khz
  • Quetta 756 Khz
  • Peshawar 1170 Khz

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