The Country that’s also an Acronym

An acronym is a word formed whereby each letter represents the first letter(s) of a word. For example:

radar (radio detection and ranging)

laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation)

and… Pakistan. You might not expect the name of a country to be an acronym, but such is the case with Pakistan. While the name means Land of the Pure in Urdu and Persian, it was first coined by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist advocating for the creation of an independent state from India’s Muslim-majority regions.

The name was derived from the names of the five northern regions of the British Raj: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh, and Baluchistan. The i was added for ease of pronunciation. Sometimes there’s an interesting history behind a name of a place we don’t think too much about, and it can tell us a lot about a country.

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