1 May 2014

The "Al-Bakistan" Number Plate Trend

The style has been borrowed from Dubai and Saudi Arabia where the name of the country is embossed on the number plates of the motor vehicles officially.

The Punjab government has failed to provide official number plates to motorists across the province, forcing the new car owners to invent a novel way to deal with the situation. They are now getting ‘Al-Bakistan’ or ‘Al-Bunjab’ embossed on their number plates.
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TNS learns that the style has been borrowed from Dubai and Saudi Arabia where the name of the country is embossed on the number plates of the motor vehicles. That is their official style. But since most cars are imported from Dubai, the Pakistanis have taken to the design.

The trend started early this year and now it seems to have become the most viable option across the length and breadth of Punjab, chiefly in Lahore. The car owners can now easily purchase such number plates, since the Punjab Excise Department has stopped collecting the fee for number plates from motorists. The motorists, in other words, are now freely getting the number plates of their choice prepared. (by Arshad Dogar)
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It seems that some people, either in their zeal to appear different, or to look more Arab and better Muslims, seem to forget the meaning of Pakistan and Punjab. As we all know what Pak is, and that Pakistan means ‘The land of the pure,’ while Punjab means ‘The land of five rivers.’

On the contrary, the word Bak, or more correctly Baak, which exists both in Persian and Urdu, means der, khauf, andeisha, according to Urdu dictionary, Feroz-ul-Lughaat, which may be translated as fear and worry. Thus, Al-Bakistan would mean ‘The land of fear’. Given the current state of affairs created by terrorism, it incidentally happens to be applicable in this sense, but not as a proper replacement for the country’s name. Al Bunjab has no meaning at all and fails to convey the five rivers’ background. (Dawn)

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