Author: Alan, 5B4AHJ

The March 1948 issue of QST announced the addition of Pakistan to the ARRL Countries List, but, unfortunately, does not state the date from which QSOs are valid for Pakistan. However, the May, 1961 edition of QST reports the addition of East Pakistan to the ARRL Countries List, and reports that QSOs count from 1945-11-15. Given that East Pakistan was formerly part of Pakistan, logically, QSOs with Pakistan also count from 1945-11-15. However, CQ Magazine, which is not an official organ of ARRL, reports, in the March, 1948 issue,  the addition of Pakistan to the "Official Countries List", with QSOs counting from the date of independence. It is not clear whether this refers to a CQ award of the time, or to ARRL's DXCC programme.

From 1945-47, the Indian territory that later became Pakistan was part of British India.

The prefix used by amateur radio stations in the region, being part of India, was VU. 

On 1947-08-14, Pakistan became independent, and the modern state of Pakistan was born. 

As Pakistan, at that time, was two geographically distinct regions, they were known as East Pakistan and West Pakistan.

East Pakistan contained East Bengal. 

West Pakistan comprised  West Punjab, North West Frontier Province, Sindh, Baluchistan and the Baluchistan States Union, as well as a number of smaller tribal areas. 

The main prefix since that time is AP, although AQ, AR & AS, as well as 6P, 6Q, 6R & 6S, are also allocated to Pakistan.

During the period immediately following independence, until 1948, VU stations continued to be QRV, presumably whilst waiting for their new AP callsigns. See, for example, VU2BJ and VU2BK.

On 1971-03-26, East Pakistan declared independence from Pakistan, and became the People's Republic of Bangladesh, with the prefix S2. S3 is also allocated to Bangladesh.


Anthony Quest, G4UZN


Wikipedia: Balochistan

Wikipedia: Bangladesh

Wikipedia: Bengal 

Wikipedia: East Pakistan

Wikipedia: Pakistan

Wikipedia: West Pakistan