Monday, September 27, 2010

Minar-e-Pakistan – Lahore


Minar-e-Pakistan is a tall minaret in Iqbal Park Lahore, built in commemoration of the Lahore Resolution. The minaret reflects a blend of Mughal and modern architecture, and is constructed on the site where on March 23, 1940, seven years before the formation of Pakistan, the Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution (Qarardad-e-Lahore), demanding the creation of Pakistan. This was the first official declaration to establish a separate homeland for the Muslims living in the subcontinent. Pakistan now celebrates this day as a national holiday each year.

The monument attracts visitors from all over Pakistan, as well as the inhabitants of the Walled City of Lahore. The large public space around the monument is commonly used for political and public meetings, whereas Iqbal Park area is ever so popular among kite-flyovers.


Minar-i-Pakistan is one of the most important national monuments of the country. The site where the Minar-e-Pakistan is built is the exact place where the historic Pakistan Resolution was passed in 1940. The Minar expresses the spirit of that movement. It is one of the few additions to a conglomeration of old monumental structures that are in Lahore that were mostly built by Mughals. The base of the structure takes the shape of a five point star and is enclosed within crescent shaped pools. The overall height is approximately sixty meters and the entire structure is constructed of rein
forced concrete and furbished with stone and marble walls and floors.


The tower was designed by Naseer-ud-Deen Murat Khan a Pakistani architect of (Daghestan) Russian descent,and structural engineer was Abdur Rahman Khan Niazi. The design approved by the President was built by Mian Abdul Khaliq and Company. The foundation stone was laid on March 23, 1960. The construction took eight years of time, and was completed in 1968. The Minar was completed on 31 October 1968 at an estimated cost of Rs. 7.5 million. The money was collected by imposing additional tax on the cinema and horse racing tickets. Today, the minaret provides a panoramic view to visitors who can climb up the stairs or through an elevator. The parks around the monument include marble fountains and an artificial lake.


The base is about 8 meters above the ground. The tower rises about 60 meters on the base, thus the total height of minaret is about 72 meters above the ground. The unfolding petals of the flower-like base are 9 meters high. The diameter of the tower is about 97.5 meters (320 feet). The base platform is shaped like a five-pointed star and encloses two crescent shaped pools. There is a central spiral staircase rising up with 162 steps. The top-dome of the minaret is made of Stainless steel inlaid with fine glass pieces.

WHY we build it?

The structure is made of reinforced concrete, stones, and marble. The rostrum is built of patterned tiles, and faces the Badshahi Mosque. The base comprises four platforms. To symbolise humble beginnings of the freedom struggle, first platform is built with uncut Taxila stones, second platform is made of hammer-dressed stones, whereas third platform is of chiselled stones. Polished white marble at the fourth and final platform depicts the success of the Pakistan Movement . Mr. Mukhtar Masood a prolific writer and the then deputy commissioner of Lahore was responsible for the construction of this monument.

Cultural determinism may be all-embracing but it is not all-powerful. Men have imagination and creativity .They have personal will and, if they are not defeatist, they have inner freedom in the most enslaved circumstances. And it is not impertinent to say that they also have courage.

It is from the wellsprings of the past, with the freshness or its eternal waters that a nation drinks to revive its old and faltering heart. Monuments are a fountainhead of its reinvigoration, and they help supply nutrients to bind the sinews of National cohesion. They prove that a nation has heritage and history —and memory, and one without memory is without hope. The past is not merely a vanished tableau. It is the bedrock of the future.

A monument is less for the individual than for the collective psyche. That is why it usually stands not in a private sanctum but in public setting within the easy view of all. It is normally on high ground or platform, a source of pride and power, at once a shared spectacle and a shared experience. They represent heroes of Pakistan not only for its entire citizen but they stand equal of heroes in other lands. No challenge obtrudes on the universality of their cause except in the vainly disputations.

Founder of Pakistan said:

M A Jinnah, the Founding Father of Pakistan often said , is history continuous of struggle for freedom , freedom enjoyed , freedom lost , freedom regained , lost again , pursued again, regained , lost again.

Dr. Allama Iqbal said:

It is by rising to a fresh vision of his origin and future, his whence and whither, that man will eventually triumph over a society motivated by inhuman competition and a civilisation which has lost its spiritual unity by its inner conflict of religions and political values.”

This unending pulsating rhythm of Pakistan freedom struggle has been the distinctive character of Pakistan’s’ national life for centuries, and in the withering process not a few larger-than-life heroes Pakistan have produced but many.

Allama Iqbal thought about human freedom:

Pakistan have suffered more miseries from the European invaders, Consumerism, imperialism and terrorism, they have been badly battered repeatedly, and culturally marinated. They have been occupied, but in the real sense Pakistan remained unvanquished. The foreign entities may destroy their monuments, but not the memory.

Pakistan heroes have been fighting for freedom. To them freedom is more important than life itself, the latter is nothing without the former. Because of this, Pakistan’s history hinges on the twin values of sacrifice and valour in the Islamic pursuit of freedom. Dr. Allama Iqbal, an ardent advocate of the concept of human freedom and evolution explains the concept of tawh?i?d beautifully when he says, “Reality is essentially spirit,” yet he qualifies his belief by mentioning that there are degrees of reality reflecting degrees of spirit. He writes:

Indeed the evolution of life shows that, though in the beginning the mental is dominated by the physical, the mental as it grows in power, tends to dominate the physical and may eventually rise to a position of complete independence…


Life can be sacrificed for freedom, but freedom cannot be sacrificed for life. Every individual has the Goal and duty of safeguarding that freedom. Even if it causes him his life. ” the metaphysical ego is the bearer of two main rights that is the right to life and freedom as determined by Divine Law. ”Dr. Allama Iqbal, believed that behind the process of evolution is the vital impulse (Bergson’s elan vital) of ‘ishq or love which is metaphysical in nature and which makes life grow towards higher evolutionary GOALS.

It is love that imparts colour to the tulip

It is love that agitates our life.

If you could rip open the heart of the earth

You would see love’s blood coursing through it.

Beneath this visible evolution of forms is the force of love which actualises all strivings, movement and progress. Things are so constituted that they hate non-existence and love the joy of individuality in various forms. The indeterminate matter, dead in itself, assumes or more properly is made to assume by the inner force of love, various forms and rises higher and higher in the scale of beauty.

But this

“Forward push to life cannot be called creative unless hitched to some goal.”

Iqbal believed that evolution has a goal. “In fact, the evolution or dissolution of life is dependent on how far the individual chooses to use his or her creative will and power. The perfect man of Iqbal’s conception is of muja?hid, one who is ready and willing to face the problems of life, culture and society as he is to face the problems of after-life, spiritual welfare and death.”

The past has already lost print as its exclusive rendition. This century and the next, the printed world will give way to the electronic image. Communication will largely be in visual flashes rather than in syllables. Is the age of banality at hand? Will history become insipidity? It may become artless—or on the other hand acquire character of a new art form? Or it will still remain a sculptural perfection signifying human, freedom and Islam in the eyes of Allah and the rest of the world? Would the memory of Dr. Allama Iqbal, Quaid – i – Azam) Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the great men and women, will become relics in a strange epoch of new paradigms? Would arduous nationhood be a thing of the past and their parched sacrifices be regarded as crude baubles? Would the joys become outdated, the sorrows and sadness not even recalled in the consciousness of the future Pakistan?.

“Arise and soar with the suns new born rays. To breathe new life into dying nights and days.”

(Allama Iqbal)

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