By Muhammad Naeem Khan Niazi
LAHORE, Mar 28 (APP):The Lahore Resolution Monument, also known as ‘Minar-e-Pakistan’, and ‘Tower of Pakistan’ was built between March 23, 1960 and October 1968 at the Minto Park (now renamed as the Greater Iqbal Park) to commemorate the historic moment of March 23, 1940 which has forever changed the map of the world.
The great nations not only preserve the historic landmarks but also uphold them in high esteem so that the future generations could seek guidance to keep ablaze the candle of hope, freedom, peace, tolerance and unity.
Pakistan has inherited a proud history in the subcontinent and stood witnessed to many civilizations, religious sites, rich cultures, multiple political dynasties, military expeditions, colonial rule and a freedom movement that had changed the course of history.
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947 but its creation was the result of a long political movement which had started centuries ago. On March 23, 1940, as part of the long political movement against the British yoke, the 27th general session of the All India Muslim League at Minto Park, Lahore was a watershed in the political movement by the Indian Muslims.
The Lahore Resolution, also known as Pakistan Resolution, had demanded for an independent state comprising Muslim majority areas in India.
The demand was very much in the light of the vision of Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Poet of the East, who stated in his Presidential address at Allahabad in 1930, “India is a continent of human groups belonging to different races, speaking different languages, and professing different religions. Personally, I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Provinces (NWFP), Sindh and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state.”
The Lahore Resolution interpreted Iqbal’s foresightedness in these words and it was from this moment onward that the Muslims waged a struggle for a separate Muslim state free from the British and the Hindu domination.
Talking to APP, Chairman, Department of History, Punjab University, Dr. Mehboob Hussain said for decades, the monument has stood as a symbol of hope of surmounting the impossible, adding that the Iqbal Park (formerly Minto Park) was named after the poet of the East, Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, after creation of Pakistan in 1947.
Associate Prof. Department of Pakistan Studies, PU, Dr. Ahmed Ijaz while talking to the news agency has said Lahore monument, like the ‘Washington Monument’ in Washington D.C. United States of America (USA), commemorates the auspicious occasion, adding that George Washington was once commander-in-chief of the continental army in the American Revolution war and the first President of the USA.
Director Conservation, Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), Najamus Saqib has said the design of the monument was on the pattern of a minaret which was an important feature of a mosque. He said mosque was a symbol of unity in Muslim faith.
Lahore Resolution Monument is flower-shaped and 70 meters (203 feet) in height with eight-meter base from which emanate the eight flower-petals which culminate at the top with a steel dome and a pinnacle, he added.
Najamus Saqib said within the base of the minaret and between the unfolding flower-petals, there stand ten marble slabs of seven feet height and two feet width with inscriptions of Quranic verses, sayings of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, selected poetic verses of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, text of Pakistan Resolution in English, Arabic, Bengali and Urdu languages, text of Delhi Resolution (1946), National Anthem of Pakistan in Urdu and Bengali and 99 Names of Allah.