LAHORE RESOLUTION PROMISED AUTONOMY TO THE PROVINCES

KANWAL SALEEM
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Mar 29 - Apr 4, 2010

Minar-e-Pakistan in the lqbal Park, Lahore was constructed to commemorate the famous Lahore Resolution on 23 March 1940. At that, Pakistan Muslim League, the single representative political party of all Muslims of India in its historic 34 annual session unanimously demanded the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of this sub-continent.

The Minar is a blend of Mughal and modern architecture and has been very boldly designed. The foundation stone was laid on 23 March 1960 by the governor West Pakistan Akhtar Hussain in the Minto Park, which was later renamed as Iqbal Park, after poet Dr Iqbal who first gave the idea of a separate Muslim country for the Muslims of the British India.

The Minar was architectured by Naseerud Din Mira'at Khan who was a graduate of St Petersburg University and originally belonged to Daghistan, USSR. He came to Pakistan and married here. From 1953-58 he was consultant to the Government of Pakistan on construction and was the man behind the designing of Police Training College, Sihala, Qadaffi Stadium Lahore and many other buildings. The Minar was completed on 31 October, 1968 at an estimated cost of Rs7.5 million. The base of the tower is raised approximately 4 metres from the ground. It rises up to approximately 13 metres forming a sculpted flower-like base. From this point it tapers as it rises. The base platform is shaped like a 5-point star and it encloses crescent shaped pools. The overall height of the monument is approximately 60 metres. It is constructed in reinforced concrete. The floors and walls are rendered in stone and marble. From base to some 181 feet height, concrete and steel has been used, while the top 16.5 feet portion is made of stainless steel to avoid it from corrosion. The lower portion/base is made of coarse marble, indicating the initial rough days of independence, while walls and upper portion have smooth marble showing gradual development and prosperity. On the base, all around the Minar ten marble slabs of seven feet tall and two feet in width, on which 99 names of Allah are inscribed.

Other inscriptions include excerpts from the speeches of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan related to ideology of Pakistan, in Urdu, Bengali and English, besides the National Anthem in Urdu and Bengali and a verse from Dr Allama Iqbal. Some Quranic verses (Surah Baqarah, Surah Al e Imran, Surah Myedah and Surah Ra'ad) are also inscribed.

On the main entrance Allah o Akbar (Allah is the Greatest) and Minar-e-Pakistan are inscribed.

This year, the 70th Pakistan Day was observed across the country with a renewed resolve to protect the country against all odds and rid the homeland of the menace of terrorism and extremism.

The day was observed in the face of manifold challenges posed to the country on internal and external fronts.

Speakers at the National Conference on Pakistan Resolution: Dream and Realty organized by the Indus People's Forum indicated that provinces continue to be denied the autonomy promised in the Pakistan Resolution because of domination of the state by the colonial establishment.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan secretary-general I.A.Rehman said the Pakistan Resolution envisaged distribution of powers and resources among the federating units. Pakistan could not survive by incurring heavy expenditure on defence. He said Pakistan has come into being as a country but has failed to develop itself into a state.

Prof Azizuddin Ahmed said the Pakistan Resolution had referred to establishment of sovereign units. The federal government was to have only limited powers. Bureaucracy, however, strengthened itself and assumed control over power after independence.

Pakistan People's Party (Shaheed Bhutto) secretary-general Dr Mubashar Hassan said the Pakistan Resolution had neither been understood nor implemented.

Pakistan Day is celebrated in the provincial capital with great enthusiasm and traditional fervour to mark the passage of Lahore Resolution that led to the creation of a separate homeland for South Asian Muslims in 1947. This time around, the day was celebrated with historical enthusiasm. Punjab Government ministers and other dignitaries visited the mausoleum of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, to pay homage to the great poet and philosopher who conceived the idea of establishment of Pakistan. They laid a wreath on the grave of the great poet and offered fateha. Various political, cultural, social and other organizations elaborate programmes to mark the Day in a befitting manner.

Pakistan Rangers also held a grand musical show at Wagha Border in which thousands of people including children and women participated. An impressive flag hoisting ceremony also was held at Wagha while DG Pakistan Rangers Punjab Major General Muhammad Yaqub HI (M) was the chief guest on the occasion. The Punjab University also celebrated the day in a befitting manner that included a series of seminars held at different departments including Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) to pay tribute to the workers of Pakistan Movement.

Today Pakistan was enjoying democratic dispensation, free judiciary, vibrant parliament and free and independent media being the foundation stone for empowerment of the people, progress, prosperity and economic betterment. There is a need to work hard and make collective efforts to transform Pakistan into a modern, progressive and tolerant society.