Have you ever looked at Minar-e-Pakistan and wondered, “What were they thinking?”
Not in a frustrated millennial way, but more like a pondering, adult intelligent way!
Yes, Lahore Resolution was totally on the then President Ayub Khan’s mind but why go with a tall, lean structure? Why make the base look slightly different from the glistening top? Why did it take them EIGHT years to complete a 70 meter tall tower?
We’re about to find answers to all that and more right here, right now!
Ayub Khan’s opening words to the architect
“Build me a monument like this pen,” Khan said to the Architect Nasreddin Murat-Khan after erecting a pen in front of him. Well, this might not be the exact opening sentence because salam and niceties like “thanda ya garam” might have preluded the said discussion, but there you go – the design aesthetic for Minar e Pakistan was reportedly inspired by a pen.
The architect who refused to get paid for the 10-year project
While the construction officially commenced on 23rd March 1960, Murat-Khan began work on it way before that and submitted the design in 1959. His daughter Meral, in an interview to Destination.pk, states, “He said that he was making the minar as a contribution to the country which gave him a new home.”
She also clarified that he was the “architect AND the engineer of the project.”
The original design came without the dome
In the same interview, Meral explains how Murat-Khan wanted to keep the minar open at the top to “signify a young country’s infinite, promising growth”. But the committee contested that without the dome, the minar won’t look “Islamic enough”.
And that was probably important because Lahore resolution is based upon the two-nation theory.
If you think it is ‘just’ a tall tower you’re mistaken
Get yourself a drone camera or simply search for ‘aerial view of Minar-e-Pakistan’ to note that the minar lays on a blooming flower! It is a symbolic representation of a country on a rise.
Each stone tells a story
Well to be precise, each layer depicts Pakistan’s growth from a struggling nation to a prospering one. The lower portion has coarse marble, which indicates the initial days of the movement, while the upper portion is made of smooth ones to depict growth and progress.
The minar comes with ten marble slabs
And each slab has various engravings on it. From the national anthem to excerpts from Muhammed Ali Jinnah’s speeches, the slabs showcase everything Pakistan is all about.
Illustrations made by Mahnoor Tahir
Information taken from Amer Adnan Associates http://www.ameradnan.com/blog/minar-e-pakistan-an-architecture-marvel-and-symbol-of-freedom/ and Destinations http://destinations.com.pk/man-behind-minar-nasreddin-murat-khan/