National Monument — a symbol of unity
By Imran Naeem Ahmad
ISLAMABAD: The National Monument, inaugurated by President Pervez Musharraf last week, is dedicated to the people of Pakistan. Located just next to the Shakarparian tourist resort and designed by Arif Masoud, the monument stands out as a fine example of a combination of art and architecture.
The monument’s blossoming flower petals converge upon the crescent and star and depict the firm resolve of people from diverse cultures to guard their national unity.
Kausar Jahan, Zarar Haider Babri and their team of artists put in 119,000 hours to complete the murals and other artwork and Jahan told Daily Times that the monument’s design has been derived from Islamic architecture.
“It was challenging because the four big petals and smaller ones are without support,” she said while appreciating the designer’s marvellous concept. “The stone selected for the star is polished, reflecting the surrounding colours,” she said.
The smaller gold stars signify the people who have sacrificed their lives for the country. All these aspects have been brilliantly crafted in fibreglass. Kausar said, “It is light weight, washable and non-perishable. Had it been metal it would eventually have turned black.”
The first petal shows the Malki Tombs, Shahjahani Mosque (Thatta), Rohtas Fort, Gawadar and the Faisal Mosque while the second petal features Quiad-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Fatima Jinnah, Minar-e-Pakistan, Badshahi Mosque, Shila Tunnel, Karakorum Highway and people rejoicing the Quaid’s public appearance.
The third petal features Allama Iqbal, the Shah Rukn-e-Alam Tomb, Mohabat Khan Mosque, ancient civilization, Lahore Fort and Delta Indus. Among images on the fourth petal are those of Shish Mehal, Shalamar Gardens, the Uch Sharif Tomb, Islamia College Peshawar, the Ziarat Residency, the Khyber Pass and a polo match. The monument commemorates the historic dream of the freedom of people and their glorious saga of struggle and sacrifice. It reflects their collective aspirations for building a nation that cherishes the noble ideals of peace, harmony and enlightenment hand in hand with material, moral and spiritual progress. It celebrates the abiding values of the Pakistan Movement.