The country is celebrating another Pakistan Day today with the continued blessings of Almighty Allah to mark the passage of the resolution on this day back in 1940 by the All-India Muslim League in its historic session at the then Minto Park in Lahore under the inspiring leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent. Living nations like Pakistanis not only continue paying homage to their forefathers, benefactors and heroes but also remember and practice their teachings and principles as much as possible, like the father of the nation’s golden principles of unity, faith and discipline.

All India Muslim League’s 27th annual session adopted the historic resolution unanimously for the creation of Pakistan, comprising of areas where Muslims were in majority, so that they could live freely and independently, perform their religious duties and functions, be free from British subjugation and be their own masters economically as well. After the passage of this resolution, the concept of a free, sovereign and Islamic state had emerged for the first time. In those days, it was called mostly as the Lahore Resolution though some also gave it the name of Pakistan Resolution.

To properly understand and appreciate the true spirit and objectives of March 23, 1940, the original resolution and the April 9, 1946 Delhi Resolution clarifications are inscribed quite prominently on Minar-i-Pakistan and it is better that both of these should be read together.

The construction of Minar-i-Pakistan in Iqbal Park, then Minto Park, makes for quite interesting reading as well. It was initially started as a Pakistan Day Memorial. Its foundation stone was laid by then West Pakistan Governor Akhtar Hussain on March 23,1960, while the actual construction started only sometime in 1964. After the foundation stone was laid, the design was subjected to many changes, approved and disapproved a number of times as the construction work remained suspended till it was finally taken up when Commissioner Mukhtar Masood took a personal interest and got the project file recovered from under heaps of dumped files.

The tower was designed and supervised by architect and engineer Nasreddin Murat-Khan from Dagestan. The credit for completing the construction of Minar-i-Pakistan goes to contractor Mian Abdul Khaliq and the then Commissioner Lahore and well-known literary figure Mukhtar Masood. The Minar was erected under the guidance of the Pakistan Day Memorial Committee which also maintained it till it was taken over by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).

The constructional pattern of the Minar-i-Pakistan and its first four platforms depict the history of the Pakistan Movement through the use of architectural symbolism. For instance, rough and uncut stones which have been laid rather haphazardly represent the chaotic conditions and the lack of any sense of direction among the Muslims in the early days and the humble start of the Movement, which, with the blessings of Almighty Allah, culminated in the establishment of Pakistan.

The stones used are rough Taxila stones. Similarly, hammer-dressed stones used in the second platform represented the second phase of the Pakistan Movement and the third and fourth platforms, which are of highly polished marble, depict our ultimate success—the symbol of glory that is Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention here that the material used has not been imported, but is indigenous, signifying our desire to remain free from all outside influences. The stones used in the construction of this historical monument are all from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Swat, Mullagari and Swabi.

The tower rises from a platform shaped like a five-pointed star enclosed by two crescent-shaped pools signifying the strong bonds of unity that united East and West Pakistan although East Pakistan broke away in 1971. It has 10 vertical converging slabs interlaced with flower-petals, a glazed segment of domes with sightseeing platforms and a central spiral staircase. The circular diameter of the tower is 300 feet, 6 inches on the rostrum side and 400 feet on the outer periphery. Sightseeing is done through balconies provided for this purpose by going up through lift. Like Pakistan, the minar is truly a wonder.