Pictures of significant moments in Pakistan’s history before and after Partition went on display for a special three-day exhibition at the Lahore Heritage Museum on Tuesday.
Famous speeches by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allama Iqbal and Liaqat Ali Khan were also put up alongside their pictures, creating a vivid display of historic snapshots that led to the creation of Pakistan.
Humaira Arshad, the museum’s director, inaugurated the exhibition at 9am and some 200 people visited the display until closing time at 2pm, said Sobia Tahir, the museum’s public relations officer.
The exhibition features several images of Mohammad Ali Jinnah in both personal and public moments, such as from his time in England and from a tour of the Tribal Areas in 1948, some of his famous speeches, as well as tributes paid to him after his death by prominent members of the Pakistan Movement.
Also on display were models of historic buildings from across India and Pakistan, including Badshahi Masjid and Alamgiri Gate.
Students aged 12 to 19 from two government schools were invited to the exhibit as part of an educational trip.
Shaista, a teacher accompanying 30 eight and nine grade students and making her first trip to the Heritage Museum, said the display was educational for both the students and her.
“I did not know about Liaqat Ali Khan’s tributary note to Jinnah in 1948, until now,” she said.
She said that it was thrilling to see the 1887 speech by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan at Lucknow, Iqbal’s Allahabad address of 1930, and Jinnah’s March 22, 1940 address in Lahore.
“These speeches were instrumental in determining the basis of a separate home for Muslims of the sub-continent and it is good to just refresh what we learn in school,” she said.
Mansoor, a history student at the Punjab University, had learnt of the exhibit from his frequent visit to the Lahore Museum Library. He was thrilled to see pictures of Jinnah in Bannu and Gomal from April 1948.
“The Quaid’s 1945 visit to Islamia College Peshawar is often mentioned in history books, but there is no mention of his visits to the Tribal Areas and a 10-day trip to south Khyber-Pakthunkhawa. These are rare pictures,” he said.
A total of 45 pictures were on display, around 25 of them from the Lahore Museum’s reserves and the rest from regular exhibits. Tahir said that such special exhibitions gave them a chance to put up some of the rare pictures and relics in the Lahore Museum’s reserves.
The Kims bookshop at the Lahore Museum had also put up a stall of books on the history of Pakistan, biographies of figures of the freedom movement and geography.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2012.