Glowing tributes were paid across the city in remembrance of the national poet, Allama Iqbal, yesterday.
The day started with a change of guard ceremony at the Mazar-e-Iqbal at Badshahi Mosque by Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Rangers. At 7:30 am the Navy contingent fell into formation outside the mazar, following which the Rangers, that guard the mausoleum round the year, also took positions. Lt Cdr Kamran Ahmad, the Station Commander (Navy) inspected the both group of guards, the outgoing and incoming. The inspection was followed by the actual guard changing ceremony. Marching to the tunes played by the Pakistan Navy band, the naval personnel took positions at the four corners of the mazar while the group of Rangers moved out. The Naval contingent, which guarded the mazar for the day, belonged to the Navy’s Islamabad based establishment PNS ZAFAR. Major General Muhammad Yaqub Khan, and Rear Admiral Syed Bashir Ahmed, offered fateha and laid wreaths at the mausoleum of Allama Iqbal.
All banks, stock markets and public offices remain closed on Tuesday while some educational institutes organised special functions in connection with Iqbal day.
The Nazria-e-Pakistan Trust also organised a seminar on Iqbal Day at the Alhamra Hall on The Mall. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif presided over the function while AJK President Sardar Attique Ahmed, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Sartaj Aziz, Bushra Rehman, Walid Iqbal, Senator Raza Rabbani, and others spoke on the occasion.
Another seminar on Iqbal’s 133rd birthd anniversary was held by the Markazia Majlis-e-Iqbal. The event’s highlight was Babar Awan’s speech in which he emphasised that the public adopt Allama Iqbal’s philosophy to promote national unity. Awan said, “We should not think about what we can gain from the country but serve it with the best of our capabilities.”
Asma Jahangir, the Supreme Court Bar Association president presided over the seminar while PML-N’s Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, MNA Sahibzada Fazal Karim, renowned columnists Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, Arif Nizami, Aouriya Maqbool Jan and Ataul Haq Qasmi also addressed the seminar.
Allama Iqbal, born on November 9, 1877, in Sialkot is credited with writing poetry that shook the Muslims out of their sleep. His poetry has been translated in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and English among other languages. He died on April 21, 1938.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2010.
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