Flashback: The forgotten architect

Published: August 14, 2014

Photo: Nadeem Omar Tarar

Minar-e-Pakistan’s foundation stone was laid on 23 March, 1960, by Governor of West Pakistan Akhtar Hussain in Minto Park (now Iqbal Park). The structure was designed by Naseer ud Din Mira’at Khan, originally from Dagestan, USSR (now Russia). It is said that in 1963, Khan was summoned to President Ayub Khan’s office. The president took out a fountain pen from his pocket and stood it upright on his desk. Build me a monument like this, the president instructed. The towering Minar was completed on 31 October 1968 at an estimated cost of Rs7.5 million. The money was collected by imposing additional tax on cinema and horse racing tickets. Naseer ud Din Mira’at Khan’s name does not appear at the site of the monument.

PHOTO:  NADEEM OMAR TARAR

CONCEPT: SANAM MAHER

DESIGN: SAMRA AMIR

This August, The Express Tribune will feature photographs from contributions to an open call for images from the struggle for independence and Pakistan’s formative years.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th,2014.

Reader Comments (4)

  • Moiz Omar
    Aug 14, 2014 - 1:33PM

    Why is his name not commemorated? It should be.

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  • richie
    Aug 14, 2014 - 2:55PM

    architect’s name, y not?

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  • Someone
    Aug 14, 2014 - 4:58PM

    Information on Nasreddin Murat Khan –> Nasreddin Murat Khan

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  • Meral Murat-Khan
    Aug 15, 2014 - 11:53PM

    To the person writing the article:
    Please note the following (I am Murat-Khan’s daughter):
    My father was given the task in 1959 – not in 1963! Construction began in 1963.
    His full name – Nasreddin Murat-Khan. And yes, he was from Daghestan.
    Also, he had three degrees – architecture, civil engineering and town planning.
    So he was not just the architect, but also the engineer.
    Design concept was his – not Ayub’s!
    Lastly, he never charged for this – it was his gift to a nation which gave him a home. Unfortunately the nation never acknowledged his contribution not just in terms of money, but 10 years of time.
    Please research properly before posting. It is the responsible thing to do.
    Meral Murat-Khan

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