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Tuesday Feb 02 2021

Punjab govt removes Allama Iqbal's sculpture from Lahore park after social media backlash

Workers uproot the Allama Iqbal sculpture in Lahore. Photo: Rai Shahnawaz Twitter account 

  • Park management removes Allama Iqbal sculpture after it became the subject of controversy on social media 
  • Sculpture was made by the park's gardeners, expenses were incurred from their own pocket, says PHA head Yasir Gillani
  • The sculpture will be reinstalled after improvements are made to it, says park's management

LAHORE: After an Allama Iqbal sculpture caused a hue and cry on social media, the city's Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) announced Tuesday that it will be taken down and reinstalled after improvements are made to it. 

Nadia Tufail, the spokesperson of the park located in the city's Gulshan-e-Iqbal area, spoke to The News to confirm that the sculpture is being removed and will be put up again after necessary improvements. 

A picture was shared on Twitter by a person, showing a group of workers uprooting the boundary fence surrounding the sculpture. 

"After going viral on social media, Iqbal's structure is being uprooted," he wrote. 

Yasir Gillani, Chairman PHA, had earlier clarified that the statue had been built by the park's gardeners out of their sheer love for Allama Iqbal.

"Dear, this is prepared by maalis at their own , they made it in sheer love for Iqbal and to pay homage from their heart. Authority didn't approve or even paid a single penny for it.

"WE WILL ADDRESS IT but can anyone see from maalis eye's, their love and their عقیدت," he wrote. 

Yasir said that since the structure was built by the gardeners out of their own pocket money, no action will be taken against them. However, he said that clear directives had been issued to ensure that no sculpture is built inside the park without the park management's permission.