Allama Iqbal sculpture: Two PHA officials suspended after backlash

Web Desk
The Allama Iqbal sculpture in Lahore which was 

  • The officials were suspended "with immediate effect"
  • PHA officials were found guilty of "inefficiency and negligence towards duty"
  • A day earlier, people had taken to social media to poke fun and criticise the sculpture of Allama Iqbal built in a Lahore park

LAHORE: A day after a storm had stirred on social media regarding the Allama Iqbal sculpture, the city's Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) announced Wednesday that it had suspended two officials.

Shah Nawaz Wattoo, the park's Deputy Director Horticulture, and Assistant Director Horticulture Ghulam Sibtain, have been suspended with "immediate effect", according to a press release by the PHA. 

The two officials were suspended after being found guilty of "inefficiency and negligence of duty" stated the press release. 

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

Pictures of the Allama Iqbal sculpture, built at a park in Lahore's Gulshan-e-Iqbal area, went viral on social media after people pointed out that it hardly resembled the legendary poet. 

Shortly after people started making fun of the sculpture, the PHA responded to the controversy by taking it down. The chairman of the authority tweeted that the sculpture was built by the gardeners of the park, who had done so out of their affection for Iqbal and paid from their own pocket for it. 

"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,, Yasir Gillani, chairman of the PHA, had tweeted yesterday. 

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

Yasir had 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 stated that clear directives had been issued to ensure that no sculpture is built inside the park without the park management's permission. 

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 had been 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.