Jharoka on Iqbals house demolished

Iqbal house

 

Daily Times
By Hina Farooq

LAHORE: Dr Muhammad Iqbal’s residence at the Bhatti Gate’s window (jharoka) has been demolished by a private occupier. The government has not yet declared the residence as a protected building.

Dr Allama Iqbal had resided here from 1901 to 1905. The government authorities had negotiated with the private owner of the house to occupy it in July 2003, but to no avail.

The old structure is located at the Bhatti gate, where Allama Muhammad Iqbal had stayed in two buildings opposite to each other. One building consists of two halls. The building is now occupied by a private band named Hero Band. In this building Dr Iqbal had stayed for six months.

He had stayed in the second building for a couple of years. Both of the buildings have a nameplate on which the details are also mentioned.

Many residents had contacted the Punjab Archeology Department (PAD) to restore the building, but to no avail. The building had an old wooden-carved window that was demolished by its private owners couple of years back to sell the building after its renovation.

Shafiq Billa, a Bhatti Gate resident, said he had seen many tourists visiting the building.

Dr Ejaz Anwar, a conservationist, said the building should be declared a protected property. He said, “I am surprised to see that why the people don’t bring such issues into light.” He said media and authorities have been creating awareness campaigns for informing people about these old values and heritage.

Faqir Khana Museum director Faqir Saif said he had tried to save the building. He said he had talked to the private owner, but nothing came out of it. He said the government should come forward to preserve the building. He said the building could be turned into a museum with Dr Iqbal’s belongings.

Former PAD director general Oriya Maqbool Jan said the proposal of protecting these private houses had been sent to the government. He said the Javed Manzil has been protected by the Federal Archeology Department. He said a request had been sent to the ministry. He said a survey would be conducted as there were many problems regarding the possession of the private property. He assured that the government would take maximum steps to restore the “Jharoka”.

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