PHA Officials Suspended Over ‘Offensive’ Sculpture of Allama Iqbal in Lahore

Two officers of Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Lahore have been relieved of their duties over an issue pertaining to an oversized bust of Allama Iqbal at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park.

As per sources, Deputy Director Horticulture, Shah Nawaz Wattoo, and Assistant Director Horticulture, Ghulam Sibtain, who had initiated the project, have been suspended.


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Twitterati had a field day with an outpouring of annoyance with the ‘not-so-accurate’ sculpture. Some speculated that it was the work of amateur architects, but Ghulam Sibtain told a news outlet that the PHA “did not hire an architect to make the statue, but two gardeners worked on it”.

He further clarified that state money had not been spent on the project, and said,

I requested some elderly people who come to the park daily to help us with funds in the making of this statue. We bought cement with the collected funds and used iron rods and wood dumped in the park.

The former PHA official argued that his team had only “completed the left side of the statue but the right side remains incomplete. The statue is not yet accurate. We wanted to paint it golden but it remains in its white unfinished form”.


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Punjab’s Chief Minister, Sardar Usman Buzdar took notice of the situation, stating that the inapt placement of the statue was a “sign of negligence”, and ordered the city regulators to take immediate action against the concerned officers.

Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Lahore promptly dealt with those involved in the project and removed the offensive bust that was intended to be in the likeness of the national poet.

  • Is making a sculpture really allowed in Islam? Are we not Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is meant to follow the steps for our beloved Prophet Mohammad Peace be upon him?

    • Is writing in English is allowed in Islam? Is using a computer allowed in Islam? Isn’t the Khana Kaba a sculpture? Are graves also sculpture of death?

      • Yes. Writing english is allowed, using computers allowed but your intention is counted. What purpose you use english why you use computer. Graves are there to remained you that every body in the grave were alive before and is real home for us also. KHANA KABA is the direction For all muslims all over the world so they are not misguided and all have the direction where to pray .

  • Another fine example of creativity being suppressed. Rather then encouraging it, and lending support to make it better, we have to stop it. A nation of zombies, is what we are heading towards…

  • Please remember, as muslims, we are not an icon worshipping people.
    We do not have any concept of making statues.
    The state should take the notice of this, and give a clear cut policy on the subject.
    This should NEVER EVER BE ALLOWED.

  • Making pictures/sculptures is Haraam in Islam. We must all follow the guidance of the Holy Prophet, and fear Allah’s punishment

  • All comments here are idiotic. And art is art that is it. People take Islam to be very complicated. It is a very simple and straightforward religion. People are the reason for extremism and ideological nonsense.
    Such a sad world we live in where people take the simple things and make it complicated.

  • Wow I am shocked by reading all the comments about Sculpture and Pictures. Is there anyone who can give me the reference of Quranic verse against sculptures. But please do not bring a verse of Quran against worshipping idols. I think we should become an INSAN first rather than a MUSALMAN. LA IKRA HA FIDDEEN there is no force in ISLAM, Deen mei Jane Nahi.

  • Dear So called Muslims, if sculpture is Art’s representation, so what about the Humans the most beautiful ‘Art’ of Allah Almighty, why don’t you admire His Art, His complex creation, why don’t you realize your worth, and that how much love Allah Almighty has created. Recognize Him and yourselves, that was also the message of Iqbal, his poetry was also the art that he has written with the intention that you will embrace his message not his pictures and body, that was worthless, moreover you will remain in touch with his soul,
    Ae Muslim kab samjhe ga tow ye Jism-e-khaki khaak hai
    Har cheez ko mujasma na bna
    kabhi khud mein rahna sheekh ley
    Rooh ki asal jàn bhi
    Takhayul ko jeena sheekh ley

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