Positioned in the middle of the Greater Iqbal Park, formerly known as Minto Park and located on the outskirts of the Walled City in Lahore, Minar-e-Pakistan, also known as the Tower of Pakistan, is regarded as a historical monument in Pakistan. Also considered the national emblem of the country and an expression of post-colonial national identity, the minar stands on a base of about 26 feet (8 m) tall, designed like the unfolding petals of a blooming flower and rises another 204 feet (62 m) into the sky, making it around 230 feet (70 m) above the ground.
It was built between 1960 and 1968 on the site where the All-India Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution on 23 March 1940, which was the first official call for a different country, a separate and independent homeland for the Muslims of British India, with the Muslim majority areas of northeastern and northwestern zones of the country, grouped as an independent state. Eventually, the resolution paved the way to the emergence of an independent Pakistani state in 1947.
Designed by Nasreddin Murat-Khan, a Russian-born Pakistani architect and civil engineer, Minar-e-Pakistan, the iconic national monument of Pakistan, reflects a blend of Mughal, Islamic and modern structural engineering.
While the minaret, accessible by an elevator, offers a panoramic view of the city to visitors, the base consists of four platforms, the first of which is built with uncut stones from uncut stones from Taxila, to symbolise the humble beginning of the struggle for freedom. While the second platform is made of mallet dressed stones and the third is of chiselled stones, the fourth and final platform is made of spotless and polished white marble.
The rostrum of the tower, facing the Badshahi Mosque, is built of patterned tiles and the base contains botanical engravings on ten focalizing white marble commemorative plaques, containing the text of the Lahore Resolution in Urdu, Bengali and English, as well as the contents of the Delhi Resolution, passed on 9 April 1946.
Apart from that, there are several other plaques, containing inscriptions of Quranic verses and 99 properties of God in Arabic calligraphy, the National Anthem of Pakistan in Urdu and Bengali, excerpts from the speeches of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Urdu, Bengali and English and also a few couplets written by Sir Muhammad Iqbal, popularly known as Allama Iqbal, one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century in Urdu, whose vision of a cultural and political ideal for the Muslims of British India was to animate the impulse for Pakistan. The structure is also decorated with the imagery of crescents and stars, signifying the Islamic culture of the country.
The foundation stone of the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore was laid on 23 March 1960 and the construction of the tower was completed after eight years on 21 October 1968. The National Tower is surrounded by a huge park, decorated with plants and flowers, an artificial lake and gurgling fountains. The location is often used for religious events, political meetings and rallies. But as the rallies have often caused damage to the surrounding plants and gardens, the Punjab government considered banning any political or non-political large gatherings in the area in 2014.