Two Officers of Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Lahore have been relieved of their duties over Offensive’ Sculpture 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.
Some suggested that it was the work of inexperienced artists, but Ghulam Sibtain told a news outlet that “the PHA did not hire an architect to make the statue, but worked on it with two gardeners.”
He further explained that the project had not been invested with state capital, and said, I asked some elderly people who come to the park each day to help us create this statue with funds. With the raised money, we purchased cement and used iron rods and wood discarded in the park.
The former PHA official argued that “only the left side of the statue was completed by his team, but the right side remains incomplete.” The statue is also not specific. We tried to paint it golden, but it remains white unfinished form.
Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister of Punjab, took note of the situation of Offensive’ Sculpture of Allama Iqbal, saying that the improper location of the statue was a “sign of negligence” and directed the town regulators to take immediate action against the officers concerned. Lahore’s Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) quickly addressed those interested with the initiative and removed the disrespectful statue meant to be in the national poet’s likeness.