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The Pakistan Monument

The Pakistan Monument in Islamabad, Pakistan, is a national monument representing the nation's four provinces and three territories. After a competition among many renowned architects, Arif Masood’s plan was selected for the final design. The blooming flower shape of the monument represents Pakistan's progress as a rapidly developing country. The four main petals of the monument represent the four provinces (Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh), while the three smaller petals represent the three territories (Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas). The Monument has been designed to reflect the culture and civilization of the country and depicts the story of the Pakistan Movement, dedicated to those who sacrificed themselves for future generations.
From air the monument looks like a star (center) and a crescent moon (formed by walls forming the petals), these represent the star and crescent on Pakistan's flag.

The plan to build a national monument in the capital city of Pakistan was undertaken by the Ministry of Culture who was Hamad Kashif at that time. In this respect, Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP) organised a national competition around the theme of signifying strength, unity and dedication of the people of Pakistan into an icon representing an independent and free nation. 

From a total of twenty submissions, three were short-listed. Finally, the design proposed by Arif Masoud was selected for construction, that revolved around the creation and development of the country.

The monument is located at the west viewpoint of the Shakarparian Hills, and is spread over a total area of 2.8 hectares. The high location makes the monument visible from across the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The foundation stone was laid on 25 May 2004 and the complex was completed by the end of 2006 for inauguration on 23 March 2007. The total cost incurred was more than Rs.580 million. 

The structure comprises four blossoming flower petals, built of granite, representing the unity of Pakistani people. The inner walls of the petals are decorated with murals. The central platform is made in the shape of a five-pointed star which is surrounded by a water body. A metallic crescent surrounding the star is inscribed with sayings of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and poetry of Allama Iqbal.

The murals on the inside of large petals are based on Islamic architecture, and were decorated by a team of artists led by Kausar Jahan and Zarar Haider Babri, who spent a total of 119,000 hours on the artwork.  The first petal features the Malki Tombs, Shahjahan Mosque, Rohtas Fort, Gawadar, and Faisal Mosque. The second petal depicts the images of Quiad-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Fatima Jinnah, Minar-e-Pakistan, Badshahi Mosque, Shila Tunnel, Karakorum Highway and a group of cheering people at Jinnah's public appearance. The third petal reflects Allama Iqbal, the Shah Rukn-e-Alam's Tomb, Mahabat Khan Mosque, Indus Valley Civilization, Lahore Fort and Indus River Delta. The fourth petal comprises the images of Sheesh Mehal, Lahore, Shalamar Gardens, the Uch Sharif Tomb, Islamia College Peshawar, the Ziarat Residency, the Khyber Pass and a polo match. Pakistanre

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