Published October 1, 2012 | 5:39 am
Islamabad: A Pakistani institute that works for promotion of peace with India has welcomed the decision to rename a city centre in Lahore after Bhagat Singh, and said it plans to install a statue of the martyr there.
“This is a victory for people of all religions, and activists who had been rallying for this cause since long,” the Institute for Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS) was quoted as saying by the Daily Times.
The IPSS plans to place a statue of Bhagat Singh with a plaque displaying his poetry and biography at the newly named Bhagat Singh Chowk, it said.
Noorul Amin Mengal, district coordination officer of Lahore, recently took a decision to rename the Shadman Chowk as Bhagat Singh Chowk.
The IPSS said it wrote a letter to the Punjab government in 2001, suggesting that Bhagat Singh should be honoured and the place where he was hanged – Shadman Chowk – should be named after him.
“Subsequently, this request was taken up with Punjab legislators who tabled it in the Punjab assembly once and then again on April 13, 2012,” the IPSS said.
“We congratulate all those whose tireless efforts made this victory possible. This decision will help establish that Pakistan belongs not only to Muslims but equally to its Sikh, Hindu, Christian and other citizens.”
“Our heroes crossed religious and sectarian boundaries to fight the forces of oppression and to gain independence from colonialism,” the institute said.
The IPSS, however, lamented that on the occasion of Bhagat Singh’s 105th birth anniversary last week, his family members and scholars from India were invited but were unfortunately denied visas.
The institute requested the authorities that the Bradley Hall School that Bhagat Singh attended as a student should be converted into a museum, and also named after him.