Mayor Sadiq Khan attends the ceremony as Chief Guest, installation of Bust is Grand Finale of our 70th independence anniversary celebrations; says Syed Ibne Abbas
LONDON: Pakistani diaspora in Britain has lauded the dedicated efforts of High Commissioner Syed Ibne Abbas and his sincere team in projecting the soft image of the country at a time when the homeland facing great challenges within and outside the soil.
As a grand finale of the year-long celebrations organised by the High Commission to mark the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan, the Bust of Q u a i d – i – A z a m Muhammad Ali Jinnah was unveiled at the historic British Museum in a dignified ceremony on Tuesday. The packed event was rich tributes paid to the Founding Father of the Nation on the occasion. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was the Chief Guest at the ceremony. He, together with Ibne Abbas, unveiled the Bust at the China & South Asia Gallery of the British Museum. A large number of people from all walks of life were in attendance, including British parliamentarians, Justices from UK and Pakistan, diplomatic fraternity, Mayors, Councillors, senior officials of the British government and members of the Pakistani diaspora.
The Bust is being permanently installed at the Quaid’s alma mater, the prestigious Lincoln’s Inn on following day, Wednesday (Nov 29). The critically acclaimed British sculptor Philip Jackson made the bust. In his welcome remarks, the High Commissioner said: “The installation of the Quaid’s Bust at his Alma Mater – Lincoln’s Inn Library is the Grand Finale of the High Commission’s year long 70th independence anniversary celebrations. Installation of the Quaid’s Bust will be rejoiced by the Pakistanis and provide impetus for the fast growing Pakistan – UK multi-dimensional relations.” S p e a k i n g about the Qu i a d , t h e H i g h Commissioner stated: “A strong willed Jinnah became a beacon of hope, courage and provided voice to millions of Muslims of South Asia. To describe the towering personality of the Father of Nation who was far ahead of his time, I wish to quote Professor Stanley Wolpert, a leading American historian, author and the Quaid’s biographer, who wrote: ‘Few individuals significantly alter the course of history; fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly, anyone can be credited with creating a nation state – MohammadAliJinnah did all three’.” About Pakistan, the High Commissioner said: “Today’s modern and moderate Pakistan, 70 years on, adhering to the Quaid’s golden principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline, is on the move forward.”
Speaking on the occasion, the Mayor of London said: “I’m proud to be part of this event to honour the great Muhammad Ali Jinnah, particularly as someone of Pakistani heritage. Muhammad Ali Jinnah is a pivotal figure in history but is also still an inspiration to us today – not just to Pakistanis, but to millions around the world. “As a champion of democracy, women’s rights and religious freedom, Muhammad Ali Jinnah will always be someone who millions admire. I look forward to visiting Karachi, the city where he was born, during my first official visit as Mayor of London to Pakistan “My ambition is to strengthen the ties between London and Pakistan, to share the message that London is open and to encourage more Pakistanis to follow in Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s footsteps by visiting, studying and working in our great city.”
The internationally acclaimed British sculptor, Philip Jackson sculpted the Bust. Sharing his experience of making the Bust, Mr Jackson said: “To get to the essence of the Man, Quaid-iAzam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, I studied all the still photographs I could get hold of, viewed all the available films, read the words of those that had written about him and spoke to those whose lives he has changed, all to aid the build up in my mind a composite picture of the extraordinary man I was to portray. “Undertaking a sculptural portrait is like writing a book. You have to do all your research before you can start. You have to get to know subject, get under his skin, see what makes him tick. Then you can start.” The High Commissioner thanked the Mayor of London for gracing the occasion. He also expressed his gratitude to Philip Jackson, the sculptor, for his dedication and devotion in making the Bust.
The High Commissioner particularly thanked the Lincoln’s Inn for agreeing to install the Bust in its Library. He also thanked the British Museum for providing the venue to hold this august ceremony. At the end, British Pakistani Sufi opera singer, Saira Peter presented national songs and cheered up the ceremony. Background The year 2017 marks the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan. The High Commission chalked out an elaborate calendar of events to celebrate this milestone of Pakistan’s history. Our celebrations started with Mission’s participation in the London’s New Year’s Day Parade. In May 2017, the High Commission organized the Pakistan Fashion Week at the iconic Lancaster House to showcase the burgeoning fashion industry and budding talent of Pakistan.
In summer, the Mission ran a Pakistan branding campaign on London’s red double decker buses on the roads of central London. In September, we presented the Anglo Sufi Musical based on the legend of Heer Ranjha at famous Sadler’s Wells Theatre for three days. Quaid-i-Azam’s Bust The High Commission, two years ago, embarked upon a project to install the bust of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah at his alma mater, the prestigious Lincoln’s Inn, from where he was called to the Bar. The installation of the bust in the Lincoln’s Inn library in 2017 is a befitting tribute to the Founding Father of the Nation. Besides, the installation of the Quaid’s bust sends a powerful message of inclusiveness and cohesion to the strong British Pakistani diaspora of over 1.2 million. It also adds to the rich cultural mosaic of London, where a number of statues of international figures have been installed to celebrate their achievements.