RAWALPINDI: Former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto’s monument will be constructed at Liaquat Bagh before December this year.
Ms Bhutto was assassinated at Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007, in a gun and bomb attack when she was leaving after addressing a public meeting there.
In the last 15 years, PPP workers and leaders have been making announcements to construct the monument at the site.
Though the PPP is a collation partner in the province and at the Centre, the project is the brainchild of Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Noorul Amin Mengal and the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) will bear its cost to pay tributes to the services of the first prime minister of the Muslim world.
RMC to allocate funds for project in its budget, says commissioner
“We started the work to construct the monument of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto at Liaquat Bagh and in this regard have engaged four private consultants and National College of Arts (NCA) students to submit the design and plan after Eidul Azha,” said the commissioner while talking to Dawn.
The commissioner said the private firms engaged in building monuments in Lahore and other parts of the country will submit their proposals. He said that he had sought suggestions from NCA students.
“We would acquire land from the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) to construct the monument.” He said the basic structure would be constructed on Liaquat Road and a small structure would be built at Murree Road.
He said that the basic aim of the monument was to send a message to small provinces that we were united and accepted all national heroes and paid respect to them.
Talking about finances for the project, the commissioner, who is the administrator of Rawalpindi, said the RMC would bear the cost of the project. In this regard, RMC would allocate funds in its budget for the fiscal year 2022-23.
“It is our plan to complete the project before December 27 so that it would be inaugurated on the anniversary of Ms Bhutto. The project will have reflection of four provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s cultures as Benazir Bhutto was known as a symbol of unity of all units of the federation,” he said.
He said that the condition of Liaquat Bagh would also be improved in coming days and in this regard the Parks and Horticulture Authority had been asked to make the plan.
It may be mentioned that in the last tenure of PPP and PML-N, PPP leaders, including former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, had announced that a library and a monument would be built at the site to pay tributes to Ms Bhutto.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2022