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Why Twitter is upset over Allama Iqbal’s Lahore statue & Arabic now must in Islamabad schools

Our prolific feature about Pakistan’s fascinating politics, economy, society, culture, cricket, fashion and more — stories beyond the routine headlines. 

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New Delhi: The provincial government of Punjab in Pakistan is removing a statue of national poet Allama Iqbal from Lahore’s Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park after a section of Twitter expressed their anger over how the statue was not an actual representation of the renowned poet, but rather looked “funny”.  

 

The statue was built by two gardeners in the absence of an architect and was unveiled on 14 August 2020.

The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) that runs the park suspended its director and assistant director for letting the statue be erected without permission. PHA Director General Jawad Qureshi said he would make “maximum efforts to get the statue lifted and shifted to another place for improvement with extreme caution and care”. 

Allama Iqbal was a poet and philosopher from undivided India who played a key role in the creation of Pakistan. He is considered to have given the vision for the creation of Pakistan, whereas Muhammad Ali Jinnah is considered to be the one who shaped this vision.

Four TikTok stars shot dead

Four TikTok video makers, one of them a woman, were shot dead near Anklesaria Hospital in Karachi’s Garden area Tuesday morning, officials told Dawn. Two of those who died were identified as friends, City Senior Superintendent of Police Sarfaraz Nawaz Shaikh said. 

The four were attacked at 4:48 am by unknown assailants, according to the police.

“The woman was killed inside the car while all three men were shot outside the car. They were taken to the hospital but succumbed to their wounds,” the SSP said. The woman had 532,100 TikTok followers. 

According to the Karachi police, there were some cases filed against two out of the four deceased at different stations. One was booked for gambling and attempted murder in June 2019, while the other was named in a case of drug-peddling in January 2021.

The short video app is hugely popular in Pakistan, installed over 43 million times.


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Compulsory Arabic in Islamabad’s school 

The Upper House of Pakistan Parliament Monday approved the Compulsory Teaching of the Arabic Language Bill 2020, making it a mandatory subject for grades 1-12 in all schools of Islamabad. The bill was presented by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Senator Javed Abbasi, and was passed almost unanimously. 

The bill will be implemented within six months and Arabic would be taught to grades 1 to 5, while Arabic grammar would be included in the curriculum of grades 6 to 12, said a Newsweek report.

While presenting the bill, Abbasi linked the importance of Arabic education to Islam, saying the country would face “fewer problems if more people understood the holy Quran and daily prayer”. 

Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Raza Rabbani offered the sole dissenting note, in which he argued that the bill was an attempt to replace the Indus Valley culture in Pakistan with Arab culture and it sought to use Islam to “achieve a political agenda”. 

Urdu is the national language and is the medium of instruction in majority of state-run schools in Pakistan. Currently Arabic is taught in some schools as an additional language. Arabic is the original language in which Islamic holy scripture Quran was written.

5 leopards spotted in Islamabad’s Margalla Hills 

Five common leopards were spotted through hidden cameras in the hills of Islamabad, which is popular among trekkers. These include a female leopard named ‘Shehzadi’ (Princess), who was spotted thrice in the last five days.

The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) has warned trekkers to return from the Margalla Hills before dark, said The News report.

IWMB chairperson Rina Saeed Khan said spotting of these leopards was a testament to the fact that the Margalla Hills National Park had a healthy ecosystem. However, these animals inhibit the hills permanently.

The common leopard is a critically endangered species and top predator of the park.


Also read: China says replying timely to India’s requests linked to stranded crew on cargo ship


 

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