My name is Wahid Zia. I am collecting stamps since the last 37 years (1980). I created a blog which includes the information of Pakistan all stamps. W/W new issues & all issues of Pakistan from 1947 to date are available on this blog. I invite you to visit my blog and get useful information.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

SEARCHING FOR CULTURAL CLUES ART AND ARCHITECTURE

M.Jamil Bhatti

With the advent of systematic postal service and especially with the use of postal stamps for postal service, they have become a tool for measuring the socio-cultural developments in various parts of the world. The postal stamps of any country depict the past history, present pace of socio-cultural development and future goals and ambitions. Starting from national heroes, scholars, flowers, trees, wild life, music, paintings, mountains, sports and science, stamps tell the story of countries international relations, communications, arts, archeology, architecture, political changes, social development, cultural achievements, physical progress and military endeavors.

Similar is the story of Pakistan. If you go through the stamps of Pakistan starting from independence, you can know the story of its struggle for freedom, strength of its ideology, stages of its socio-economic developments and sonorous of its quest for international peace and brotherhood. The social and cultural developments are depicted in the stamps issued on the occasion of children day, women year, international cultural heritage and educational development, etc. During the initial period of its independence, Pakistan made use of the stamps of united India having commonly the portrait of King George by over printing Pakistan over them. It tells the tail of independence and separation from India.

Pakistan Post Office issued a set of 4 commemorative stamps on independence day on 9th July 1948. The stamps were printed from Thomos De-La-Rue & Co. London. First stamp showed a picture of Constitutional Assembly building, second was about Karachi Airport Entrance, third had a gateway to Lahore Fort and forth showed a design of crescent and stars made by a famous Pakistani Painter, K.B. Abdul Rehman Chughtai. All the stamps are a beautiful mixture of art and architecture and have engraved printing showing wonderful combination of muslim architectural heritage and paintings traditions.

Pakistan Post Office has issued more than 700 hundred stamps including regular series and communicative series of stamps up to 1989. These series of stamps cover about 29 different major subjects including aircrafts, birds, books, bridges buildings, butterflies, famous peoples portraits, fishes, flags, flowers, lions, land scapes, maps, medical inventions, music, paintings, railway, red cross, scouts, ships, sports, trees, and international affairs including brotherhood for Palestenians, Afghan refuges, Namibians and other nations.

As it is a vast subject of discussion, only Muslim art and architecture has been selected for present study. Both are important correlated subjects and have a clear distinction from other cultures and civilizations. Pakistan Post Office has issued 92 stamps on different buildings and about 23 on the subject of paintings and designs up to 1988. All these stamps clearly show the impact of muslims art and architectural heritage. The story starts from mogual buildings like, Lahore Fort, Badshahi mosque, Shalimar garden, Jahangir tomb, Masolum of Shah Latif Bhatai, Tomb of Shah Rukna Alam at Multan and goes to Masolum of Quaid-i-Azam at Karachi, Chatagoung railway station, Islamic submit Minar and Faisal Mosque showing a mixture of modern architectural techniques along with muslim tradition of arch and minarat enriched with especially muslim traditional of calligraphy and geometrical designing. Impact of british rule in India also affected the muslim architecture and added the longs pillars and lengthy structural buildings which can be witnessed from the first issue of communicative stamps on constitutional Assembly Building and Karachi Airport (issued on 14.08.1948), Salimullah Hostel (issued in 1954), Karachi Port trust building and Kamal Ataturks Mausoleum.

Same is the case of art and especially paintings. The first issue of 1948 included a design of A.R. Chugtai, which was internationally recognized. These series also included the tickets on Muslim art tradition of miniature for R.C.D series on its 5th Anniversary 21 July 1989. On another occasion of R.C.D series of stamps at 8th Anniversary on 21 July 1972, Pakistan Post Office also issued a set of stamps on the subject of modern art of portraits. Apart from special issues of stamps, the impact of Muslim art can be clearly felt by examining every stamp issued by the Pakistan Post Office.