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Friday, May 3, 2013

Inauguration of Pak Army Museum. (2013-7)




Inauguration of Pak Army Museum: Commemorative Postage Stamp April 30, 2013:- The Army Museum was established in 1961 in an improvised warehouse near General Headquarters for preserving and chronicling Pakistan Army’s history. Construction of a new museum building in the existing location on Iftikhar Janjua Road, Rawalpindi, was completed in December 1993. Over a period of time, a need was felt to renovate and refurbish the museum for depicting our military history in a yet more chronological manner while making the displays more attractive and interesting for visitors. Renovation and refurbishment activity commenced in 2010 and the project his pecently been completed.
The theme of Pakistan Army Museum is to tell the story of the Pakistan Army with reference to its historical background, birth, reconstitution and re-organization, wars, alarms and excursions and peace time services to the nation.
The museum’s first floor lobby takes the visitor through a Time Line covering important happenings and personalities of the past. Pakistan Army’s command structure is depicted through General Headquarters, field formations and paramilitary forces’ insignias, formation signs and flags. Brief histories of these institutions including raising details, original order of battle, areas of responsibility, particulars of commanders besides decorative displays relating to these personalities and their activities give an insight to visitors regarding the army’s composition.
The drawn of Independence on 14 August 1947 and the birth of Pakistan Army are also depicted in the lobby. Transformation from Headquarters Northern Command (Army in India) to General Headquarters (Pakistan Army), evacuation and management of refugees, Quaid-e-Azam’s interaction with Pakistan Army and Indo-Pak Kashmir War of October 1947 – January 1949 have been covered through map enlargements, photographs, archival documents, gazetteers, orders, instructions and table models.
Border violations, skirmishes and 1965 Indo-Pakistan War are covered in the western two galleries. Prominent depictions include Nishan-e-Haider awardees Major Muhammad Tufail Shaheed and Major Aziz Bhatti Shaheed’s actions and martyrdom. Major operations covered are of Rann of Kutch, battles of Chhamb, Lahore, Khem Karan and Sialkot including destruction of Indian armour at the battle of Chawinda, and Rajasthan Sector.
The southern gallery is devoted to the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, Lipa Valley action, Siachin and Kargil operations. Computer generated special effects, paintings, map enlargements and photographs of Shuhda, fabrications and models give a scintillating portrayal of Nishan-e-Haider awardees Major Muhammad Akram, Captain karnal Sher Khan, Havaldar Lalak Jan, Naik Mahfooz and Sowar Muhammad Hussain actions, and Lt Col Raja Muhammad Akram Hilal-e-Jurat’s action on Bara Pind. Lipa Valley action, battle of Zafarwal, attack and capture of Chammb are also depicted here. War on the roof of the world covering heliborne operations, beating back enemy infantry attacks on Kargil peaks, downing of enemy fighter aircrafts in that treacherous terrain and battling the forces of nature while in an igloo are also included in this gallery.
War on terror, Army in aid of civil power, disaster management, nation building & United Nations Peace Keeping operations are the subject matter of the next gallery. Operations in Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan are depicted through maps, photographs, captured equipment and weapons. Pakistan Army’s contribution and actions in United Nations peace keeping operations and during major disasters such as Earthquake of 2005, floods in various parts of the country and air crashes, development of infrastructure through organizations like National Logistic Cell, Frontier Works Organization, Special Communication Organization, Fauji Foundation, Heavy Industries Taxila, Pakistan Ordancnce Factories etcetera are also reflected through photographs and displays.
A Celestial Galaxy of Gallantry Awardees is the theme of another gallery in which displays in galaxy format of portraits, citations and personal effects of Nishan-e-Haider awardees, photographs, citations and gallantry awards recipients down to Tamgha-e-Basalat have been laid out.
Two galleries are dedicated to Firearms Collection which includes displays muskets, rifles, hand guns, regulation rifles, sub machine guns, medium machine guns, heavy machine guns, light and heavy mortars, anti-tank rocket launchers and anti-tank guided missiles etcetera.
Researchers can also avail the facilities of an Archives / Research Room.
A thrilling band display takes place on selected days in the museum’s court yard.
The first floor of the museum has been dedicated to Regiments and Corps displays.
The verandahs and open spaces also have on display assorted displays of paintings, portraits, photos, sculptures, artifacts, old regimental signs and insignias and kiosks for guidance of visitors.
A chronologically laid out outdoor display of armoured fighting vehicles from the first tank of Pakistan Army till to date i.e. Ferret Scout Car to M4 Stuart to M4A1 Sherman to M48 etcetera, field and anti-aircraft guns, howitzers, engineers equipment and jeeps, some of which are captured war trophies, adorn the western and rear area of the museum.
On the occasion of inauguration of Pakistan Army Museum, Pakistan Post is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of Rs. 15/- denomination on April 30, 2013.