Every book that we read promises to provide us with the most accurate facts and account of history but none of them are able to paint a picture that shows us the reality of that time. The Army Museum in Lahore however without making any promises provides you with an experience which makes you feel like you are actually in the time and era that’s it trying to showcase. Visiting any museum is taking a journey through that country’s history, culture, determination, resilience, heritage and many other interesting aspects based on what the Army Museum specifically exhibits.
Sections at Army Museum
The Army Museum through its various sections provides an engrossing experience into the war history of Pakistan, its fight against terrorism and much more. It is very different from the conventional museums found in the metropolitan cities of Pakistan. Some prominent sections titled Rebirth of a Nation, Quaid and Armed Forces, Shuhada Corner, Nishan-e-Haider Gallery, Life at Highest Battlefield Siachin, Kashmir Corner, Pakistan’s contributions in United Nations, Nation Building Efforts and White of the Flag are all a source of information and awareness about the history of the country which took a new turn every step of the way.
Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan the country has went through many developmental phases and almost three wars against its neighbor and enemy India, the Army Museum not only provides a detailed history of these wars but the exhibits show you the conditions of those times and the difficulties faced by the determined army of the country.
The Army Museum was opened for general public by the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in 2017.
Immediately after passing through the reception counter the first thing that you may set your eyes on are four tanks that Pakistan captured from India. Three out of these four tanks were captured in the greatest tanks battle fought in Chowinda near Sialkot in September 1965 and the fourth one was captured during 1971 War with India. A brief history of all these encounters is also given by the displays to further provide the visitors with more information.
The Country is known to respect its Martyrs and always celebrate them with great pride. It takes pride in the fact that they lost their brave soldiers fighting against terrorism or protecting their land against their traditional rival India. Upon entering the army museum you will see huge marble slabs that have names of the Shuhda-e-Pakistan engraved on them since its establishment in 1947 till 2016. The officers and Jawans have their names engraved on these slabs as a show of respect to them and to let the people of this country and tourists know the names of the people who have laid their lives for the sake of protection of peace and harmony.
As the visitor enters through the doors of the Army Museum he is taken through the lobby to an area that showcases the timeline of Pakistan’s past important events and personalities including a small overview of the emergence of the country on 14th August 1947 giving you a head start into the history of Pakistan.
The 60 feet long top row display information and the photographs of the Commanders-in-chief or Chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan. The middle row reflects the Governor Generals or Presidents of Pakistan and the last row has an elaborate display about the Prime Ministers of the country. It then has an exhibit of the world famous Radcliffe Award that determined the areas that both and India and Pakistan were to receive once an official boundary line was drawn between the two countries.
A relief map shows the emergence of the two wings of Pakistan on the world map, sadly the East Pakistan wing now known as Bangladesh parted ways from the country in 1971 for several reasons. A visitor favorite spot is the newspapers wall that has different clippings beginning from 1947 about historical events of the country. Another corner displays the dawn of independence on 14th august 1947 and the birth of Pakistan army is also depicted here. A diorama of Quaid-e-Azam the father of the nation addressing the Pakistan army has also been displayed.
Exiting the lobby, you set foot in the engrossing lounge which has life-sized statues of war elephants and war horses in action along with their riders and a brief historical account that provides some insight as to when and where they were used. Then you can visit the different galleries that will exhibit different important events of history.
A life size portrait of Quaid-e-Azam addressing the national assembly in 1947 while Lord Mountbatten was seated next to him will take you right in to the time this actually happened. Other galleries have many other interesting displays, some showcase the events of wars that Pakistan fought against India and others have displays of weapons used over the course of time.
This Army Museum is a place that must be on your bucket list because not only will it take you through the rich history of the Army of Pakistan but the history and accomplishments of this resilient nation too. If you are visiting Lahore then you must never miss the opportunity to take a dive into the background of the country to enhance your experience further.