Tag Archives: Mall Road

Lahore: Return the GOR Park

By Ahmad Rafay Alam

Several formalities need to be completed before Shabaz Sharif can once again assume the administration of this province. But this hasn’t deterred the former chief minister from letting all and sundry know that he’s back in town and that he means business. What this also means is that the previous government’s grip over the administration of the Punjab— a vice like noose that wound its way from halls of the secretariat, through every police station in the province and into the vaulted halls of the Lahore High Court— is slowly but surely loosening.

During the past few years few, if any, have uttered a word about the fate of the small triangular park that stood in the heart of Lahore’s leafy GOR-I residential district. Turning into the GOR at the intersection of the Mall and Davis Road, it stood outside the chief minister’s official residence and office. At some point this once round-a-bout was converted into a triangular “green” island. Then, to ward off the children, loiterers and die-hard cricketers a fountain was added to the middle of the island (It didn’t work: the marbled floor around the triangular fountain not only provided an year-round pitch, it gave local cricket enthusiasts three pitches instead of one.)

Regardless of whether or not any of these measures worked from keeping the great unwashed out of the line of vision of the high and mighty, the point is that this little bit of green in the middle of GOR— in front of the provincial chief executive’s nerve centre no less— was a park open to the public as a utility area. And even when over zealous policemen keeping watch at the CM’s office managed to chase away the children, loiterers and die-hard cricketers, the little island was another little example of the beauty tucked away in GOR. Continue reading

At least 20 killed in two blasts in Lahore

LAHORE, Pakistan, March 11 (Agencies) – Two bombs exploded in the city of Lahore, capital of Punjab province, Tuesday morning, killing at least 20 people and injuring up to 100 others, police and officials said. One of the bombs went off at about 9.25 a.m. outside the city-centre Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), badly damaging the four-storey building and nearby buildings on the busy Mall Road. Reports said 16 persons were killed. “We’re trying to evacuate the wounded trapped under the debris,” FIA chief Tariq Pervez told Reuters from Islamabad. Chaudhry Manzoor, the director of the agency, which focuses on illegal immigration, said 14 employees had been killed. A second bomb went off in the mainly residential neighbourhood of Model Town, about 10 km from the site of the first blast, killing two children, besides the two suicide bombers, said a city administrator, Mian Ejaz. Police said the second attack was caused by a suicide car bomb. The car had two people inside and blew up after it was stopped at the gate of an advertising agency office. Last week a twin-suicide bombing killed five people in an attack on a navy college in the city. According to private TV channels the blast at the FIA building took place in the parking lot and caused extensive damage to parked vehicles besides the adjoining buildings. On the other hand, the Model Town blast was caused when the explosive laden vehicle was dashed against the boundary wall of the bungalow housing the advertising agency. The two children killed were brothers. Emergency has been declared in Lahore hospitals which have so far received up to 100 injured, the TV channels reported. (First Posted @ 09:50 PST, Updated @ 11:55 PST) DAWN

Lahore Book Shops: Gone With the Wind

Guest Post by Darwaish

Mall road is one of my favorite areas of Lahore and I have some wonderful childhood memories associated with it. There is no other road like it which we all love here in Lahore, probably because it’s so close to the heart of the old city.Yesterday while driving around the mall road, I decided to look for a book shop and buy 3 books which were long pending in one of my wish-list. So driving slowly, I started to recall the old books shops where I used to buy books with my father when I was a little child. To my great surprise and shock, I could only find Maqbool Academy which is located in famous Diyal Singh Mansion and Feroz Sons. All the other old book shops were either closed or they had changed their line of business.

First, I couldn’t believe that all those lovely book shops I once loved are really gone one by one but then I realized it had to happen, keeping in mind the ever dwindling lack of interest in reading book in our society. General public has lost interest in book reading and for sellers it is no longer a profitable business.

There used to be atleast 10 book shops at Mall Road only just 8 or 10 years ago but only TWO exist now.

For example, there used to be one small book shop near Regal Cinema gate inside the small lane (I forgot its name), where there are two flower vendors now. Also there was the Imperial Book Depot and across from Regal used to be the Classic Book House. Then across from Cathedral and High court was Russian Book House.

But my favorite was a small book shop at Regal, just on the left of Shireen Mehal. I think its name was Mirza Book Agency and not only they used to have the best ever collection of children”s edition of famous novels but also The Hardy Boys and every other comic collection. I still remember my father got me a pocket sized version of Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities from there long long time ago. This shop not only sold old books at low, affordable prices but they had a special taste in Urdu literature. The owner of that shop introduced me to some of the finest writers of Urdu literature and I can’t thank him enough for doing that (if only I can find him now). Continue reading