BAHAWALPUR (AweomePakistan.Net): Standing proudly near Farid Gate, the historic cannon is a famed hallmark of Bahawalpur City. The 200-year-old ancient cannon, which was previously situated at the Derawar Fort, had served during the Abbasi Empire.
The cannon was installed in September 2015 with the personal efforts of the then Bahawalpur DCO Saqib Zafar. This cannon is bigger in size as compared to the
one installed at Lahore’s Mall Road. With its unique distinctive style, it immediately captured the interest of the people, while it also serves as the historical heritage for the tourists.
The cannon had been installed after attaining proper permission from the descendants and heirs of his Highness Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan-V Abbasi, the chief of Bahawalpur State. The district government carried out necessary repair and maintenance work on the cannon and restored it to its original condition.
The restoration of the cannon was undertaken with a view to highlight its historical importance and make it attractive to local as well as foreign tourists.
Saqib Zafar said the plan was aimed at restoration of the lost grandeur of this old city, which had treasure of historic buildings, monuments and parks, including the cannon.
He said the step helped in giving international recognition to Bahawalpur and in boosting tourism in the area.
He added the lawmakers of the area, traders, and others were also taken on board for the purpose.
The cannon is a late 18th century field artillery piece which was used in the expansion of the territories of Bahawalpur State and was placed to defend the Derawar Fort, the former Abbasi family’s ceremonial and political centre of government.
The vintage masterpiece (cannon) was originally manufactured in Bahawalpur State. It was built with brass barrel and cast which were acquired from Garhi Ikhtiar Khan, Rahim Yar Khan. At that time Rahim Yar Khan used to serve as the major arms centre that contained large forges during the Rule of Nawab Muhammmad Bahawal Khan-II Abbasi, who ruled from 1772 to 1809.
Residents appreciate move
A resident of Mohammadia Colony, Bahawalpur Sajjad Ahmad told The Express Tribune the district government’s step of installing the cannon as a monument is a positive step towards preservation of Bahwalpur’s heritage. He added such steps are welcomed by the people and attract tourists.
Similarly, another resident of Model Town Arshad Mehmood said installation of cannon proves that Bahawalpur was a strong state which has its own state-of-the-art military artillery. He maintained such monuments should be installed on more locations to aware the people of Bahawalpur about its history. He pointed out the British and Mughal era monuments share a history with Bahawalpur that dates back to hundreds of years.
Published in The Express Tribune, By Kashif Zafar