Nasreddin Murat-Khan

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Nasreddin Murat-Khan
Murat-Khan's portrait
Murat-Khan in 1962
Native name
  • نصر الدین مراد خان (Ottoman Turkish)
  • Nasreddin Murat-han  (Turkish)
  • Насреддин Муратханов  (Russian)
  • نصر الدین مرات خان (Urdu)
Born 1904 (1904)
Dagestan, Russian Empire
Died 15 October 1970 (aged 65–66)
Cause of death
Heart attack
Resting place
New Elahi Park, Misri Shah Cemetery, Lahore
31°35′9″N 74°19′58″E / 31.58583°N 74.33278°E / 31.58583; 74.33278
Nationality Russian (1907–1950)
Pakistani (1950–1970)
Ethnicity Turkic
Education Civil engineering
Notable work(s) Minar-i Pakistan
Gaddafi Stadium
Home town Dagestan
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) Hamida Akmut (m. 1944–70)
Children Meral Murat-Khan (daughter)
Awards Medal of Excellence (ribbon).gif Medal of Excellence

Nasreddin Murat-Khan[a] TI (1904–1970) was a Daghestani-born Pakistani architect and civil engineer, remembered most for designing the Minar-e-Pakistan.[1][2][3]


Early life[edit]

Murat-Khan was born in 1904 in a Turkic family, in the North Caucasus Muslim region of Dagestan, occupied by the Russian Empire, in Russo-Turkish War (1877–78), (later part of the Soviet Union, and now the Russian Federation).[4][5] In 1930, he obtained his degree of civil engineering from the Institute of Architects, Town Planners and Civil Engineers, Leningrad State University (now the Saint-Petersburg State University).[6][7] Later, he also obtained degrees of architecture and town planning from the same university.[8]


Murat-Khan was keen to free the Muslim Caucasus region from the Soviet control.[9] As a result, he had to flee from Dagestan—for the fear of his life—to Germany in 1943.[10] He stayed a refugee in one of the camps established by the UNRRA in Berlin.[11] There, he married Hamida Akmut, a Turkish refugee, in 1944.[12]


After the seven-year-long exile in West Germany, Murat-Khan migrated with his family to Pakistan, in 1950.[13]


Murat-Khan died of a heart attack on 15 October 1970.[14][15]

Professional career[edit]

In 1930, Nasreddin held a variety of posts in Dagestan and in Leningrad.[16] He was arrested during the “Engineers' Purges” undertaken by Stalin, but was re-instated in February 1940 as Chief Engineer and Chief Architect of the Pyatigorsk branch of the North Caucasian Project Trust.[17] He later served as Chief Engineer and Director of the North Caucasian Project Trust in Woroschilowsk, Ukraine, till August 1942.[18] Murat-Khan planned and designed many buildings of the Soviet Union, which includes a Lenin Memorial.[19] In 1951, after his migration to Pakistan, he was hired by the Provincial Ministry of Construction, where he designed the buildings of the Nishtar Hospital and the Nishtar Medical College.[20] Besides, he also prepared the designs of the Mansehra Mental Hospital, Sahala Police Training College, the Sinclair Hall in Forman Christian College,[21] the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore and the Textile College, Faisalabad among several other buildings and structures.[22]


Main article: Minar-e-Pakistan
Minar-i Pakistan, Murat-Khan's masterpiece

Murat-Khan's biggest and most memorable work is his design of the Minar-e-Pakistan monument, located at Minto Park (now Iqbal Park) in the walled city of Lahore.[23] The foundation stone of Minar-e-Pakistan was laid at Minto Park on 23 March 1960. In 1963, President Ayub Khan reportedly summoned Murat-Khan to his office and took out a fountain pen from his pocket, placed it upright on his desk and instructed Murat-Khan to "build me a monument like this."[24]

Murat-Khan was very keen on the supervision of the construction and the design.[25][26] He frequently visited the site to inspect building material, construction quality.[27] He did not take his prescribed fee of Rs. 250,000 and instead donated the amount to the fund created for financing the construction of the Minar-i Pakistan.[28] The minar was completed by 31 October 1968 at a cost of Rs. 7.5 million.[29]


In recognition of Murat-Khan's services, the then President of Pakistan, Gen. Ayub Khan, conferred on him the Medal of Excellence in 1963.[30][31][32]

Views and legacy[edit]

Murat-Khan was of the view that each local body should have a chief architect of its own.[33] He was also a proponent of Islamic architecture, advocating the retention of a national character in Pakistani architecture.[34]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ottoman Turkish: نصر الدین مراد خان ِALA-LC: Naṣru l-dîn Murâd-ḫân; Turkish: Nasreddin Murat-han IPA: [nasredˈdin muˈɾat-han]; Russian: Насреддин Муратханов ALA-LC: Nasreddin Muratkhanov IPA: [nəsrʲɪˈdʲin mʊrɐtˈxanəf]; Urdu: نصر الدین مرات خان‎ ِALA-LC: Naṣru l-dīn Murāt Ḵẖān IPA: [nəsrʊd̪ˈd̪iːn mʊˈrɑːt̪ xɑːn]



  • Artasia (1965), Artasia, AICA Regional Secretariat for South Asia and the Far East, pp. 30–31, retrieved 13 January 2014, Mr. Nasreddin Murat Khan wondered why there were no chief architects or separate architects for corporations and major municipal committees. He had been moving around in many parts of the world and could state from personal knowledge that architects did exist in other countries for such local bodies He was of the view that the government should immediately take note of this necessity and arrange the creation of these posts in the corporations and at least in the principal municipalities... Mr. Nasreddin Murat Khan emphasised the retention of a national character in our architecture and said that we were a Muslim community stretching from north-west Africa to the Far East. It should be possible to achieve a certain uniformity of approach towards well-defined features of Muslim architecture as such, even though some of these features may no longer be necessary or relevant, and could be dispensed with. 
  • Biographical Encyclopedia of Pakistan (1970), Biographical Encyclopedia of Pakistan, Biographical Research Institute, Pakistan, for International Publishers (Pakistan), p. 703, retrieved 13 January 2014, Nasreddin Murat Khan, T.I. ; graduated from the Institute of Architects-Town Planners and Civil Engineers, University of Leningrad (U. S. S. R.) 193fj; is holding degrees in Architecture-Town Planning and in Civil Engineering ; was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz by the President ENGINEERING & ARCHITECTURE (PART II) 703. 
  • DAWN (22 March 2009), Remembrance: The man behind the masterpiece, retrieved 6 January 2014 
  • Express Tribune (14 August 2014), Flashback: The forgotten architect, retrieved 14 August 2014 
  • F.C. College (30 January 2014), January 150 Quiz Answers, retrieved 14 February 2014 
  • Jafari, Aqeel Abbas (2010), Pakistan Chronicle (in Urdu) (1st ed.), 94/1, 26th St., Ph. 6, D.H.A., Karachi: Virsa Publications, pp. 171, 198, 216, 225, 273, 320, ISBN 9789699454004 
  • Nai Baat (2013), عمران خان دھوکا نہ دینا۔۔۔, retrieved 12 January 2014