Before 1947: A gallery of rare pictures | Pakistan

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Every year on August 14, as the clock strikes midnight, Pakistan remembers its past. The day, exactly 70 years from today, a new country was born amidst bloodshed and horror, and hope. 

But there is more to the past. There is a history, a lifetime, before 1947 that we often forget, or omit from our collective consciousness.

Geo.tv was provided rare access to the paintings, photographs and documents on display at the Punjab government’s Archives Department. 

Below is a glimpse of their collection.

1. A painting of Badshahi Mosque shows that the River Ravi once flowed outside its boundary walls (1854)

2. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s handwritten letter to the Governor of Punjab (1867)

3. Sir Robert Sandeman, the governor general of Balochistan, with a tribal group from Balochistan (1862)

4. A handwritten note by Zaib-un-Nissa, a Mughal princess and the eldest daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb (Date unknown)

5. The jewels and horse of Ranjit Singh (1844)

6. Punjab Boundary Commission set up to demarcate boundary lines for the partition of Punjab (1947)

7. A painting of Ranjit Singh capturing his final days (1839)

8. Ranjit Singh in a gathering at Sheesh Mahal held after the conquest of Kashmir. (1819)

9. A painting of the people of Multan (1854)

10. A collection of stamps from the early days post-partition

11. Duleep Singh, Ranjit Singh’s youngest son (Date Unknown)

12. A map of Lahore during Ranjit Singh’s rule (1837)

13. Treaty of Amritsar between the British and Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1809)

14. The Tomb of Anarkali where the above documents are at display


—Compiled by Benazir Shah