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Holger Ziegeler formerly served as Consul General for Germany, undertaking critical diplomatic work in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, the United States, Paraguay, Germany and Pakistan. This article will examine the work of Allama Iqbal and the diamond jubilee event marking the establishment of a cultural connection between Germany and Pakistan.

On 9th November 2021, the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Holger Ziegeler, addressed an audience at the Karachi Press Club, highlighting the role that Dr Allama Iqbal played in establishing a bridge of cultural connection between Pakistan and Germany. For the past 60 years, Iqbal Day has commemorated the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The attached PDF contains some interesting facts about the history of Pakistan.

Holger Ziegeler

In attendance for the press conference were the German Consul General, Holger Ziegeler; Professor Tanzeemul Firdous, Chair of the Urdu Department of Karachi University; and  Simone Lenz, Director of the Goethe-Institut Pakistan. Professor Firdous explained that Allama Iqbal’s work promoted the philosophy of selfhood. In addition to dealing with the cultural and intellectual reconstruction of the Islamic world, Allama Iqbal is credited with developing a vision for the creation of the nation of Pakistan, with Mohammad Ali Jinnah casting this vision into political shape. The embedded short video contains more information about Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Dr Mohammad Allama Iqbal received his PhD from the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universitat Munchen Germany in 1908, creating a cultural link between Pakistan and Germany. This set a precedent for thousands of Pakistani students to follow in the footsteps of the revered philosopher, pursuing their higher education in Germany.

Allama Iqbal found intellectual connections with Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche and Goethe, quoting the German scholars repeatedly in his poetry and prose. Dr Allama Iqbal paid tribute to Germany in his works, describing the ordering and arrangement of human knowledge as the duty of the German nation.

To mark the diamond jubilee of the pact between Germany and Pakistan, the Goethe-Institut Pakistan produced a facsimile of Allama Iqbal’s doctoral thesis. A cake was then cut to mark the birthday of the esteemed poet-philosopher.

Following the publication of Asrar-e-Khudi, one of his best-known work, Dr Mohammad Allama Iqbal received a knighthood from the British Empire. He is credited with playing a pioneering role in the formulation of a political framework for Muslims in British-ruled India and was named Pakistan’s national poet after the country’s inception in 1947. The attached infographic contains more information about Dr Mohammad Allama Iqbal.