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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Pakistani PM Vows Justice for May 9 Attacks, Stresses Unity against Barbaric Incidents


Thu 25 May 2023 | 05:58 PM
H-Tayea

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif expressed his resolve to bring the elements behind May 9 arson and vandalism attacks to justice and reiterated that the entire nation would not let such ‘barbaric incidents’ happen in the future.

Addressing an event here to express solidarity with the employees of Radio Pakistan and Associated Press of Pakistan at Radio Pakistan Peshawar’s building, the prime minister said that a wave of widespread anger against attackers was felt in the country after the attack.

He mentioned that people from all walks of life strongly condemned the assaults at the government buildings and security installations across the country on May 9 and 10.

“There is no difference between the rioters of May 9-10 and the terrorists,” the prime minister said, adding that his government would ensure that such deplorable incidents never repeat again.

He vowed exemplary punishment to the culprits as per the law.

The prime minister said the May 9-10 devastation was beyond imagination and even the enemy was not able to carry out such deplorable incidents in the past.

He said the Radio Pakistan Peshawar was a historic station established before the independence of Pakistan in 1935. The announcement of Pakistan’s independence was also made from this station and the Radio Pakistan Lahore station at midnight of August 13-14, 1947.

He said millions of Muslims, under the leadership of Father of the Nation Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, rendered great sacrifices for the motherland, adding the violent incidents of May 9 and 10 put the entire in a state of grief and anger.

The prime minister said the ransacking of the historic Radio station was against the spirit of patriotism and love for national heritage.

He strongly condemned the alighting of the model of Chaghi hills constructed in the premises of Radio Pakistan Peshawar in memory of the May 28, 1998 successful nuclear explosions that made the country’s defence impregnable.

He recalled that the iconic structure depicted the historic moment where the country’s defence was made invincible on May 28, 1998, under the leadership of then prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

PM Sharif said that living nations protect their national heritage and archive them for future generations. However, on May 10, he said, nearly 100 years old archive records of the Radio Pakistan Peshawar were burnt to ashes.

He said that the archives of Suratul Qur’an programme, which remained unharmed, was a miracle amid the vandalism carried out at the national broadcaster building.

He highly appreciated the bravery and courage of injured employees of Radio Pakistan Peshawar Naseer and Abdullah against rioters and gave them compensation cheques.

The prime minister also directed the finance minister to take immediate steps for the release of the salary of Radio Pakistan employees through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Islamabad.

He also asked the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting to take steps for starting rehabilitation work on the Radio Pakistan Peshawar building on an emergency basis.

He reiterated that this historic radio station would be rehabilitated so that it could continue to air its strong voice for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

The prime minister also handed over the keys of vehicles to Radio Pakistan Peshawar on this occasion.

Radio Pakistan, Peshawar started its transmission from a single room in Civil Secretariat on March 6, 1935, after a radio inventor, Markoni had gifted a transmitter with 30 radio sets to Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum during the latter’s visit for a roundtable conference at London.

The radio sets were later distributed among people to be installed in guest rooms where people used to gather and listen to different radio programmes. The programmes deliberated on regional and international affairs besides sports, culture and socioeconomic issues.

Later, the transmitter was shifted to the broadcasting house on July 16, 1942, where currently supreme court’s registry was established on Khyber Road.

Radio Pakistan Peshawar was later shifted to the existing four-storey building in 1985 comprising Abdul Qayyum Khan auditorium, six studios including 101 FM station besides other services.

The prime minister was given a detailed presentation by Director General, Radio Pakistan, Tahir Hassan about the overall devastation, and losses to its archives and transmitters during the May 10 riots and the upcoming projects.

On May 9, 2023, the violent mob burnt to ashes the Chaghi mountains model in the premises of Radio Pakistan Peshawar, which was constructed in memory of the successful nuclear explosions at Chaghi Balochistan on May 28, 1998.

Later on May 10, 2023, the rioters attacked Radio Pakistan Peshawar’s building including the office of APP on its fourth floor and set it on fire. The fire massively damaged the building and destroyed the official and private vehicles of the staff and the organization.

The prime minister and federal ministers later visited different sections of the burnt building of Radio Pakistan Peshawar and inspected the large-scale destruction.

Governor KP Ghulam Ali, caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan, Federal Ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb, Rana Sanaullah Khan, Ahsan Iqbal, Ishaq Dar, Prime Minister’s Adviser Amir Muqam, provincial caretaker ministers and advisers were also present.