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Sunday June 16, 2024

Primary suspect in Radio Pakistan Peshawar vandalism arrested

Suspect was apprehended from Peshawar's Pakha Ghulam area

By Abubakar Saddiq
May 22, 2023
A man walks inside the burnt Radio Pakistan building a day after protests by PTI activists and supporters in Peshawar on May 11, 2023. — AFP
A man walks inside the burnt Radio Pakistan building a day after protests by PTI activists and supporters in Peshawar on May 11, 2023. — AFP

The primary suspect who set fire to the Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar has been arrested, Geo News reported quoting police.

The suspect, according to the police, was apprehended from the Pakha Ghulam area of the city.

Violent protesters including workers and supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) launched an attack on the historic structure after party's Chairman Imran Khan was arrested on May 9 by Punjab Rangers on orders issues by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

Khan's arrest infuriated party activists who took to the streets in several cities across the country damaging public and private property including military installations.

Peshawar was also one of the cities where supporters of PTI unleashed havoc. In the city, protestors stormed the historic Radio Pakistan building and went on a vandalising rampage that culminated in setting the building ablaze.

Angry protesters did not only set fire to the historic building, but also plundered it.

The charred interior of the building shows extensive damage as the arson followed vandalism and looting.

The resulting inferno consumed irreplaceable records and other invaluable items, resulting in significant losses.

The radio station, which dates back to 1935, holds a prominent place in history.

It telecast the monumental news of Pakistan's formation on August 14, 1947, in both Pashto and Urdu languages.

Throughout the years, the station continued to serve as a vital source of information, particularly during critical moments such as the 1965 Pak-India war and the Afghan conflict. Notably, Radio Pakistan's past reporting on acts of terrorism earned widespread acclaim.

The present-day building that houses Radio Pakistan was inaugurated on April 28, 1985, by then-president General Ziaul Haque.

Radio Pakistan's offices are housed on the first three floors of the building, while the topmost floor has the offices of the state news agency, APP, which too was damaged.