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Wednesday February 21, 2024

PM Shehbaz likens May 9 vandals to terrorists

PM Shehbaz says govt would ensure such deplorable incidents never repeat again, vows exemplary punishment to the culprits as per law

By APP
May 25, 2023
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visits the building of Radio Pakistan in Peshawar on May 25, 2023 which was burnt during May 9 protests. — PM Office
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visits the building of Radio Pakistan in Peshawar on May 25, 2023 which was burnt during May 9 protests. — PM Office

PESHAWAR: To show solidarity with Radio Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the ransacking and putting on fire of the historic building of the agency in Peshawar exposed the barbaric mindsets of the attackers, who had no regard for humanity and national heritage.

Addressing an event to express solidarity with the employees of Radio Pakistan and Associated Press of Pakistan, the PM said that a wave of widespread anger against attackers was felt in the country after the attack on the historic building.

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 PM 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 in 1947.

He said millions of Muslims, under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, rendered 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 building was against the spirit of patriotism and love for national heritage.

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

PM Shehbaz 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 Radio Pakistan were burnt to ashes.

He highly appreciated the bravery and courage of injured employees of Radio Pakistan 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.

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

Earlier, the PM was given a detailed presentation by the Director General of Radio Pakistan, Tahir Hassan, about the overall devastation, and losses to its archives and transmitters during the riots and the upcoming projects.

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

Later on May 10, the rioters attacked Radio Pakistan's building and set it on fire. The fire massively damaged the building and destroyed the official and private vehicles of the staff and the organisation.

The prime minister and federal ministers later visited different sections of the burnt building and inspected the destruction.

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