PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has declared that the miscreants involved in May 9 attacks on state installations will be tried under anti-terrorism law. This he said while chairing a meeting at KP Governor House during his visit to Peshawar on Thursday.

The PM said he and members of his cabinet were in extreme grief over the tragic incident that took place at Radio Pakistan’s Peshawar building on May 9.

Earlier, PM Shehbaz Sharif touched down in Peshawar and visited the Radio Pakistan building. Speaking at the ceremony at Radio Pakistan Peshawar, PM Shehbaz Sharif said the Radio Pakistan Peshawar building was the place from where the world was told that the country had come into being.

The premier asked, “Was vandalizing and torching the building, which has a special significance in the country’s history, an act of patriotism?”

The caretaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, the KP governor, federal ministers, including Ishaq Dar and Marriyum Aurangzeb, and other personalities were also present in the ceremony.

On this occasion, the Director General Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation Tahir Hassan gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister about destruction and damages caused by the miscreants.

The premier said a heart-wrenching incident took place on May 9 and 10, adding that nations sacrificed their lives to defend their heritage. “The archives here were torched and the records of over 100 years old destroyed,” the PM lamented. That was the building, he went on to say, from where the announcement had been made in 1947 that Pakistan had come into being.

“Every nation keeps its heritage close to its heart,” he said. The prime minister said that not only miscreants had damaged Radio Pakistan’s building on that day, but also the monument of Chagai and other structures.

“How sad it is that the archive department of the building was completely burnt,” he said. He was of the view that there was no difference between those who had set the building on fire and terrorists.

“What our arch foe India could not do throughout the existence of the country, was done by workers of a political party,” PM Shehbaz said, adding, “Those who had damaged military and government buildings as well as monuments of martyrs on May 9 did not deserve mercy and would be brought to justice.

Shehbaz Sharif announced to immediately start work for restoration of the historic building of Radio Pakistan Peshawar, which was completely destroyed and set ablaze by the miscreants during violent incidents on 9th and 10th of May.

He also said he had found out the Radio Pakistan employees had not been paid their salaries in May, and ordered that they be paid immediately. “You will get the funds in 48 hours,” he announced.

“There is no difference between those behind the shameless attack on the building and anti-state elements. Even our long-lasting enemy could not think of such incidents,” PM Sharif stressed. He said those who carried out these attacks will be punished according to the law and Constitution.

Shehbaz Sharif while eulogizing the bravery and national spirit of Radio Pakistan employees also distributed cheques of financial assistance for the two staff members who bravely countered the violent mob that attacked the building of the national broadcaster.

He said ransacking and arson of Radio Pakistan Peshawar building severely hurt the twenty two million people of Pakistan.

He said torching the national broadcaster and its archival record that was preserved since independence of Pakistan by arsonists is not patriotism, but enmity with the nation.

Earlier, speaking at the ceremony, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the armed gangs attacked Radio Pakistan Peshawar building after complete planning.

She said the PTV was attacked in 2014, and this time Radio Pakistan was attacked under a plan. A large mob attacked Radio Pakistan with petrol and clubs, she said, adding the transmitters and other items will be replaced, but valuable assets like archives have been torched.

An FIR was filed in the case, the minister remarked adding attempts were made to disturb the transmission on May 10 also. She further said many people were injured and shifted to hospital while saving the building. She also stressed that May 9 cannot be repeated and the culprits will be severely punished.

Shehbaz Sharif visited the damaged building of Broadcasting House of Radio Pakistan by the PTI protesters. He went around different sections of Radio Pakistan Peshawar and interacted with the staff of the station.

The Prime Minister was also briefed by Director General Radio Pakistan Muhammad Tahir Hassan about the damages of the Broadcasting House, records, restoration of transmission and rehabilitation works at the Broadcasting House.

Miscreants had vandalized and set on fire the building of Radio Pakistan Peshawar on 9th of this month during the violent protests after the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan, which caused the breakdown of transmission for 26 hours.

The engineering staff of Radio Pakistan Peshawar had restored the transmission on an emergency basis with the support of Pakistan Army.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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