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No difference between rioters and terrorists: PM

Shehbaz Sharif visits ransacked Radio Pakistan Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the ransacking and putting on fire of the historic Radio Pakistan Peshawar’s building 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 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, the official news agency reported.

He said 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 country in a state of grief and anger.

The prime minister said that 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.

Shehbaz 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 highly appreciated the bravery and courage shown by injured employees of Radio Pakistan Peshawar Naseer and Abdullah against the 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 the 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.

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

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