PM Shehbaz vows exemplary punishment to the culprits of May 9 riots

Ishaq Khan

PESHAWAR: Those who were involved in ransacking, torching and attacking the sensitive installations on May 9 and 10 would be given no concession and they would be dealt with an iron hand, said by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said this during an event at Radio Pakistan Peshawar’s building on Thursday. Those who attacked the national buildings and set fire to the historic Radio Pakistan Peshawar’s building exposed the barbaric mindsets of the attackers, who had no regard for humanity and national heritage, PM Shehbaz said.

PM Shehbaz said that the attacks, ransacking and assaults at the government buildings and security installations across the country on May 9 and 10 brought shame to the country and clearly exposed the agenda of those who are trying to destabilize the country for their own political benefits.  

PM Shehbaz vowed exemplary punishment to the culprits as per the law.

“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.

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, PM said.

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 the Radio Pakistan Peshawar were burnt to ashes.

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.

Radio Pakistan, Peshawar started its transmission from a single room in the 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.