ZIARAT, ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat was targeted with hand grenades and remote controlled bomb blasts on Saturday resulting in killing of one police cop and destruction of the historic building completely. Fire Brigade vehicles were called in from Quetta which extinguished the fire after four-hour long struggle. Meanwhile Balochistan govt has announced to restore the building in its real form again. On the other hand BLA has accepted responsibility of attack.
Three rocket propelled grenades slammed into the heritage Quaid Azam Residency in the hill town of Ziarat in the early hours of Saturday, district commissioner Nadeem Tahir said. A policeman died and the ensuing blaze tore through the two-storey wooden building, damaging several other houses nearby.
“It seems that rockets have been fired from nearby mountains,’ a police official said.
The vast province bordering Iran and Afghanistan contains largely unexplored copper and gold deposits but has suffered a long-running armed independence movement, and what rights groups call a campaign of forced disappearances by security forces.
At least five bombs also exploded in different parts of the building. The historical Residency of father of the nation was completely destroyed in the attacks.
Police and law enforcing agencies have cordoned off the area and started a search operation.
Bomb disposal squad also claimed to have defused six more bombs planted inside the residency. Police said the militants escaped unhurt from the spot.
Frontier Corps and police reached the residency and started investigation into the incident.
Jinnah stayed in the Quaid-e-Azam Residency as he tried to recover from a lung disease in 1948, a year after his successful campaign to separate Pakistan from India. He died in Karachi soon after. The building is a national heritage site.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Saturday strongly condemned the rockets and hand grenades attack, targeting the Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat.
The attack resulted into partial destruction of this historical monument where the Founder of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, spent the last days of his life.
Expressing his sorrow and grief over the death of a policeman in the attack, the Prime Minister prayed peace for his soul and grant of courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss.
The Prime Minister said that all measures would be taken to ensure the safety and security of such national assets and heritage.
Meanwhile Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch on Saturday took serious notice of the attack on Quaid-i-Azam’s Ziarat residency on Saturday. “I strongly condemn this act”, Baloch said.
He said the perpetrators of the attack on Jinnah’s Ziarat residence would be brought to book.
The chief minister assured that Jinnah’s residence would be restored in its original condition.
“I would even call foreign experts to restore the Ziarat residency in its original form,” he said.
The chief minister said the damaged portion of the residency would soon be reconstructed.
Moreover, Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad and Inspector General Balochistan Police Mushtaq Sukhera visited Ziarat on the directives of the chief minister. While talking to media he said CM Balochistan has announced to restore the building in its real form, adding that the foreign architectures could also be called for this purpose.
The two top officials of the province directed the local administration to double its efforts to ensure security for buildings of national significance.
Meanwhile Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah on Saturday strongly condemned the attack targeting Jinnah’s Ziarat residence, adding that the opposition would not remain silent on the issue.
Speaking to media outside the Parliament House, Shah said the opposition would register its protest on the matter in the Parliament.
Furthermore, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi also condemned the attack on the Ziarat residence of Jinnah.