AS dust settles on the destruction of Jinnah Residency in Ziarat and Pakistanis have expressed their point of view on this unfortunate incident, including an apology to the Quaid and recommendations to rebuild the historic building, there is another point of view for consideration by the federal and the provincial government.
The destruction of the Jinnah Residency was a manifestation of the position adopted by separatist elements that by destroying the Residency they were rejecting Pakistan and Jinnah but nothing that Jinnah stated is embedded in wood, stone, brick or mortar. Pakistan, according to Jinnah, was a moral and intellectual achievement.
Jinnah’s principles, ideals, views, statements and vision for Pakistan are part of recorded history and forms part of the print and electronic media and are in the hearts and minds of scholars, historians, writers and the people of Pakistan. A rejection of Jinnah’s Pakistan by destroying the Jinnah Residency will not deter the people of Pakistan.
The federal and provincial governments should seriously follow the policy of winning the hearts and minds of all the Baloch and ensure that the province gets it due and legitimate share of all resources. Grievances of the Baloch should be addressed and removed. The rule of law should be established.
Rebuilding the Residency as suggested by some patriotic Pakistanis is not a feasible proposition because the new Jinnah Residency could be destroyed once again. Instead of rebuilding, the area should be demarcated and a simple but beautiful garden park should be built and a plaque with a photograph of the residency be set up at an appropriate place stating that this is where the Jinnah Residency stood before it was destroyed by separatist militants. More information on the Residency should be placed in a Museum and Library in Quetta for the information of students, scholars and those interested in Pakistan history. This would, in the present troubled times, be an appropriate course of action.
LIAQUAT MERCHANT Karachi