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ABOUT six years ago the Cutty Sark — a 19th century historical British clipper ship — caught fire near the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, and burned for several hours until the fire brigade finally extinguished the flames.

All that remained was less than half of the original structure: fragments of wood, fabric and rope: the reduced ship was dead. Or so we thought.

With the aid of external funding, a team of skilled conservator-restorers began to work on repairing the ship, ultimately finishing the project within a couple of years. A previously ruined piece of national history had been incredibly returned to its former glory.

In Balochistan, the Ziarat Residency was where Jinnah spent the last days of his life, a beautiful building soaked in decades upon decades of history, this estate was declared a national monument and heritage site.

Like the Cutty Sark, the Ziarat Residency was made almost entirely of wood; its fragile structure and susceptibility to fires proved fatal when the ‘Balochistan Liberation Army’ used explosives to devastate Jinnah’s historic home.

Onlookers watched as the gorgeous building went down in flames, taking its history with it. The BLA does not realise that by destroying this monument, they have inflicted a wound upon Pakistan and, therefore, themselves: this act of destruction will certainly not bring about anything useful and has heartbreakingly led to the loss of a grand historic structure.

However, I believe that all wounds are healable no matter what the size or severity.

When the British Cutty Sark was destroyed, the general public were convinced that the ship was a lost cause; it appeared well beyond repair.

In spite of this, the ship was successfully restored. The Ziarat Residency, though currently in a bleak state, can absolutely be refurbished to the pinnacle of preservation. This task shall require the abilities of specialist conservator-restorers who will need to be supported by government funding.

The importance of the restorers’ expertise is colossal, considering the enormity of the venture; regular government contractors will not be appropriate for this scheme. Though difficult in the beginning and fairly time-consuming, this project will bring the Ziarat Residency back to life, standing stronger than ever.

Certain national groups and organisations (such as the ‘Aga Khan Trust for Culture’ which have taken part in many previous projects, such as the restoration of Baltit Fort, Hunza) should supervise the restoration mission, making sure that things are done correctly and accurately.

The Ziarat Residency will rise from its ashes, shining brighter than ever, proving that history never dies.


Comments (9) Closed

Saeed Jun 19, 2013 09:52am

If people of Pakistan not goverment fund this project that be wonderful . people only talk when it comes to actual work we all same terrorist and destroyer. Let the ashes tell us our true worth.

anon Jun 19, 2013 01:44pm

Time will tell if Ziarat Residency is restored....

Kdspirited Jun 19, 2013 07:11pm

Here here to this wondeful suggestion. But I am not sure I expect this govt. to do anything about it. In a nation which could not properly mourn the burning down of this historic site, bring its culprits to justice or even lower the flags in the country in protest there is no hope for this precious monument to be restored. The only people who will pay attention to this will be overseas Pakistanis. Who I think are more patriotic than the residents themselves. My appeal to the OSP is to fund this project and restore the building.

Ahmed Jun 19, 2013 07:26pm

The vast majority of the British dont live in the dirt poor circumstances that the vast majority of Pakistanis live. The money would be better spent on improving education in Baluchistan.

asif109 Jun 20, 2013 03:32am

you are comparing white people to pakistanis, there is no comparison.

a-jay Jun 20, 2013 03:27pm

@Ahmed: How do you define education. This is education.

Afif Naeem Jun 20, 2013 07:51pm

Is will rise from the ashes, like Jesus arose from the dead!

s.Imam Jun 21, 2013 12:21am

It is the terrorism stupid. Rebuild for what? - to be bombed again. Until and unless we control the rouge elements nothing could be done. Our progress has been halted for some time now. Unfortunately, we are not a nation. Instead we are are a of people divided as muhajir, punjabi, sindhi, balouchi and pathan. We are unable to think and see beyond our biases. Until we act as one, nothing would change.

Anwar Jun 19, 2013 11:31am
we really condemn these terrorist acts, but why the writer give more importance to a building rather than innocent girls those were killed in suicide attack. we are strange people, we do not follow what Quid said, but we get angry over the destruction of building where Quid spent few days of life. if we really love Quid than we must show in practice and try to make Pakistan a democratic country where every nation has equal rights. now just look to the current federal government cabinet, do you think all provinces have equal share? not at all. we people of Quetta feel really sad over killing of our people and we do not see any support from people of our country fellow.