=> KARACHI: It has been more than two months, since t -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

=> KARACHI: It has been more than two months, since t

KARACHI: It has been more than two months, since the fire at Radio Pakistan Karachi (RPK) burnt all 14 stations to ash on October 28.

Soon after the incident, two separate enquiry committees were formed. The Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (FMIB) formed one headed by FMIB Additional Secretary Fazl­ur-Rehman while RPK Deputy Controller Engineer Qazi Robaq Hayat formed a domestic enquiry committee. However, the station director, Iqbal Azam Fareedi, is not part of any committee.

A high-ranking officer told Daily Times that the burnt studio and equipment was insured and claims were made for about Rs. 10 million. None of the officers, including Hayat, chose to com­ment. Hayat told Daily Times that he was not allowed to speak to the media and denied that he was heading the domestic enquiry committee. An unnamed officer told Daily Times that the Radio Pakistan premise is quite useless if not reconstructed. “The premises need to be reconstructed although the face of the building is intact.”

The fire caused serious damage to the historical building and its assets. A portrait of Quaid-e-Azam at the entrance along with two valuable specimens of Quranic calligraphy donated by Jimmy Engineer were burnt, the chair on which Liaquat Ali Khan sat and addressed the nation was partly burnt as well, but can be repaired. The piano used in the original composition of the Pakistani national anthem was intact as it was being repaired at the lime the incident. The caretaker federal minister for information declared that the piano was a national cultural asset and will be shifted to Islamabad.

Sindh Culture Additional Secretary Shams Jakhrani told Daily Times that the initial report submitted by the enquiry committee did not indicate that the building would be demolished or reconstructed, although some repair and rehabilitation was needed. “The Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) will assess the technical aspects,” said Jakhrani.

KBCA Chief Controller Rauf Akhtar Farooqui told Daily Times that the KBCA Committee of Experts on Dangerous Buildings (CEDB) had surveyed the Radio Pakistan premises two days after the incident and had submitted recommendations to the authorities. The CEDB recommended that the historical building could be restored after heavy repair work with the same material previously used in construction. The KBCA committee is the only legitimate committee that has already done its job. Sindh Minister for Culture Ambar Raza Nancy could not be contacted. Naib City Nazim Karachi Nasreen Jalil told Daily Times that she would try to see what has been done so far.

Source: Daily Times
Date:1/5/2008