Jinnah's historic home in Ziarat, Balochistan, where he spent the last days of his life with his sister Fatima Jinnah in 1948 a year after he led Pakistan to independence, was reduced to ashes on June 15, 2013 after bombs ignited the wooden building. It was serving as a museum with Jinnah's belongings on display and was one of the popular tourist sites in Balochistan.
Pakistan's newly elected parliament condemned the attack. It also passed a unanimous resolution condemning the acts of terrorism in Balochistan, while the government announced the plan to restore Jinnah's residence.
Jinnah was the first Governor-General of Pakistan after its independence from British India in 1947 and served in the position for a year before he died. His home was iconic, featuring on the country's 100-rupee note.
Reaction on social media to the attack on his home was strong.
Jamaluddin wrote on his blog in a piece called Jinnah’s burnt Ziarat residency: A piece of Pakistan died today:
June 15, 2013 will be remembered forever. Today, the beautiful building that adorns our hundred rupee notes was burnt and destroyed by militants who flung hand grenades at Jinnah’s residency in Ziarat. All the historical photographs and furniture was destroyed. As always, the militants who committed this despicable act of senseless violence escaped unhurt.
Blogger and columnist Yusra Askari (@YusraSAskari) wrote on Twitter:
Adil Najam (@AdilNajam), blogger and the Vice Chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences slammed the bombings:
@AdilNajam: Dastardly. Cowardly. Pathetic. Jinnah Residency in Ziarat attacked. This is attack on an idea. The idea of all of us. The idea of Pakistan.
Freedom fighter and Pashto translator Azad Pashtun (@AzadPashtun) wrote:
Balochistan is Pakistan's biggest but least developed province. It is witnessing the fifth separatist uprising since 1947 and according to The Economist, “this insurgency is stronger than the previous ones.” The attack on the residency shocked many in Pakistan, but not all in Balochistan.
The government should instead build a new monument to commemorate the Baloch youths, political activists, journalists and professors who have lost their lives in the conflict. It is meaningless to live in the past and snub the present and the future. If the central government wants to politically address the conflict, it should make sure that the Residency attack is not taken as an opportunity to launch fresh operations in Balochistan or justify the kill and dump operations.
Baloch Hal is blocked in Pakistan. Malik Siraj Akbar, the editor in chief of Baloch Hal like many other Baloch intellectuals lives in the USA.
Pakistani-Canadian writer, broadcaster and a secular Muslim anti-Islamist activist Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) wrote:
Exiled Pakistani journalist and editor-in-chief of The Baloch Hal Malik Siraj Akbar (@MalikSirajAkbar) noted possible hypocrisy in the reaction to the attack:
@MalikSirajAkbar (Malik Siraj Akbar): Jinnah's biggest portrait was smashed outside Ayub Stadium in Quetta in 2006: no reactions. The Residency wasn't even his house