DERA GHAZI KHAN: Hundreds of antiques and decorative pieces at the 500-year-old Sheesh Mahal, a private museum owned by MNA Sardar Muhammad Jaffar Khan Leghari in Choti Zaireen, Dera Ghazi Khan, went up in flames on Thursday.
Police said the antiques and electronics that had burned down were worth millions of rupees. People in the area said they had gathered at the house. “There were rumours that it could be a case of arson but none of us really believe that,” one of the bystanders said.
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Police said though they are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire, it is likely that it erupted because of an electric short circuit. The staff of Leghari house called up Rescue-1122.
MNA Jaffar Khan Leghari was out of town when the incident occurred. His staff told reporters that he set out for Dera Ghazi Khan as soon as he heard about the tragic incident.
The staff told journalists that the private museum had housed some of the rarest artefacts in the country. Antiques had also been brought in from several other countries including Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Britain and India.
Leghari’s staff told journalists that in the past, former president Farooq Laghari, former army chief Pervez Musharaf, former prime minister Zafarullah Kahn Jamali, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, among many other politicians, had visited the Sheesh Mahal and admired the Leghari family’s antiques collection.
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Upon hearing about the incident, President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif sent MNA Jaffar Khan Leghari messages of condolence.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2016.
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