“Cutting juniper trees should be declared a social crime and every resident of the area should become a protector of the trees.”

–Balochistan Chief Minister, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, 2015.

This iconic building with its unique wooden outer architecture is the Quaid-e-Azam Residency or the Ziarat Residency, near the city of Ziarat in Balochistan. It was the abode of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the final few months of his life and has been declared a national monument by the government in his honor. At the height of 2,543 metres from sea level and surrounded by the world’s second largest juniper forest, Ziarat is a popular holiday destination for the people of Balochistan, however this idyllic setting contrasts with the history of the building, which has seen drastic upheavals.

The building has symbolized different things at different times. Built in 1892 during the British Raj, the building was a summer retreat for governors of Balochstan, at the pinnacle of colonial power. After partition it became a monument for Jinnah and a popular tourist attraction. In 2013 it was partially destroyed by a terrorist attack, which saw it as a symbol of state oppression, but just like the 2008 earthquake, the building was rebuilt and restored to its original state in 2014. Today the fight is not for the building, but the juniper forests around, which are dwindling.