The world is made safe by brave people; in every city of the world there are firefighters, they are ordinary people from the public who volunteer to serve the community. They are held in high regard and are well trained. They are provided with updated equipment. They have been seen rescuing cats, but in Pakistan we have no regard for human life.

Karachi, a highly populated city which is facing many issues, including rescue operations needs new dimensions to be scaled. The recent life threatening accidents, one of which was a fire in a garment factory, where hundreds of people were trapped and died of suffocation and burns raises alarms. The bodies were so badly burnt that many defied being recognized. Many people are still in shock and fear.

The general disregard for life in Pakistan makes one wonder which century we are living in, the builders and factory or office owners, in attempt to save a few hundred rupees put thousands at risk. Do we have no conscious on any level, be it a builder, an owner, or the government department that checks these buildings to be safe? Our fire departments are in dire need of advanced equipment to be effective in cases there is a major fire. There should be a rescue team that specializes in the techniques in how to save lives when people are trapped in high buildings where there is no way to reach them.

We see Mercedes Benz and BMW’s plying our roads costing in millions of rupees, while no money is spent on providing rescue to the poor workers stuck in factories and godowns in the congested cities. Our rescue workers themselves are not properly equipped. They have no fire proof uniforms or tarpaulin for jumpers. No proper water arrangement exists in the city to provide water for putting out fire. All these should be mandatory and the first requirement of any government. It seems as if we have to look to the SC for everything.


Karachi, February 25.