8 years after the death of 260 people in the Baldia factory fire, the Sindh government is planning to release the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) private report of the incident, and a separate one incriminating Uzair Baloch and his accomplices. Considering the damage the public has suffered at the hands of the fire and the criminal network in Lyari, the information should have been made accessible from the get go.

Although a step in the right direction, the decision to make information accessible looks more like a grand political gesture by the government rather than an acknowledgement of duty. According to both provincial and federal right to information laws, the people have the authority to ask for data concerning public investigations and demand for accountability. Any information that is aimed at greater accountability merits access for experts, academics, journalists and concerned citizens—provided it does not contain state secrets or compromise national security in any way. If the people that might be complicit in such incidents hold the reports that potentially incriminate them, what is the point of the investigation in the first place?

Bringing issues such as this in the limelight make it mandatory for governments to take necessary action due to public sentiment. Thus, accountability for all authoritative bodies is essential and can only be achieved if the people have the material needed to counter inefficiency and corruption. In such cases, when the price paid by the public has been hefty, the credibility of past leadership is in question and the possibility of taking down a violent gang looms, it is vital that principles of complete transparency are adhered to.