“I stopped inquiring about the investigation into the Baldia factory fire the day the owners were given bail on court orders,” was a statement given by Sharifa Memon who lost her 23-year-old son in the fire in 2012. The fire is the country’s worst industrial incident yet and killed more than 250 people and injured many others. Even at the time, it was thought that the fire was not accidental; though once the government orders investigations people lose hope, gather their pieces and move on. Even with the recent fires in commercial and industrial areas in Karachi and Lahore, the media and the authorities seem to be lost. Neither have they been busy in catching perpetrators nor have we seen them make safety arrangements for commercial activities.

A case was registered under sections related to murder against the factory owners, its general manager, security guards and some government officials over negligence. Even though 259 workers were burnt alive, no precautionary actions have been taken after the tragedy. We are in a state of war, and death from terrorism is a hard thing to tackle, but these cases can be solved and buildings can be made safer. On the day of the fire, windows were found bolted down and fire escapes from the buildings were locked. Now Rangers have submitted a report to the Sindh High Court revealing that the fire was deliberate and members of a political party were behind it. Rangers have asked SHC to keep the findings of the report secret due to the involvement of politicians in the attack.

One would think that terrorism and militancy is our biggest concern, but political espionage and plotting has been our curse since the very beginning. So many lives have been lost over the years, from the infamous bori-band corpses of Sindh to the massacre of Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers in Punjab, we have villains and jesters running the show. Forget Mullah Fazlullah, people in Karachi hesitate to even say MQM out loud in Karachi for fear of ending missing, people in Lahore know full well that CM Sharif can fire them at will and cannot be reasoned with, Zardari was a convict and the rest are no better. Corruption is rampant and people die like flies under their watch. 40 dead here from a bomb blast, 20 dead there from a fire, 10 few killed from police brutality, 25 murdered because of blaspheming, 15 deemed wajib-ul-qatl anyway,  and the rest die of starvation and misery. The Baldia factory fire is a harrowing and solvable case which needs to be back in the spotlight. 259 men were burnt alive in a bolted factory and the horror by which they perished must be investigated with results.