NEW YORK - A combined meeting of Pakistani political parties with offices in the United States has demanded a high-level probe of the factory fire incident in Baldia Town, Karachi, in which 289 people perished.

A resolution adopted at the meeting late Friday night stressed that the investigation should establish the cause of the devastating fire and fix responsibility on those responsible for the tragedy. The resolution also sought a probe into Lahore factory fire in which at least 25 people were killed.

On other matters, it demanded an inquiry into the killings of Shias in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

Representatives of political parties attending the meeting called on Pakistani expatriates to contribute towards a fund announced by Dr Tariq Ibrahim of the Association of Pakistani physicians of North America.

Dr Ibrahim and others at the meeting assured that the money collected for will be sent directly to the victims’ families. They also announced creation of a special fund to help the victims’ children in their education.

Among those who spoke at the meeting included Dr Safdar Chadda of APPNA, Sultan Cheema of PPP and Raffay Abid of MQM.