Call to punish culprits of Baldia factory fire

Published March 2, 2015
Baldia incident exposed the worst conditions at workplace, says singer Jawad Ahmed.—AFP/File
Baldia incident exposed the worst conditions at workplace, says singer Jawad Ahmed.—AFP/File

KARACHI: Singer Jawad Ahmed, who sang for the victims of the Baldia factory fire and has been struggling for the cause of their families since the incident occurred in September 2012, has demanded fresh investigation into the incident — reckoned as the worst fire in the country’s history — and asked the authorities concerned to punish the culprits no matter how they were influential or belonged to any group or party.

“It is a secondary thing whether this case is being tried in a military court or any other court, the affected families want punishment for those who were behind the killing of so many innocent people,” said Ahmed, now a leader of his organisation called International Youth and Workers Movement, while addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday.

Also read: Rangers’ report blames MQM for Baldia factory fire

He called for fresh and comprehensive investigations into the incident and said no individual or party found involved in the incident should be spared.

Referring to the controversy surfaced after the joint investigation report (JIT) vis-à-vis the incident, Mr Ahmed said those who had their own axe to grind in the aftermath of the JIT report should not politicise the issue.

“After such a catastrophe, the government should have taken measures to make labour laws more effective but we see no such action on the part of the authorities.”

Mr Ahmed said his organisation would soon launch a movement for the rights of labourers.

He said 95 per cent of Pakistanis were labourers but none of the political parties raised their voice for their rights.

“All politicians do speak about the rights of labourers, but none of them have launched an effective movement to attain those rights. All political parties want to protect the capitalist system to their own advantage,” said Ahmed.

“The minimum wage for a labourer is Rs12,000 a month, I humbly ask our political leaders that can they run their house with such a meagre amount?”

He said the Baldia incident exposed the worst conditions at workplaces and those conditions could only be improved through sustained and sincere efforts.

He said it was time to take practical measures for workers’ rights.

He demanded a reasonable compensation for the families of the factory fire victims and good care of their children. Besides, tens of thousands of other workers facing similar conditions should be taken into consideration and steps be taken to improve their means, he added.

“The government should announce a comprehensive policy aimed at prospering workers; it is all economics, which we have to be taken care of. Better economic conditions will certainly improve security and curb terrorism in our country.”

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Capacity for cruelty
04 Aug 2021

Capacity for cruelty

Those who believe in the human capacity to eschew cruelty are believed to be stupid and naïve.
Education crisis
Updated 04 Aug 2021

Education crisis

It is imperative to avoid measures that could further dent an already weak and vulnerable school system.
Off the planet
04 Aug 2021

Off the planet

Billionaires are yet to match the accomplishments of 60 years ago.
Films and reality
03 Aug 2021

Films and reality

It is hard to remember if films ever glamorised the relationship between first cousins.

Editorial

PML-N’s dilemma
Updated 04 Aug 2021

PML-N’s dilemma

The road ahead for the PML-N is going to be long and bumpy no matter which narrative it follows.
04 Aug 2021

Attacks on cops

AMIDST cautious optimism that Pakistan may be finally beginning to achieve success in bringing the number of polio...
04 Aug 2021

Myanmar about-face

SIX months into the coup that sent Myanmar’s hybrid civ-mil government packing, the generals have made their...
03 Aug 2021

Changing GB’s status

THE government’s plans to accord a provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan are progressing steadily and...
Taliban assault
03 Aug 2021

Taliban assault

Intra-Afghan peace talks should be promoted, but the global community must be ready for the imminent collapse of the Afghan state.
03 Aug 2021

Cancelling Aurat March

THE cancellation of Aurat March Faisalabad is exactly one of those ‘isolated incidents’ which, when viewed...