Baldia Factory Incident: Why the Owners were Sent Abroad? The Case Unfolds
KARACHI: While a joint investigation team claimed that the Baldia factory fire was a case of sabotage, a labour rights organisation has said it still holds the owners of the ill-fated factory responsible.
The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) is fighting a case in court against the German clothing brand, KIK.
Piler official Shujauddin Qureshi said: “It doesn’t matter what the JIT claims or found out. What matters is that the factory owners are responsible for the death of 258 workers. And for that we’ll continue fighting in courts.”
Members of the JIT on Sunday left for Dubai to record statements of the owners of the Baldia factory — Arshad Aziz and Shahid Aziz. They met the owners on Tuesday and recorded their statement, according to a police source. So far, the JIT seemed sure that the fire was an act of arson.
Though it seemed that the sudden revelation might jeopardise the ongoing case against the German clothing brand, Piler said that it would pursue the case irrespective of the course the case took in the coming days. In a statement issued on Monday, Piler’s executive director Karamat Ali termed the development ‘shocking’.
He asked as to “why the owners, who are accused in the case, were sent abroad in the first place”.
New developments took place in the case within the past six months.
In February, a Rangers-led investigation submitted in the Sindh High Court alleged the involvement of Muttahida Qaumi Movement in the Baldia factory fire. The claim was based on the statement of an alleged MQM worker who was arrested in 2013.
The Baldia factory fire is one of the biggest industrial fires in the history of Pakistan that claimed lives of 258 workers on Sept 11, 2012.
The case has been in the news for the past three years with rights organisations, such as Piler and the National Trade Union Federation fighting in the courts to get the victims’ families compensation.
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