KARACHI: Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has rejected preliminary reports on the Baldia Town factory fire in Karachi, and said the simultaneity of the Karachi and Lahore fires pointed towards terrorism or sabotage.
Talking to the media after visiting the Karachi factory, Malik said an element of sabotage could not yet be ruled out and investigations into the incident would take into account the possibility of terrorist involvement. The minister also warned that terrorist activities could be expected in the larger cities in the coming days. He said there was no confirmation yet that a fault in the generator or boiler of the factory had caused the fire. “The Baldia Town factory has caught fire twice in the past; yet the owners made no safety arrangements. An insurance claim for a previous fire is also being investigated,” he said.
The interior minister warned the factory owners to co-operate with the investigations or else they would be dealt with strictly.Malik also assured the media that no guilty party would be spared and that investigations would identify the people responsible for the incident and as well as those responsible for the slow pace and negligence during rescue operations.
Malik appreciated the performance of the police and said “nothing more could be said for sure” until the investigation process had concluded.Sana adds: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that terrorism could not be ruled out as a motive behind the Karachi fire while other aspects of the incident were also being examined, adding that the enemy had become very active in destabilisng the city of Karachi.
Malik said that his sixth sense said there was an element of sabotage involved in the Karachi factory fire.Malik lauded the performance of the police, while adding that nothing more could be said until the investigation process was concluded.
He said that according to preliminary reports the fire erupted due to tripping of the generator.
Malik said there was a need to make strict laws to avert such incidents in the future, adding that no factory should have permission to function until it installed fire exit systems. He said a meeting to review progress in the case would be held in two days.
APP adds: Rehman Malik said there was suspicion that the people involved in setting the fire were present in the footage received by investigation teams. He said that different aspects, including mala fide intent on the part of administration, workers and other motives, were being investigated.
Malik said that President Zardari was worried about the incident and remained in touch with authorities to keep up to date about progress, adding that Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had also sought a report in the incident.