Lives of common citizens seems to have no relevance in this country, given nonserious attitude and fate of numerous investigations ordered, following such incidences where scores of innocent citizens of Pakistan lost their lives. Whether it be January 2013 Baldia Town factory fire where over 289 people lost their lives, or Peshawar APS massacre on 16 December 2014 in which 149 including 132 students were gunned down by 6 TTP gunmen, or recent cold-blooded massacre at Sahiwal, other than messages of condemnation, no concrete investigations were done and guilty punished. Primary function of State and its institutions to protect lives of citizens, no longer seems to be priority.

Even after six years of Baldia Town Factory inferno, nobody has been prosecuted, nor has anybody been held responsible for security lapse of Peshawar APS massacre. Political exigencies and short-term benefits prevail. However, when State has will, as displayed when extremists made an unsuccessful bid to assassinate former military dictator Musharraf in December 2003, those responsible including Niaz Mohammad, a former junior technician of PAF were punished. The crime scene was secured for almost 6 weeks to gather forensic evidence.

Over 74 passengers have been burned in Tezgam inferno and 45 injured. Within hours of tragic incident and no investigations, Minister for Railways had audacity to blame passengers for using Gas Cylinders and stoves, forgetting that it was duty of staff to prevent carriage of restricted items on board train.

Compare this with December 14, 2012 tragic incident in Newtown Connecticut USA, where 26 innocent children including six adults were killed by a 20 year man at Sandy Hook Elementary School. National mourning was declared and flag flown at half-staff at White House and other federal government facilities worldwide. On 16 December he traveled to Newtown and met victim’s families and spoke at an interfaith vigil.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.