Timber market fire has proven provincial government’s failure: MQM

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has emphasised that the fire in the timber market area near Old Haji Camp has proven the failure of the provincial government.
“People kept on pleading while their lifelong savings were burnt. The role of the provincial government was regretful and criminal,” said MQM leader Qamar Mansoor during a news conference held here on Sunday.
“The fire kept on raging while members of the provincial government kept on sleeping,” he added.
It took ten hours to extinguish the fire at the timber market which erupted late Saturday night. The fire engulfed several timber warehouses and nearby residential buildings located in the area. The fire was difficult to extinguish due to narrow streets, no electricity and water. Residents stood by helplessly as they saw their lifelong savings go up in flames.
“They tell there is no water. Our entire homes have been burnt and we are now on the streets. Whatever we had has been burnt,” a resident told.
Those displaced by the fire have taken refuge in other areas and local mosques. “There is nothing left. We do not even have a roof over our head. Where are we going to stay?” said another resident.
Commissioner Karachi, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui visited the affected area and was met with the anger by the residents. The commissioner left without providing any answers pertaining to concerns expressed by the residents.
A spokesperson for the Fire Department said the loss could only be estimated once the cooling process was complete.
MQM leader Farooq Sattar said the fire had shown that Karachi is a city which has been abandoned. “Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Faisal Sabzwari and MQM MPAs tried to contact provincial ministers, chief minister, provincial and city administration the entire night. Last night’s events have proven that Karachi is a city of orphans.”
Sattar added that over 100 shops, warehouses and residential buildings had been completely destroyed in the fire. He estimated that the loss from the fire would be in the billions.
Sindh’s Provincial Minister, Sharjeel Memon at a news conference dispelled the impression that provincial government members were asleep during the fire. He said provincial minister Jawed Nagori arrived in timber market at 5 AM. “Politics should not be conducted on such incidents,” Memon said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed the Sindh government and concerned departments to ensure that such incidents are avoided at all costs in the future.