Master of Science in Journalism

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Shahzeb Ahmed Hashim, Lecturer, Centre for Excellence in Journalism

Project Type

MSJ Capstone

Abstract / Summary

The Baldia Town Factory Fire — as it came to be known — was one of the deadliest incidents in the history of Pakistan — the 9/11 of the country.

Over 260 ill-fated people lost their lives in the garments factory named Ali Enterprises, 16 of whom were charred beyond recognition. In September this year, finally after eight years, the anti-terrorism court announced its verdict (ANTI-TERRORISM COURT, 2017). Two key culprits were sentenced to death and four handed life imprisonment. According to the joint investigation team’s report, the factory was set on fire deliberately by the facilitators of a political party when the owners refused to pay extortion money.

The judgement, though delayed and delivered after many twists and turns, left many questions unanswered. Why were the factory doors closed? Why were so many people who died so young when their relatives claim they were working there for years? Why had the owners not informed the security agencies about the threats? Why the workers and factory itself were not registered with the relevant departments?

The judgement did not shed light on these and many other questions that have left a gaping hole in the minds of the victims who survived and the families of those who perished.

This project will focus on the questions mentioned above and also seek the answers. It will also focus on the labor laws and the implementation of these laws in Pakistan. More importantly, it will probe reasons for the deliberate negligence of the concerned authorities and departments and hopefully shed light on the systemic injustice, incompetence and apathy that led to the incident and its aftermath.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This research is openly accessible under CC By 4.0.