Probe demanded into newspaper office fire -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Probe demanded into newspaper office fire

KARACHI- A large number of newspaper editors and pressmen in Karachi have expressed their shook and surprise over the tire on the eighth floor of Landmark Plaza on 1.1. Chundrigar Road in which the offices of Balochistan Times and Zamana were totally gutted and destroyed.

“This is a strange target oriented fire that destroyed only offices of the two newspapers and no other office in the entire building was even touched by the fire,” was the general comment of the many newspaper editors and pressmen who called Syed Fasieh Iqbal, Proprietor of the two newspaper and the local Bureau Chief M.J. Khatib to offer their sympathies.

Details available now show that the fire took place in the middle of the night and only destroyed the fully furnished air-conditioned offices of Zamana and Balochistan Times in room Nos: 808 and 809 covering over 1,200 square feet. M.J. Khatib, the Bureau Chief of the Balochistan Times and Zamana offices has sent a communication to the governor of Sindh urging an inquiry into the fire, since it was strange that no other office near main electric supply or other services in the building were affected. He said that the fire destroyed the air-condition system installed at a cost of almost Rs three million including fax machines, computers and all other electronic equipment including telephones. The damage, he said was total and could be easily above the Rs. six million figure. He added that it was strange that the fire took place in the middle of the night while everything in the office building was closed.

He said the fire brigade reached the premises late and when it did the water pipe failed to make water get to the eighth floor. Thereby reflecting on the fire fighting services in the city, he added. He said that the two offices were readied for the launching of the Karachi editions of the two newspapers very shortly. That the fire was actually a targeted fire raised questions there was some hidden hand behind the fire, therefore, he felt that a thorough inquiry was needed and should be done speedily.

Syed Fasieh Iqbal, Managing Editor of Balochistan Times and Zamana said on telephone from Quetta that the authorities in Karachi must probe thoroughly into the fire. He added it was strange that it was a target-oriented fire that destroyed only his newspaper offices in the building. He stated he would be coming to Karachi urgently to seek official assistance in a thorough probe into this fire, which was definitely mysterious, and target oriented.

Source: Business Recorder