Pak Affairs

An appeal to your conscience; Margala Towers Tragedy

As you are well aware on October 8th, 2005 as a result of corruption and negligence Margala Towers collapsed, leaving 72 people dead and over two hundred families homeless. Subsequently a case was filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of all the victims (Constitutional Petition No. 26 of 2005 Saad Mazhar etc vs. C.D.A. etc.) after nearly 2 years of struggling, the victims were compensated due to an historic, precedent setting judgment/order (October 3rd, 2007) by the former Chief Justice Chaudry Ifthikhar who ordered the Capital Development Authority to compensate the victims. During this process the Prime Minister created an Inspection Commission to evaluate the technical causes of the collapse. The final report was made confidential. The victims felt that a milestone had been achieved and an element of accountability had been introduced into the nation and its governance. As a nation we are still grappling with questions of social responsibility and social accountability.

However, last month on September 11th, 2008 an order was issued from the Supreme Court ordering the release of payment/compensation to Ramzan Khokar as well, the corrupt builder of Margala Towers whose innate corruption and negligence claimed 72 precious lives. As you will no doubt notice in the order, the victims were not even given the dignity of representation. Subsequently a review of the order was filed in the Supreme Court to ensure that Ramzan Khokar was not paid by default or inaction on the victims part.

Through this open email, we the victims hope to appeal to your conscience, your sense of decency and urge you to highlight this level of corruption that has crept back into all our lives, on any and all platforms known to you. Tell the local or international media, Journalists, lawyers, architects, engineers, developers, humanitarian agencies, family and friends etc. Tell them that you and I have drawn the line. This is where corruption must end. Even if it is just you and I left standing. Let this be our legacy.

If your conscience is moved by these few words we also encourage you to join us in lighting candles of hope on October 8th 2008 at Margala Towers to mark the 3rd year of the tragedy. Always remember, just by your mere presence you can make a difference. Be there and become part of a new voice of hope. – rising wave of conscience.


Margala Towers Victims

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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