Kashif Mustafa Qadri
The death of 28 workers at Gadani Ship Breaking Yard due to an oil tanker blast and the subsequent ban on business activities imposed by the government is causing havoc to the economy. The closure of the whole Yard for the past three weeks is a cause of concern for labourers as their families have reached the point of starvation. It is unfortunate the whole industry is being penalized for the wrong of others. The entire railway system is working, though it must have been closed after the recent train accident in Landhi, Karachi which claimed 22 lives. Closure of the Yard is not understandable. The ship breaking industry caters to 35 per cent of country’s iron and steel needs and contributes 14 billion rupees annually to the national exchequer. Several re-rolling mills in Karachi and Hub that acquire iron scrap from Gadani have now come to a grinding halt. According to an estimate, around two million people are directly related to the ship breaking industry. My only point is that whoever the culprit is should be dealt with an iron fist and taken to task without any discrimination. The provincial and federal governments must take serious notice of the existing situation as it has not only deprived the workers of their jobs but deprived the country of its due economic share and portrayed a negative image of the country globally.