Farah Naz Baloch

Panjgur Bus Incident: Who is to blame?

On January 21st, a passenger bus enroute to Panjgur collided with an oil tanker resulting in the tragic loss of 26 people and leaving another 16 injured. The awful incident in Bela brought serious tragedy to the people of Balochistan, especially Panjgur.

The fire spread rapidly causing more people to die . The incident stunned the people all over. Whether it was the nature of the ill-fated incident, the carelessness of the people or the ignorance of the government to be blamed, somehow all were involved to some extent.

But the government’s part is more evident at such a time. It is not the first time; every two to three months such incidents occur that go unreported and uncounted for. However, this particular incident that shook lives of many is considered one of the worst in Panjgur’s history.

Helpless bystanders could only watch when the burning passengers cried for help till their last moments. They certainly felt the anguish of the accident but were not able to do anything.

The inefficiency of emergency services such as fire engines and ambulances caused the casualty rate to increase. There were also no resources to provide treatment for traumatic injuries.

Moreover, the incident happened in the hometown of Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal, where no fire brigade or any emergency services were available for the seriously injured. It took an agonizing five to six hours for the injured to reach hospitals in Karachi where not all of them made the journey alive.

Balochistan, being a backward province, has always remained under ignorance. Reports of such horrific accidents in these poorly constructed roads come out on a daily basis from different places. People are now scared of travelling on these roads.

There is an immediate need of attention towards these issues. With political leaders or bureaucrats lavishing behind luxurious lives for themselves, the common people are always the ones left behind suffering.

It is necessary to consider the causes that lead to such horrific incidents. Accidents do happen, but they can be prevented. There are certain causes of these accidents and serious effects that need to be brought into consideration while examining the precious and worthy lives of the people of the country.

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Farah Naz Baloch, who hails from Balochistan's Panjgur district, is doing a Masters in English Literature at the University of Karachi.

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