Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s special message on International Day of Labourers

In his special message on the international day of workers being celebrated across the world including Pakistan on May 1, PAT chief Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has attributed the day to 20 labourers who got killed in Turbat last month while earning bread and butter for their families. He said that Allah Almighty has termed the worker as His friend, adding that the rulers should end their enmity with them. He said that we want such a worker-friendly economic system in which ever labourer gets minimum wage equivalent to monetary value of one gram gold. He said that more than 80% of demonstrations are staged by the working and labour class for their rights, which represents their reaction to anti-labourer policies of the rulers and exposes the lip-service resorted to by rulers while advertising their so-called pro-labour policies.

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that his ten-point agenda has the potential of bringing about revolution in the lives of the labourers. He said that in addition to provision of residence and affordable food, the government will subsidize the utility bills by half. He said that about one million workers lose their jobs due to load-shedding and energy crisis, adding that the recent decision of the government to forcibly shut down the markets at 8 p.m. will hit the labour class the most. He said that the rulers do not have any energy and economic policies that may enable the country to rid it of energy and economic crises.

Criticizing the government’s privatization policy, he termed it as a policy of selling Pakistan. He said that the rulers sell the loss-making state owned entities but they end up becoming profit-earning enterprises the next year after going into the private hands. He said that the privatization of power distribution companies is against the national security asking the rulers to stay away from going ahead with their planned privatization. He said that any decision taken by the government in this regard without taking the workers into confidence will entail disaster. He said that PAT stands by the working and labour class in their struggle against privatization.

The PAT chief asked the federal and provincial governments to regularize the services of contract employees and stop the practice of snatching employment through heavy-handed actions. He regretted that to this day, the bonded labour has not been checked while the laws on child labour have also not been implemented. He said that what to speak of modern education, the arrangements for provision of even basic formal education to the children of the labourers have not been made. He said that more than 40% of illiterate population of the country consists of children of the working class. He said that the condition of women workers and housemaids is even worse. He said that they are meted out treatment of the 16th century in this 21st century. He said that the rulers are responsible for torture perpetrated on domestic child worker Ramiza in Lahore as they have not ensured the implementation of child laws.

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the democratic governments protect the poorest of the poor and underprivileged sections of society from various excesses and oppressions but added in the same breath that those who are product of oppression themselves cannot deliver justice and protection to the poor. He demanded that the government employees from grade 1 to 15 should be given a pay raise and the wages of daily wagers should also be increased.