Pakistan: workers’ strike after the brutal killing of two brick kiln Christian workers

Today three days brick kiln workers general strike at all Bhattas, was callled by Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union on 7, 8, 9 November against the brutal killing of two Bhatta, brick kiln, Christian workers Shama and Shahzad.

The strike call was given by Mehmood Butt, general secretary PBMU and seniour vice president AWP Lahore, at a press conference at Lahore Press Club along with Yousaf Baloch, chairman Pakistan Workers Confederation, Dr. Ashraf Nizami, president Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Punjab, Amir Suhail general secretary Punjab Union of Journalist, Ghulam Fatima secretary Bonded Labour Liberation Federation (BLLF), Syeda Deep social activist, Salman Akram Raja seniour advocate, Irfan Mufti, South Asia Partnership, Niaz Khan Carpet Workers leader, Choudry Imtiaz Ahmad vice president AWP Punjab and Farooq Tariq general secretary AWP

Later Abid Hasan Minto president AWP speaking at a rally by AWP Lahore condemned the killing in strongest terms and extended full support the strike action. The rally was attended by hundreds of activists, Choudry Naeem Shakir advocate, Rabia Bajwa advocate, Zahid Pervaiz president AWP Lahore, Shazia Khan GS AWP lahore also spoke on the occasion.

There was a great anger at the killings. The press conference was attended by dozens of sympathetic journalists and many more came for the rally. We hope to have good result.

During the press conference, I called on chief minister to visit the area, I was live broad cast by some television channels, within hours, the chief minister Punjab went to Kot Radha Krishan and visited the family, announced 5 million rupees each ($50,000) compensation for the two and also announced 20 acre agriculture land for the family.

Farooq Tariq

 Stop killing non-Muslim workers in the name of religion, demands NTUF


Kidnappers of Anjali, and owner of brick kiln should be taken to task, speakers of protest demo.

Karachi, November 07: The growing religious extremism in Pakistan against religious minorities, especially Christian workers and Hindu Haris has created a slavery-like situation for them. Vested interests in the name of religion are violating law and social norms and the State is not taking any effort to stop them, said the speakers of a protest demo against the killing of a Christian couple at Kot Radha Kirshan and kidnapping of a 12 years old Hindu girl Anjali and her forced conversion and marriage in Daharki.

The protest demo was organized by National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) at Karachi Press Club (KPC) led by central president Rafiq Baloch and NTUF Sindh chapter general secretary Riaz Abbasi. A large number of labors, women and civil society members were present.

The speakers said that the State and ruling classes should change their attitude towards the atrocities on non-Muslims and stop those hands killing non-Muslims and forcing their conversion. They said in Pakistan living conditions for workers have been deteriorating with every passing day. They have been tormented in the garb of religious, ethnic and linguistic terrorism. The laws of land and the State apparatus have failed totally to give protection to these oppressed workers.

They said this cruelty on workers could only be stopped by the workers themselves, through their unity and solidarity. They said hundreds of thousands of working families, especially Christian workers have been toiling hard like modern day salves at brick kilns where they faced forced labor. In Sindh province the Hindu Haris are living a miserable life. Recently, the dead body of a Hindu Hari Bhooro Bheel was exhumed and thrown out of the graveyard. The girls of Hindu Haris are being kidnapped and forcibly married after covers ion under duress. The tragedy of 12 years old Anjali Menghwar is a recent example
in this regard.

They said the majority of brick kiln workers are Christians and they work like slaves. They are being bought and sold like slaves and face physical and sexual violence. The recent example of this brutality is burning alive of Shahbaz Masih and his wife Shamma Masih at Kot Radha Kirshan. This couple used to work as bonded labor at brick kiln of one Yusuf. In fact this was an industrial dispute that was pained in the color of religious blasphemy by the owner of the kiln.

They said the State is supporting those torturing workers. If the workers protest, police beat them with batons, open firing on them and arrest them under anti-terrorist laws. The political and religious parties support to the tormenters of workers because they are the major financers of these political and religious parties. They said the police by booking dozens of people in the case of murder of Christian couple conspired to weaken the case.

The protester demanded that the owner and manager of the brick kiln be arrested and taken to the task. The heirs of the deceased should be given compensation of Rs2million each. The religious violence and suppression of Hindus, especially Bheel, Kolhi and Menghwar Haris should be stopped. The minor girl Anjali should be handed over to her family and strict action be taken against her kidnappers.

Those spoke included Rafiq Baloch vice president Pakistan Workers Confederation, Nasir Mansoor Deputy General Secretary National Trade Union Federation, Dr Riaz Shaikh, teacher SZABIST, prominent lawyers Yaseen Azad, Mustafa Lakhani, Ibrarul Hasan , Salahudin Gandapur, labour leader Riaz Abbasi, Zehra Khan general secretary Home Based Women Workers Federation, comrade Rasheed Secretary Communist Party Pakistan Karachi branch, Sultan Mehmood of JKPNP, Muhammad Jabbir of Baldia factory Fire victims Association, Mushtaq Ali Shan of Sindh Agriculture General workers union, Mudar Zaman of Rail way mazdoor union ,Abdul Rehnan Afridi of J&P Coats union and Taukeer Abbas of PIA Hotel Union.

Nasir Mansoor
Deputy General Secretary
National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (NTUF)

 Statement: PLF condemns killing of brick kiln workers

Pakistan Labour Federation (PLF) has strongly condemned the brutal killing and then burning of bodies of the worker couple in Punjab. In a statement here Wednesday, the (PLF) President Asaf F Vardag, Founder/Secretary General, Mrs Atia Saleem Chairperson and Mrs. Shumalia sadiq Secretary Women wing Ali demanded the provincial Government of Punjab to arrest the owner and other responsible and try them in Anti-Terrorism court.

They also condemned that the rapidly rising list of attacks on religious minorities, the Christian couple was reported to be beaten and their bodies were put in a burning brick kiln in on November 4. Only due some dispute between the couple and the kiln owner.

They demanded to stop the attacks on minorities and said that 2013 as one of the darkest years for the Christian community in Pakistan. They demanded to implement the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in which has directed Government to form a National Council for minorities’ rights with the mandate to tailor policy recommendations for safeguarding and protecting minorities’ rights.

They appreciate the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif statement in which he strongly condemned the brutal murder of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan and declared it “an unacceptable crime”. And said that”A responsible state cannot tolerate mob rule and public lynching with impunity,.They also demanded the Prime Minister to protect the minorities from violence and injustice and to promote inter faith harmony among various Religions.

(Haji Muhammad Saeed Arian)
Founder/Secretary General
Pakistan Labour Federation (PLF)
Affiliated with
World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)

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