LAHORE: The Human Liberation Commission of Pakistan (HLCP) has demanded a raise in the salaries of kiln workers, and a legislation to protect the rights of minorities.
HLCP Chairman Aslam Pervez Sahotra, while addressing a seminar at a church, lamented that Christians and other minorities had not been given their basic rights.
The Christians, Hindus and Sikhs are being called the second citizens of the democratic country. All their basic rights – even the right to elect their leaders – had been taken away from them, he said.
He said that bounded labour should be ended from the country, as said by Justice Afzal Zullah of the Supreme Court in 1988. He said that the same had been made a law in 1992 by the government, but still there were many kiln workers, farm workers, carpet industry workers, and domestic workers, while many of the females and children had been made slaves.
“They work day and night without any basic rights. They are neither paid handsome salaries – keeping in view the price hike in the country – nor pension. Moreover, they are being deprived of health and education facilities,” he said.
“Therefore, I demand that the government of Pakistan provides basic rights to all the minorities, including the right to choose their own representatives.”
He said that in the same way, all labour colonies and other places – where minorities were residing – should have a separate place of worship for Christians and groups of people belonging to other religions.
Aslam said that workers at kilns, farms, as well as homes should get old-age benefits in accordance with the act of 1976, and they should get pension as well as health and education facilities.
He also said that all districts should have labour colonies for such workers, while the kiln workers should be paid the approved salary of Rs 750 per 1,000 bricks.
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