Press Release, July 16, 2008
Karachi: In a statement issued to the press, Iqbal Haider, the Co-Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) strongly condemned Rangers brutality on a peaceful demonstration of the workers of PTCL, protesting against the Unified Pay Scale Scheme (UPS), outside the PTCL Headquarters, Islamabad on July 15, 2008.
HRCP would like to know that under what law, the peaceful demonstrators were beaten up, baton charged, and tear-gassed. HRCP would also like to remind the Government of Pakistan that peaceful demonstrations and raising voice for the rights, are fundamental human rights.
HRCP was shocked to note that instead of sympathizing and helping the working class, listening to their grievances, the administration decided to attack on the peaceful demonstrators. HRCP was further pained when the elected Federal Government added insult to the injury by stating that Government would not allow the protesting labourers to take law in their hands. Federal Government has totally ignored and forgotten that to protest, is an alienable fundamental right of every citizen. To deprive them with this right and to use force to prevent them from protesting, is an inhuman act and is not only a shameful violation of the Constitution but also an abuse of authority in an oppressive manner.
Mr. Haider called upon the Government that instead of baton charging and tear-gassing, or preventing them from protesting for their demand, the Government should make every effort for acceptance of the demands of the workers of PTCL.
HRCP also demanded to take strict disciplinary action against all the concerned officials who are responsible for the lathi charge, tear gassing and injuring the peaceful demonstrators of PTCL.
Iqbal Haider, Secretary General