Tag Archives: Toba Tek Singh

Rashid Gill, voicing his concern against the Blasphamy Laws in Pakistan

[Dear editor Indus Asia Online Journal, as you know that I am a Former President of National Students Federation Pakistan and a contributary Columnist in daily “Jang”. I have received a following letter from Mr. Rashid Gill and I am forwarding it as it is for people’s review. – Faheem Aamer]

August 21, 2009

Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, The Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan , Prime Minister House, Islamabad, Pakistan

Subject: Heinous Massacre of Christians in Gojra

On behalf of the church leadership and congregation, I would like to draw your kind attention to the heinous act of terror carried out by Muslim mobs against Christians living in the village of Korian and later in Gojra in district of Toba Tek Singh. According to the information received from independent sources like “The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan”, 7 Christians were burnt alive and more than 50 houses were ransacked, looted and torched by the Muslim mobs. According to the same details, the mobs were protesting against the desecration of “Holy Quran” at Chak No. 496 JB Korian near Gojra.

Continue reading Rashid Gill, voicing his concern against the Blasphamy Laws in Pakistan

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

PAKISTAN: A human rights activist faces terrorism charges for publicising the murder of Christians, while the mullahs who incited the violence remain free

To: The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Islamabad

Name of the Victim: Mr. Tariq Mehmood, son of Mohammad Tufail Ansari. Resident of village Basti Danishmandan, Chak no. 264, G-B, district Toba Tek Singh,  Punjab

Names of the perpetrators: 1. DSP, Toba Tek Singh district. 2. SHO, Toba Tek police station, Punjab 3. DPO, Toba Tek district, Punjab, Pakistan

I am writing to register my deep concern regarding the arrest of Tariq Mehmood, an activist working for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and the Labour Party of Pakistan, on charges of terrorism and disturbing the peace. The charges disproportionately refer to demonstrations he helped arrange after the burning murders of a number of Christians, and the burning of their houses by Muslim extremists. Police have not arrested those who incited the violence using the loudspeakers of mosques, which is illegal in Pakistan.

Continue reading LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

LPP strikes at Sharif factories

– Farooq Tariq, Lahore

On 21 March, workers at Choudry Sugar Mills and Hamza Board at Gojra in district Toba Tek Singh, a complete strike was observed. Over 700 workers walked out of the two factories owned by Sharif family to demand for a minimum wage set by the government. They were demanding at least Rupees 6000 minimum wage. At present, many workers were paid less than Rupees 4000.

Led by activists of Labour Party Pakistan, the workers blocked the main road linking Toba Tek Singh to Faisalabad for three hours. Police tried to frighten the workers with repression. However, workers refuse to leave the main road until they speak to Hamza Shahbaz, son of Mian Shahbaz Sharif. Hamza is also a member of national assembly. He is the responsible person for the factories from Sharif family.

This was the first ever strike in the two factories. There are 1000 workers in both factories and majority of them walked out.

Tariq Mehmood, general secretary LPP district Toba and Shabir Ahmad, secretary LPP Gojra and leader of Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) along with other LPP activists have been trying the process of unionization in the two factories. They had fly posted the poster of Trade Unions Action Committee For Minimum Wages calling for the implementation of Rupees 6000 minimum wage for unskilled labour. That helped to make the first contacts within the factory.

Today, they were leading a first ever strike in a factory where there is no formal union yet.

Hamza Shahbaz spoke to Tariq Mehmood on phone and told him that he respects LPP very much. He assured that a minimum wage will be paid and that all the contract labour will be employed on permanent basis.

A meeting of workers representatives and Hamza Shahbaz is now fixed for 31 March in Gojra.

The workers went back to factory with an assurance that all their problems will be solved. This was a unique incident. No one ever dared to form a union in the two factories next to each other. There was no one ever thinking of strike. However, with the success of the long march, a new wave of enthusiasm has been witnessed among the workers. They decided to speak up and in loud manner.

Workers have agreed to form a union and work with LQM and LPP.

March 22, 2009