ISLAMABAD: October 24, 2015. A Christian sanitary worker from Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad was brutally beaten up when he asked for wages in lieu of work completed. Waseem Saleem, 26, was a sanitary worker from the town of Lok Virsa and was employed from 2013 until last month when his employment was harshly terminated without notice.
It is alleged that recently appointed Executive Director Dr. Fouzia Saeed, verbally expelled him from his job last month without any formal dismissal process, an act that is being described as illegal by Mr Saleem. Mr Saleem then demanded the salary he was owed for the work he had done and was brutally beaten by cohorts of Dr Saeed in an attack so severe he was admitted to hospital for three days.
It has been alleged that Dr. Fouzia Saeed was appointed as Executive Director of Lok Virsa local government in August 2014 and that since her appointment she has exhibited great prejudice towards Christian workers.
Waseem told BPCA representative Shamim Masih that he had been employed on a full time contract, and for two years had no complaint laid against him, in fact he was often praised for his efficiency, he said:
“Since her appointment Dr Saeed has been removing Christians from her workforce. Last month my job was terminated and when I asked for the final month’s salary (September) owed, I was denied it. As I returned home three men on a motorcycle accosted me, calling me by name. When I responded they told me not to go back to my former workplace or I would be killed. They then started beating me with sticks and told me Christians are dogs.” ,
Mr Saleem suffered severe wounds to his head and was left on the road unconscious. Local people took him to hospital where he was admitted for three days and his wounds stitched.
Dr Fouzia also terminated the employment of another this year. Christian employee, Khuram Iqbal, a sentry worker in July Talking to Shamim Masih, Mr Iqbal said:
“I have filed an application in the court for illegal termination and have won the case. Even then Dr Saeed is unwilling to obey the court order. Since then I have been unemployed and my family is suffering. Last year my wife was burnt at our home due to an unfortunate incident with a gas cylinder used for our stove. For the last three months I can barely provide food for my family. My wife received 45 percent burns in the accident and I can no longer afford her treatment.”
Both families have visited the offices of the local government minister but calls for action remain pending. They do not believe any further action will be taken.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said: “Despite having significant employment laws, Pakistani employment culture is abysmal at best but coupled with faith discrimination, it is fraught with danger and great insecurity. These two victims will never see justice as the laws in Pakistan are not designed to improve quality of life for its citizens, but to maintain the entrenched feudal system and garner foreign aid from the west. While nations such as Britain and the US continue to fund Pakistan without need for accountability, state sponsored hatred will continue to rear its ugly head. By maintaining such naivety it could be argued that such sponsors are complicit.”
We would really like to help both these families by providing a gift equivalent to 6 months wages each at £100 per month and hope to raise £1200. We would also like to be able to fund 1 year’s medical treatment for burns for Mr Iqbal’s wife, which will cost a further £40 per month.