GILGIT, Jan 10: A large number of contingent employees serving in different government departments in Gilgit-Baltistan on Jan 9 organised a protest sit-in here seeking regularisation of their jobs.
The protesting employees announced to continue the sit-in till acceptance of their demand.
The protest call was given by GB contingent employees association.
Above 2,000 employees of 28 government departments across the region gathered at the Etihad Chowk in Gilgit to put pressure on the government to regularise them. The protesters were chanting slogans in favour of their demands.
Speaking to the protesters, the association’s president Abid Hussain said around 5,000 contingent employees had been serving in the region for many years at nominal salaries. He said some employees were paid as low as Rs1,000 monthly, which was violation of minimum wage law.
The association’s secretary general Mohammad Hayat said GB Chief Minister Hafeezur Rahman had promised to regularise the contingent employees on the vacant posts after conducting their test and interview, but to no avail. However, he said recently the government announced appointments on vacant posts though fresh tests and interviews.
He alleged that the government inducted their blue-eyed people at vacant posts. The protesters warned that if the government did not take the matter seriously then female employees would also come onto the roads.
Meanwhile, the Etihad Chowk, which is the central point of the Gilgit city, has become the ideal place for holding protests.
A 17-day-long sit-in against taxation issue ended recently at the same spot, almost paralysing the whole of the city, as all the main roads pass through the Chowk.
The business community around the Chowk is in particular suffering from the frequent sit-ins at the thoroughfare.
Mohammad Ali, a trader, told Dawn that ordinary citizens, particularly patients, were suffering by the frequent road blockades.
“Businesses of hundreds of people are suffering due to these protests at the Chowk,” he lamented.
Published by Daily Dawn on Jan 10, 2018