Pakistani government employees are portesting in Islamabad to demand the pay raise. The protesters demanded an increment of no less than 40% and argued that unfair inflation in the country has heavily disturbed their livelihoods. Even after facing intense shelling from the police, the protest in Islamabad has continued for another day.
On the morning of February 11, more employees joined the protest but nobody got violent. However, the police still arrested some protestors and fired the tear gas. The incident has resulted in a massive PR disaster for the ruling PTI government yet again. With the inflating prices of oil and utility bills, the ruling party is suffering a devastating impact on its standing and credibility, especially in Punjab.
Police Brutality against Government Employees Protest in Islamabad
According to the media reports, the Pakistani government allowed tear gas on its own employees, when they asked for raise. A massive cloud of smoke covering the Red Zone can be seen in the following video:
Police became so violent that one of their own died due to asphyxiation from tear gas. Reportedly, the deceased was Islamabad’s Special Branch Officer, Ishtiaq Ahmed.
Has The Government Reached Any Agreement With Workers?
The government offered to meet their demands half way at 20% but it failed to satisfy the govt employees. The government has claimed to increase the salaries of Grade 1 to 22 officers in the next budget. It has also ordered to release the arrested workers, Federal Interior Minister, Sheikh Rasheed tweeted:
The situation has been largely reflecting the Indian government’s treatment with protesting farmers. Pakistani public workers are not showing any kind of faith in the government to fulfill their demands. They are sure that the government is trying to avert the PR nightmare by making false claims. They refuse to quit protesting until an official notification arrives to confirm raising their wages.
Public Reaction On The Protesting Government Employees
Those who sided with the government instead of the employees had their own reasons to condemn the protest in Islamabad. The perception about the institutions in Pakistan which are mostly working from the colonial era is not well, particularly when it comes to fairness and competence. The government employees are often tainted with accusations of bribery and corruption. While many people are siding with protesters since everyone is suffering due to rising inflation and stagnant wages, there are also those who are reminding employees of how a corruption-free work environment is essential to maintain a well-sustainable life.
A large part of government agencies is inflicted with a culture of corruption. Most government employees look for opportunities to make more money than their actual pay.