Mr. Justice Qazi Faez Isa, 16 October 2023
Supreme Court of Pakistan,
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
Justice for the Voiceless
As an ordinary citizen, I look up to the Supreme court with immense awe and respect. I understand it is intensely engaged in deciding complex matters of law and even more complex matters of our political elite. I therefore humbly and respectfully seek your permission to place the following submissions for your kind consideration:
1. 1. The disproportionally robust pension that you will receive on your retirement from this esteemed assignment is surely and exceedingly well deserved. However it is also a source of immense despair, disparity and discrimination for the approximately 71 million workers of Pakistan who should have been, but have never been, registered in any pension or EOBI scheme. They will receive zero pension on reaching the age of superannuation. This exclusively state-sponsored poverty manufacturing activity is unheard-of in any other country of the world. I have no words to describe the injustice, exploitation and denial of human rights that we have collectively constructed, by ensuring that out of approximately 80 million workers of Pakistan, only 9,886,259 get registered in EOBI. If we do believe in the Constitution of Pakistan, our first task ought to be to apply Article 38 to secure the social and economic wellbeing of our ordinary people.
2. Your Honour, I next draw your attention to about 1 million pulverized private security guards of Pakistan, whose services are received by numerous government departments (National Savings, Pakistan Post, PIA, CDA, JPMC, Lahore Metro (to name just a few), all banks, all petrol stations, embassies, hospitals, industrial , commercial and domestic clients. They receive abysmal, cruel and illegal salary between Rs18,000 per month to Rs30,000 per month – which is not even half of the legal minimum wage for performing 12 hour duty in Pakistan. A large majority of them neither receive the weekly holiday nor are registered to EOBI.
Please allow me the liberty of placing above two recent videos, one of a security guard at a government post office and the other at a petrol station. The current minimum wage in Pakistan is Rs32,000 for 8 hour duty and Rs64,000 for 12 hour duty. (Overtime is paid at twice the rate.) Both these security guards, not having been registered with EOBI, could only look forward to a life of immense misery and indignity. While perpetually appeasing its rich officials by large increments in their salary and pensions, the state has completely failed to ensure even the minimum legal wage and EOBI for its exploited private security guards.
3. 3. Finally I would like to apprise you of perhaps the most discriminated and deprived segment of our society – the contracted sanitation workers of Pakistan. They work as daily-wagers in numerous government organisations like the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, Municipal Committees, Lahore Metro, large hospitals, as well as commercial enterprises. They are paid illegal wages, typically between Rs14,000 and Rs19,000 per month, while the minimum legal wage has been Rs25,000 since 1st July 2022 and Rs32000 since 1st July 2023. They too have no EOBI and they must also surrender the daily wage in case of sickness or injury. Many of them have been working for years under these inhuman conditions. Kindly view and feel the plight of thousands of these contracted sanitation workers of SSWMB in the following videos.
As a citizen, I believe that if there is one single issue that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court must conclusively resolve, it is the case of injustice towards Pakistan’s most crushed and oppressed people. No member of Pakistan’s rich elite has been deprived of justice or suffered as much in the last 76 years as the 80 million cruelly exploited faceless and voiceless individuals described above.
Sir, I appeal to you for justice,