Prime Minister of Pakistan 11 Dec 2020
Dear Prime Minister,
Cruelty, exploitation and slavery of the poor and the helpless – at the Mazar of Mr. M A Jinnah
There is an urgent situation to which I draw your precious attention. It relates to the gross inhumanity, illegality and cruelty that is meted out to contracted employees of the mausoleum of Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The situation is no way any different from the way slaves were treated in tea plantations 300 years ago.
Please allow me to explain the facts of this unfortunate treatment, perpetuated by a prestigious government organization called Quaid-i-Azam Mazar Management Board (QMMB). To understand this situation, kindly read this letter from a security guard at the Mazar that summarizes the story of torture and misery of the guards, janitors and gardeners who work at the Jinnah’s tomb.
“Dear Mr. Jinnah,
I am a security guard at your resting place – so that you may rest in peace. But peace is not a one way street. You cannot be resting in peace while hundreds of us scorch in a living hell for 12 hours every day – for Rs.10,000 pm. The sanitary staff gets Re.14000 pm for a 12 hour shift and the gardeners receive Rs.9000 for the morning shift.
Please Mr. Jinnah, can you arise from your grave, even if it is for just one day and make sure that every janitor, every Mali and every Guard who works at your mausoleum’s courtyard is paid at least the correct legal minimum wage. That may be our only chance to break the chains of slavery and exploitation that the rich and the rulers have bound us in. We pray that instead of the VIPs, you will simply walk up to the gardeners, the janitors and the guards of your compound, shake hands with them, pat them and go back to your eternal resting place.
Respectfully, a guard.”
The elegant complex that constitutes Mr. Jinnah’s mausoleum is a symbol of pride, respect and affection for every Pakistani citizen. Little do they know and little does the government of Pakistan care that it is in fact a torture cell that delivers ultimate exploitation, pain and slavery to of hundreds of its contracted employees. Please look at the following facts to understand the gravity of this unfortunate situation.
The QA Mazar employs about 51 janitors through a contractor. They work on a 12 hour shift from 8 am to 8 pm. They are paid Rs.14000 for a 12 hour duty every day, while they ought to be paid Rs.35,000 as per minimum wage law. (Rs.17500 for 8 hour shift and Rs, 17500 over time for extra 4 hours every day.) There is no EOBI or medical insurance.
The QA Mazar employs about 53 gardeners through a contractor. They are paid Rs.9000 per month for the morning shift duty from 7 am to 1 pm. There is no EOBI or medical insurance. They ought to receive Rs.17500 pm.
The QA Mazar employs private security guards thru a private security company at different gates and locations of the mausoleum. They are paid Rs.10,000 for a 12 hour shift (from 8am to 8 pm.) There is no EOBI or medical insurance or medical leave.
I am pained to state that these acts of extreme cruelty and lawlessness are executed by a very prestigious institution of the government of Pakistan, namely QMMB. This is an appeal to you Sir, to please put an immediate end to this state executed lawlessness and ensure that the following steps are urgently implemented.