Tuesday March 05, 2024

Day of shame

By Web Desk
December 08, 2023

December 10 marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While this excellent document enshrines the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language or status, it has brought little benefit to Pakistan. Perhaps this ought to be a day, when we should stand in silence for a few minutes and feel repentant at having collectively snatched all human rights from our poorest citizens.

Day of shame

We must begin by apologizing to thousands of 12- and 15-year-old children who sweep the streets of Karachi for Rs13,000 per month, while the government departments share the booty of their wage theft. We must begin by apologizing to every private security guard of Pakistan who is made to work for 12 hours every day for less than half the legal minimum wage. We must begin by apologizing to the petrol pump employees who perform 24-hour shifts for 15 days a month and are paid less than one third the legal salary. And we must also apologize to the coal miners from Shangla, many of whom are underage, who work and die in hazardous conditions so that the rich can prosper.

Naeem Sadiq