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Disparities and protests

By Abdul Rahman Malik,

The people of Pakistan have experienced a strange history of Protests and their
economical repercussion on
individuals and the country as a whole.
The protests bring the cities to a
standstill, as the angry mobs cause
blockade through the streets, roads
and main national highways.
The protests are taken out by the
political parties, civil society for the
human rights or demanding justice for
any injustice with any person or any
brutal murder and the employees
protesting for their salary raise,
allowances, structure, bonuses,
privatization of govt enterprises and
regularization issues.
Even excessive regulation issues irk
the employees to adopt the way of
Protests if such laws and regulation
might endanger their jobs.
The Protests are also carried out by the
families and relatives to mourn the
deaths of their near and dear ones who
lost their lives in the fake police
encounters or forcible disappearance
of people demanding their recovery.
These include various nationalists,
liberation Army group members,
suspects and other persons.

The protests include traffic jams,
hunger strikes, long marches, sit-ins,
protest demos. Though, these type of
protests are global even in developed
countries like the US, UK, Germany and
the popular Yellow vest movement in
France.
Pakistan’s last seven decades are also
replete with such protests whenever
any elected government failed to
deliver or Marshal Laws that practised
authoritarian rule to suppress the
dissent voices or when people felt that
their right to freedom of expression is
compromised by dictatorial leadership.
The angry mobs take to streets and
record their protests in favour of their
genuine demands. Such protests have
so far been very successful and the
government is compelled to bow down
before these employees Unions, civil
society, and Political workers and
disperse the protesters after dialogue
process because the use of force will
further aggravate the situation and
turn the scene into a battleground if
the situation is mishandled by law
enforcement agencies .
There are several examples of such
circumstances in the past that made it
very difficult for the governments to
deal with such violent protests. The
resistance and resilience go hand in
hand when both the protesters and the
high ups and policymakers show their
stubbornness to accept the demands.
This leads to “wheel jams”, “pen down”
protest demos and hunger strikes
putting governments under immense
pressure leaving no other option
except the acceptance of their
demands to peacefully disperse violent
mobs who engulf the executive Office
and try to cross the Red zones.
The Protests become more extreme
when religious parties take to roads
against any religious or blasphemy
issue.
It is pertinent to mention here that
mostly the top bureaucrats of PAS,
PSP, OMG, PMS, EX-PCS, PSS, IRS and
others consider themselves superior
creatures that is because they pass
such exam that is branded as Central
Superior Services (CSS) at Federal
level and Provincial Management
service ( PMS) at provincial level .
They have mostly considered the
competent authorities and part and
parcel of the respective departments
exercise full authority to deal with
issues popping up from time to time.
They display their hegemonic attitude
in considering the Promotions,
confirmation or regulation and
pension cases, and their lethargic
attitude leads to the protests since
employees consider it the last option

to put pressure on the top bureaucracy
with coverage of Media as service
Tribunals and courts don’t offer any
timely relief for such affected
employees whose services are either
terminated, suspended or dismissed
on various reasons. Even high costs of
Advocates are too heavy for them to
afford to fight their case.
If we take the example of the
Education and health departments, the
secretary level bureaucrats feel that
they are experts in policy making for
these key social sector departments
but the fact is that these departments
could be run smoothly by the
Executive Officers from the Health and
Education since they understand the
technical terms and needs of the
departments more effectively than
these Civil servants who can handle
office and revenue related tasks .
It is ironic that there is no quota of
gazetted officers from School
Education, College Education and
Health Departments to be posted as
Secretaries, Additional Secretaries and
Section officers.
It is disappointing to note that if any
Grade 17, 18, 19 and 20 Officer is
posted at the secretariat in his/her
parent Department, these top
bureaucrats challenge the
appointment as non-cadre.
It is beyond understanding that
despite being the production of
teachers, these PAS, PCS, PSS and OMG
officers consider the teachers
incompetent to run the affairs of their
own department.
It is sheer injustice to note that when
we compare the perks and privileges of
both Civil servants and other Teaching
and Admin Cadre officers, we are
astonished to see such huge disparities
between their pay packages. Even
government confers special allowances
and perks upon the employees of
President House, PM house, Senate,
National Assembly, Governor House,
CM house and Secretariat employee
such as Utility allowances, Pay
bonuses, House Rent and other
privileges which are not provided to
any employee serving at Divisional,
District and Tehsil level.
The perks such as time scale,
increments are offered to one
department while another department
is deprived of such perks.
There is no unified or uniform pay
package that is causing discontent and
sense of deprivation. Our respective
Judiciary enjoys high pay packages and
they should also pass ruling to bring
the pay package in the same stage in
lieu of grades to address the
anomalies.
It means if any grade 17 officer of any
department taking a salary, the same
should be offered to another
department employee of the same

grade in order to escape the violent
protests and pen down strikes.
It is also worthy to mention here that
the pay packages of the employees of
corporate enterprises such as PIA,
OGDCL, SSGC, SNGPL, and PPL etc are
five times higher with fringe benefits
such as unlimited Health facilities, Free
Education and Scholarships and
Overtime facilities that are rare in
other departments. Even Over time
facility is not available to Executive
Bureaucrats.
Such high-level disparities warrant the
Govt that it should address the
variance in the pay packages of Pure
Government Employees, Project Based
Positions and Corporate Employees so
that anomalies could be resolved.
For Example, an officer of BPS-17 in
BISP draws 200000 per month on
deputation basis since he is entitled to
draw a project allowance of 75000
plus his own pay and a DSM BPS-17
draws 250000 in PPHI (health Project)
and there are several cases of such
project-based Positions.
The pay and pension commission
should review the situation in the
upcoming Annual Budget 2019-2020
to provide relief to those who are
deprived of such perks and privileges
that are available to other Employees.
Since it is unjust to favour some
employees working in Federal and
Provincial Secretariats i.e President
House, PM House, Senate , National
Assembly , Governor House , CM
House, Provincial Assemblies
Secretariats while deprive those who
are also governed under the same Civil
Servant rules , though , they don’t have
any specified cadre except SUG
(Services Unified Grade) or Non-
Administrative Cadres .
The policy of Postings, Transfers
Promotions and regularization must be
revised and a quota with ratio of 60:40
should be approved in each concerned
department where 60% should be
from the same departments such as
Education, Health, Energy, Forest,
Agriculture, Revenue etc and 40%
quota should be allocated for the civil
servants since the officers from the
department will resolve the issues on
priority basis and will provide relief to
the concerned employees.
The Promotion cases must be dealt on
an annual basis to avoid the
disappointment of employees that it
affects their output.
It is pitiable that some employees are
promoted to next grade after 15 to 18
years while the Civil Servants get two
to three promotions in such period.
These alarming facts show how
departmental employees are denied
their due right of promotion due to
lack of interest of Top bureaucrats
such as Chief Secretary, secretaries and
Directors.

The civil services reforms are the need
of the hour so that administrative
unbalance could be fixed and protests
of deprived employees could be
averted by providing them with their
due right of Promotion, confirmation,
regularization etc.
I recall the case of some teachers who
were appointed through recruitment
tests conducted by Professional
Testing Services such as NTS, Sindh
University, Sukkur IBA and Other
Agencies in a transparent manner by
Sindh Government but after
completion of their contract, they are
protesting for their confirmation since
govt is bound to regulate the services
of Such teachers and Headmasters who
rendering their services Professionally.
Is it justified that teachers and IBA
headmasters should protest for their
rights on the streets of Karachi while
Police baton charges such teachers and
may use tear gas and water cannons to
disperse them? While CM and Minister
Education appreciate their services in
their speeches.
Finally, it’s pertinent to add that unless
the disparities are addressed, the
protests will continue unabated. Even
the use of Force will be
counterproductive and may create
serious repercussions which will be
beyond the control of Government.

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