HRCP condemns violence against labour leaders raising voice for workers rights
LAHORE, July, 9, 2010: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Friday expressed concern over the murder of labour leader Mustansar Randhawa and his brother in Faisalabad and called upon the government to track down and try the culprits and prevent any such violent act against those raising their voice for labour’s rights.
In a statement issued here, HRCP said: “The murder of Mustansar Randhawa, a leader of textile and power loom workers in Faisalabad, and his brother, Naseer Randhawa, is a stark reminder of the risk labour leaders and human rights defenders face in Pakistan.
The state is under an obligation to protect the lives of all citizens, but individuals that are exposed to specific threats deserve additional protective measures. Mustansar had been receiving life threats, reportedly, from power loom and textile mill owners for the last many a day, apparently because of his role in organizing workers of the area.
The labour movement in Pakistan has long been protesting in a peaceful manner for the rights of workers who find themselves squeezed by the economic downturn, lack of benefits, poor and unsafe working conditions, and wages that bear no relation with the escalating cost of living and inflation. The government is duty-bound to ensure not only that workers get their rights, but also that they are not prevented from raising their voice for such entitlements.