SUKKUR: The employees of National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) continued boycotting work for the third consecutive day on Wednesday to try and pressure the government to reinstate all the sacked employees and regularise the ones working on contract.
Around 61 employees were fired for disrupting services when they began protesting for regularisation. The firing added fuel to the fire and the protests kept growing, till finally MNA Faryal Talpur met with them on February 26 and assured the workers that all the fired employees will be reinstated and services of others regularised within two days.
Two employees, Aftab Qazi and Owais Memon, said that despite the fact that a month had passed nothing had been done so far. They had been assured that the employees working in contract for the past 10 years will be regularised. According to them, soon after he came to power Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani announced regularising all contract employees, including those of Nadra, but nothing was done about it.
They said that on October 17, 2011, the employees had gone to Islamabad to stage a sit-in outside the parliament. The Nadra chairman and Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik had issued a notification for regularising the services of 14,500 employees. But, after a couple of days another notification was issued, cancelling the earlier one, with an addition that the contracts of all the employees were extended till they retired.
Talking about the protest on Tuesday, Qazi and Memon condemned the police baton charge on some 70 people who were protesting “peacefully” outside the Nadra head office in Islamabad. However, the police said that the protesters were pelting them with stones and also held some Nadra officers hostage.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2012.