LAHORE: Members of the All Pakistan Clerks’ Association announced a pens-down strike and held demonstrations in several districts of the province on Tuesday. Members of the APCA’s Punjab chapter walked from the Punjab Assembly to the Governor’s House to protest against the government for not accepting their charter of demands.
Hundreds of clerks of various departments gathered at Charing Cross at around 10am. They started marching towards the Governor’s House, but their way was blocked by a heavy contingent of police deployed to ensure smooth flow of traffic on The Mall. Some of the protesters clashed with the police. They were allowed to continue their demonstration following negotiations between the APCA Punjab’s leadership and policemen.
The demonstrators held a sit-in at the Governor’s House where several APCA leaders delivered speeches. Traffic on The Mall remained blocked for the most part of the day.
At least three clerks, Mian Basheer, Muzammil Hussain and Qazi Ajmal, who were participating in the demonstration, fainted due to the scorching heat. Rescue-1122 officials provided them first aid on the spot.
APCA Punjab chairman Haji Irshad told The Express Tribune that government representatives including Rana Sanaullah and Rana Mashhood had held talks with APCA’s leaders on March 26 and had agreed to accept their charter of demands in a fortnight but had reneged on their promise. “We have certain reservations that the Punjab government should address immediately,” he said.
The rally was called off in the afternoon after Irshad announced: “We are giving the government six days to issue a notification on our demands which were accepted by the government on March 26, or else we go on strike across the country on May12… we will not return to our offices till a notification is issued in this regard.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2015.
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