Islamabad police fire tear gas at govt employees demanding salary raise

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police on Wednesday fired tear gas shells at protesting government employees during their demonstration at D-Chowk. Hundreds of government employees assembled at D-Chowk to protest for higher salaries.

The government employees were gathered at D-Chowk and planned to march towards Parliament House. The police fired tear gas shells to stop them from marching.

The police arrested Employees Grand Alliance chief organizer, Rehman Bajwa, and other leaders. Many protesters have also been arrested. The law enforcers have blocked all the routes leading to the Red Zone to keep the protesting government employees from converging there.

The employee demands to increase salaries, pensions, and other allowances. The government employees are also protesting the income disparities between various federal government employees. They have been demanding a 40% increase in their salaries.

Meanwhile, the Federal cabinet on Tuesday, in its meeting had endorsed a decision to increase the salaries of the federal employees. It directed the provinces to decide for themselves about the salaries of their employees. The two-member committee was formed, comprising interior and defence ministers, tasked with dealing with the protestors is in contact with the finance ministry over the raise.

On the other side, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that the government has no problem with issuing a written notification. “We can do it right now if they want.”

The Minister further added that the only problem is that “we agreed to increase the salaries of officers between grades 5 to 16. They are now asking salary increase for Grade 22 officers,” added that. “The government doesn’t have the funds to do that.”

He said that because of the18th Amendment federal government didn’t have the power to increase the salaries of government employees in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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