2,000 government employees gathered at D-Chowk
The Islamabad police fired tear gas shells at protesting government employees during their demonstration at D-Chowk Wednesday. Many protesters have been arrested.
The protesters have asked the federal and provincial governments to increase their salaries and pensions.
At least 2,000 people gathered at D-Chowk and planned to march towards Parliament House. The police fired tear gas shells to stop them from marching.
The government officers are chanting slogans against the government and have blocked the road.
Many federal ministers, included Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, have assured the government officers that their demands will be met.
The protesters have, however, said that they don't want any verbal commitments. The government should issue a notification and confirm the increase in our salaries, the protesters said.
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 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, he told SAMAA TV. "The government doesn't have the funds to do that."
They told us to increase the salaries of government employees in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. "We don't have the power to authorise that because of the18th Amendment." They are, however, not listening to us.
PML-N MPA Azma Bokhari remarked that the incident is unfortunate. "This a mockery of democracy," she said while speaking to SAMAA TV.
"The demonstrators were holding a peaceful protest. What sort of Riyasat-e-Madina is this? People can't even hold a protest." These people have the legal right to stage a demonstration for their demands. "How can the government stop them?"