Pakistan: Teachers and Farmers Protests Brutally Crushed in Sindh

In recent weeks, as much of the Pakistani media remained fixated on the internecine squabbles of the country’s ruling elites, authorities in Sindh have been brutally cracking down on sections of workers and farmers in the province who’ve had the temerity to defend their rights and fight for improved living standards and working conditions.

On December 25, primary, secondary and high school teachers in Karachi held a defiant protest against the Sindh government due to its refusal to provide them with permanent jobs despite having agreed to do so in 2014.  The provincial government is refusing to honor its agreement even after forcing teachers to pass a rigorous examination conducted by the National Testing Service and the University of Sindh.

Teachers from all over the province took part in the demonstration, including teachers from Hyderabad, some of whom marched the entire 140km distance to Karachi in order to participate.  The teachers were attacked by the police when they tried to march toward the Chief Minister’s House.  The police used water cannons, batons and tear gas against the protesting teachers and scores were arrested.  On Tuesday, the Sindh authorities claimed that two dozen teachers were detained and that all have since been released.  However, according to officials of the All Sindh Primary Teachers Association, more than 150 teachers were arrested and many others were injured by the heavy-handed tactics of the police.  Despite the…

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