from Pakistan

Balochistan employees sit-in: Protesters block Quetta-Karachi highway

The highway connecting Quetta and Karachi was closed Monday morning after Balochistan government employees staged a demonstration.

Members and representatives of the Balochistan Employees and Workers Grand Alliance have been holding sit-ins in the province for a week now. They have demanded a 25% increase in their salaries from the government.

The protests started in Quetta on March 29 and have now spread to other districts of Balochistan such as Khuzdar, Chagai, Killa Saifullah, Nasirabad, and Kohlu.

The protesters have blocked the Pakistan-Iran RCD Highway and have announced a transport strike in the province.

So far, eight meetings between the employees and the government have taken place, but all remained unsuccessful. On Monday, a 10-member committee was formed by the government to review the demands of the protesters and reach a common ground.

The employees have, however, said that they won’t end the sit-ins unless their demands are met. Political parties such as the Balochistan National Party have extended support to them as well.

Earlier this week Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal said that the employees do not perform their duties properly. “If government employees do their job properly, we are ready to increase their salaries.”

CM Kamal added that so far people have been employed at 20,000 government jobs, and their salaries and allowances have been increased.