Once again, a city government in Pakistan has arranged for only non-Muslims to be hired for sanitation work. The Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, tasked with keeping the city of Hyderabad clean, has put out a job notice inviting only non-Muslims to apply to become sanitation workers. Religious minorities, especially Christians, are often forced into sanitation work because of the low social status they are assigned due to their religious identity. Conditions for sanitation workers is often dangerous with three Christians recently dying while cleaning a sewer this month.
07/14/2017 Pakistan (Conatus News) – Infringing the Constitution of Pakistan, the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has invited applications for sanitation work from Non-Muslims only
In new measures introduced by the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, requirements for sanitation work in Pakistan specifies that applicants must be non-Muslim. Moreover, applicants must take the religious oath on their religious holy book – Geeta or Bible – that they will never do anything else but work as a sanitation worker and will never refuse to carry out the work.
The controversial news comes after three Christian men died while cleaning a sewer in Pakistan by hand after being refused personal protective equipment or uniform.
Nasir Saeed, director of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS-UK), which is a Christian charity dedicated to helping persecuted Christians in the country, has expressed his concern over the growing situation against religious minorities in the country.
He said, “Minorities are facing discrimination in all walks of life and even their worship places, properties and honor is not safe. They see no future for themselves and for their future generations and are now forced to flee the country.”
It is also illegal and a violation of Pakistan’s own constitution’s article 27 which provides safeguards against discrimination in services (employment).
It states: (1) No citizen otherwise qualified for appointment in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment on the ground only of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth.
However, this is not the first time that Article 27, which provides safeguards against discrimination in services or employment, has been contravened.
The government has adopted a systemic policy of reserving sanitation posts for non-Muslims in the past.