A public university in Pakistan resists court orders and deceives government authorities to avoid giving state approved jobs to non-Muslims, Chaudhry Mushtaq Gill, MP of Pakistan Muslim League (N) claimed.
In May 2009 the government of Pakistan passed a law requiring 5 percent of jobs to be allocated to religious minorities across the nation. The University of Sargodha is located in the Punjab, where most of the country’s Christians reside, has hired hundreds of employees since this law passed and was implemented in 2010 but continues to use bureaucratic tactics to avoid hiring non-Muslims.
The law was made to protect religious minorities and minimize biasness for people applying for government jobs, but state officials are the main obstacle to its accomplishment. The law was initiated by Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian MP who was murdered three years ago.
Chaudhry Mushtaq Gill is a Christian political leader in the Pakistan Muslim League (N), and he filed a case against the university through the ombudsman in September 2012. The university lost the case. According to him, nearly one year has passed since the case has concluded and the university has not rectified its wrongdoing.
The record provided by the university to the ombudsman verifies that 102 of 111 Christian hired since 2010 are working as street sweepers. While the nine remaining Christians are primarily working as clerks and gardeners with one working as a storekeeper and the other as a laboratory attendant.
The occupation of street sweeping is traditionally considered menial and degrading under the Indian caste system; hence, only “untouchables” are given jobs in this category.
Gill further added that the University of Sargodha was not the only university ignoring the minority quota. He stated, “There are dozens of other universities. I am seeking same directions from the ombudsman [regarding these] and some have agreed to implement the quota as well”.