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“You are Christian, no one wants a glass of water from you”: A Christian forced to do janitorial work based on his religion


A Christian man was forced to work as a janitor, based on his religion. Qaisar Jahan, victim of religious discrimination was forced to assume the duty of a janitor because he was a Christian. He decided not to give in to the pressure and undue demand from the school principal to quit working as a waterman because he was “impure.”

Religious discrimination in Pakistan

Qaisar Jahan who worked as a waterman at a girls’ school in Partab Nagar, District Faisalabad was dismissed from the school after he refused to work as a janitor. The headmistress forced him to quit his job as waterman and do janitorial work. The headmistress, Najma Naheed told the Christian, “You are Christian and no one in the school wants to get a glass of water from you.”

Also Read: A Muslim burns Holy Bible in district Faisalabad, Christians protest demand due punishment for the perpetrator

Qaisar refused the headmistress and decided to move the court for being forced to janitorial work based on his religion. He filed the case, and after two months of legal hassle, Qaisar won the case against the headmistress and resumed working as a waterman as before.

In May 2015, headmistress Najma Naheed, requested the Education District Office (EDO) for a worker, EDO, appointed Qaisar Jahan as a waterman who started working in November, 2015. After a month, the headmistress started pressurizing Qaisar to do janitorial work instead of a waterman. While, Qaisar continued to resist Najma Naheed’ demand, in February earlier this year, she resorted to writing to the EDO. She sent a complaint letter against the Christian worker to EDO.

After the compliant letter to EDO, Qaisar was dismissed, which landed him in deep trouble. Battered but not losing hope, Qaisar approached a Christian activist Lala Robin Daniel, who heads the National Minorities Alliance of Pakistan (NMAP)and the AAWAZ forum. With the assistance of Lala Robin Daniel, a complaint was filed with the EDO on behalf of Qaisar Jahan. The complainant maintained that he has been victimized of religious discrimination.

As a result, EDO summoned Qaisar Jahan and the school mistress Najma Naheed. EDO asked Najma Naheed to publicly apologize to Qaisar for her unfair behavior and to assure that she would not target the religion of other employees. Consequently, the headmistress apologized and pledged that she would not force Qaisar or others to do tasks, that are not a part of the duties assigned to the workers.

After the matter got settled, Qaisar Jahan expressed satisfaction saying, “I am very grateful to my Saviour for His blessings and protection. I always believed in Him and was rewarded with so much respect and dignity.”

“When I was dismissed from my job for refusing to work as a sweeper, I decided not to bend down in front of those who divide people in the name of religion,” he explained. He further revealed that after he lost his job, he started earning driving rickshaw.” I prayed to God very much, and now my friends and family are happy for me. I am grateful to AAWAZ for their untiring efforts for my rights.”

The Christiana activist, Lala Robin Daniel says that the trouble does not ends here, “Our efforts do not stop here with Qaisar getting his job back. We have to do much more for all those who are discriminated for their faith. We shall fight for a new law that protects non-Muslims from any form of discrimination at work. Until the law is not passed by parliament, we shall not stop.”