Not even a day’s rest!


The International Labour Day is being marked in more than 80 countries across the world today, but a large number of laborers in Pakistan are unaware of the day and are out to make living rather than celebrating this day designated for them.

Thirty-five-year-old Sher Muhammad is no different. He is a daily wager who wakes up early in the morning, goes to the Sector F-6 market, and waits to be hired. When asked, he said he would also come to the market on May 1 and did not know anything about the International Labour Day.

“We reached this place early in the morning and were hopeful of getting some work but, today again we are without any work. We know that no one will hire us at this time but we are sitting here and just gossiping,” said Sher while talking to the Pakistan Toady.

The capital has a large number of daily wage workers who are mostly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Like many others, Muhammad Sadiq is from Sawabi and working in Islamabad for the last 11 years. “I came to the capital when law and order situation was deteriorating in our province,” he said. Sadiq was of the view that labourers were drawn to Islamabad at that time because a large number of construction projects were going on here. “Things have changed a lot now and we hardly get work,” he bemoaned labourers’ miserable lot in the capital.

A large number of Pakistanis make their living by doing labour work. However, they are the most neglected section of the employment force. Sher Muhammad, another labourer from Mardan, said several of them were forced to sleep on footpaths or public parks. “We cannot afford the cheapest living in the capital where cost of living is very high.”

Golra Sharif and Bari Imam are venues of feast for them because free langar is provided to there. The labourers said some people offered them lunch and tea during work but others did not.

The Capital Development Authority and security agencies are another nightmare for these poor folks. They are often investigated by the police. “Police and other security officials constantly check our identity cards and treat us like suspects,” they grieved.

When asked, the labourers said they did not know if any national or international body was interested in safeguarding their rights. They even said that they had no positive hopes attached with the upcoming elections. “Politicians just make wealth by coming in power.”


  1. True and well observed the subject … The subject is suffering from last many decades .. iam working on this subject specially in our country this manpower is wasting they should Get their rights otherwise no need of holiday on labor day … Thanks

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