QUETTA – The teachers recruited under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq Balochistan Package have decided to continue with their sit-in at Hockey Chowk, after their negotiations with the government failed. More than 200 teachers hailing from different parts of Balochistan have set up a hunger strike camp outside Quetta Press Club for the last one week, mounting pressure on the government to make all of them permanent. The protesting teachers on Monday took out a rally from the Press Club and after marching through various roads, they staged a sit-in at Hockey Chowk, leading to the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. The teachers, who were holding placards and banners, chanted slogans in favour of their demands. Abdul Khaliq, the media adviser for the Hooqoq Teachers’ Association (HTA), who held negotiation with the committee, told the media persons that the negotiations over their regularisation with the government had failed. He said that on the directives of the divisional commissioner, the negotiation committee consisting of HTA President Ismail Kasi, Rahimudin Baloch, Abdul Khaliq and Qadir Khan held talks with the provincial finance secretary. He said they had been assured that a notification for their job confirmation would soon be issued. “Along with regularization, we should also be given other allowances which are being offered to other government teachers,” he added.Earlier, Ismail Kasi while sitting in the sit-in protest, said that 5,000 teachers were appointed through the Balochistan package and the government had promised regularising all of them within three years, but did not do so. “Despite the passage of five years, the teachers are not regularised and have been given a daily stipend which was an injustice to them,” he said, adding that the teachers were in a state of confusion about their future. Kasi also said that even federal ministers Rehman Malik and Kursheed Shah had promised making them permanent last year but no notification was issued.Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi meanwhile took notice of the protest of teachers, and asked the chief secretary to make a comprehensive case in this regard and forward it to the federal government. The governor directed the chief secretary to make a comprehensive case of the teachers and send it to the federal government regarding the regularization of the teachers. He said the issue of the teachers would also be presented to the Council for Common Interests (CCI), adding that the provincial government completely sympathized with the teachers and wanted to resolve their problems with sincerity of purpose by the federal government. “Therefore, the teachers should exhibit tolerance and end their protest,” concluded the governor.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 05-Feb-2013 here.