By: Hanif Ullah
A Pakistani Labor Named Dilawar has spoiled his four precious years in Kingdom of Saudi Arab as laborer, spoil in a sense that he has worked in a factory for four years that was owned by a Saudi national. Dilawar repeatedly demanded for salary but the employer refused to pay for the deliverables.
He returns to his home land empty hand. While narrating his story to this scribe he mentioned that he went to Saudi Arab in 2009 to seek opportunity for work as unskilled laborer. He spent Rs. 200000/- almost 2000 $ as visa fee charges, air travel and work permit. He has spent an amount of PKR 120000 (12000 USD) that was borrowed from other Pakistani laborers. He demanded salary from his Arab employers but he was not willing for the payment and thus his salary was delayed for four years. Dilawar mentioned that laws of Arab states are very harsh and inhuman for labors of poor countries like Pakistan as they violate norms of international laws and ILO standards. He further mentioned that the cruel employers do not pay wages on time and their cruelty can be judged from the fact that they hold on passports of the employees so that no one can run away.
Another person Mr. Ikram Ullah told that my brother died in September 2013 through electric current while working in construction of a new building. When we were carrying his dead body from there that was willfully delayed for twenty days through different excuses, though my brother had done insurance there but he was not paid even a single penny by the Arab employer.
Another person Abdul Akbar Khan told his story that few years ago he worked in Saudi and during his stay he was harassed by the police through different ways on different irrelevant issue like fake papers etc so he has to left the country and he was deported so he lost all of his earned money.
Prominent Human Rights activists and legal expert Mr. Habibul Hassan Yad commented on this sorry state of affairs told that most of the Gulf States are exploiting the laborers. This is great injustice that the Labour Law does acknowledge the possibility of having an unfair (arbitrary) dismissal and expressly provides for the right of an employee who believes that his dismissal was unfair to claim compensation. Pursuant to Article 122 of the Labor Law of KSA, termination of an employment contract by the employer shall be deemed arbitrary if it was for a reason that is unrelated to work. The article contemplates that this is more likely to be the case if the employee has submitted a serious complaint to the competent authorities, or has instituted legal proceedings against the employer, that has proved to be valid.
He further said that Human Rights are violated in those oil rich countries because the employers of those countries consider immigrant workers as slaves and inhumanly treat them and always keep them under observations. He further told that Pakistan should talk to those countries through diplomatic channels so that to redress the grievances of of the overseas citizens of the country.
Another person working in Saudi Arab from the last ten years named Gul Khan told that “ we are not only teased in Saudi Arab but we also face a lot of problems when we come back to our country”. In Airports of Pakistan we are told to give money for the clearance etc. he further added that poor is equally treated in all the countries of gulf as they are considered that are not entitled to enjoy their Human rights.