Islamabad [Pakistan], March 1 (ANI): Thousands of Pakistan government employees who took to the streets of Islamabad earlier this month demanding a 40 per cent salary hike were met with tear gas and arrests, bringing to light the establishment's autocratic behaviour.
At least 2,000 people had gathered and planned to march towards Parliament House when the police fired tear gas to stop them, according to an earlier report by Samaa TV.
According to a report by The Nation, the protest spread across the city, resulting in a layer of smog over the capital due to heavy teargas shelling.
Meanwhile, the government attacked the protesters for making unwarranted demands.
"The protesters had made a new demand for raising salaries of employees till grade 22 which was not possible at the moment," said Defence Minister Pervez Khattak.
He further said that the provincial government employees, who were also part of the protest, were the responsibility of the concerned governments under the 18th amendment.
Reacting to the use of brutal force against the protesters, Pakistan's opposition parties demanded the government to stop the "merciless torture" of the government employees.
"For God's sake, stop this merciless torture...Do not make the innocent government employees suffer from tear gas, shelling and baton-charging. They are not enemies but poor Pakistanis who are asking for their rights," Pakistan Muslim-League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif added.
While condemning the use of force against the protesters, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Shahzad Zulfiqar and Secretary General said, "The government should hold talks with the employees instead of using high handedness as they have been denied since long for pay raises."However, citing observers The Nation said that the protests against the government in the capital, are not new and the police and neither are security agencies brutalities against demonstrators. (ANI)