1. Now Walk the Talk, Imran
  2. Violence against Minorities
  3. Unsheltered
  4. Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality
  5. How to Encourage Terrorism
  6. Faisalabad in 2028
  7. Mental Illness & the Progress of a Nation
  8. Child Sexual Abuse
  9. Living amongst the clouds : Aalia Bux
  10. Mental health – What soldiers can teach us
  11. Many Cookies still to Crumble
  12. Steering Through Turbulence
  13. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  14. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  15. Making ADR work for Women
  16. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  17. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  18. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  19. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  20. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  21. Come on Skipper !
  22. GUMM
  23. Annus Horibilis
  24. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  25. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  26. Method in the Madness
  27. Legal System Reforms
  28. Power Over Impulse
  29. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  30. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  31. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  32. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  33. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  34. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  35. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  36. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  37. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  38. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  39. NEWS PICKS
  40. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  41. Fitness with the Mughal
  42. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  43. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  44. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  45. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  46. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  47. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  48. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  49. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  50. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  51. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  52. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  53. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  54. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  55. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  56. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  57. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  58. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  59. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  60. Money for nothing, bits for free
  61. FinTech
  62. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  63. Crisis of Civilization
  64. Child Sexual Abuse
  65. Education is the only Solution
  66. Fit for Purpose
  67. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  68. Mini meringue recipe
  69. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  70. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  71. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  72. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  73. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  74. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  75. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  76. Five major political events of 2017
  77. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  78. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  79. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  80. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  81. What we can learn from Ghalib
  82. QUINOA SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING
Sun, Nov 18, 2018
  1. Now Walk the Talk, Imran
  2. Violence against Minorities
  3. Unsheltered
  4. Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality
  5. How to Encourage Terrorism
  6. Faisalabad in 2028
  7. Mental Illness & the Progress of a Nation
  8. Child Sexual Abuse
  9. Living amongst the clouds : Aalia Bux
  10. Mental health – What soldiers can teach us
  11. Many Cookies still to Crumble
  12. Steering Through Turbulence
  13. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  14. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  15. Making ADR work for Women
  16. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  17. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  18. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  19. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  20. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  21. Come on Skipper !
  22. GUMM
  23. Annus Horibilis
  24. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  25. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  26. Method in the Madness
  27. Legal System Reforms
  28. Power Over Impulse
  29. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  30. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  31. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  32. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  33. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  34. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  35. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  36. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  37. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  38. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  39. NEWS PICKS
  40. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  41. Fitness with the Mughal
  42. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  43. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  44. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  45. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  46. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  47. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  48. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  49. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  50. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  51. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  52. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  53. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  54. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  55. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  56. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  57. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  58. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  59. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  60. Money for nothing, bits for free
  61. FinTech
  62. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  63. Crisis of Civilization
  64. Child Sexual Abuse
  65. Education is the only Solution
  66. Fit for Purpose
  67. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  68. Mini meringue recipe
  69. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  70. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  71. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  72. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  73. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  74. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  75. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  76. Five major political events of 2017
  77. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  78. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  79. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  80. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  81. What we can learn from Ghalib
  82. QUINOA SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING

The recent demonstration held by the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation (PCMLF) in Quetta in the aftermath of two almost simultaneous coal mine explosions, which resulted in 23 fatalities, serves as a rallying call for justice for Pakistan’s coal miners.

This disaster caught international attention in what is widely viewed as a deeply exploitative industry. The coal industry has come under intense scrutiny, not only for its devastating effect on the environment, but also for the human degradation suffered by miners.

Amid the squalid working conditions in Pakistan’s coal mines, it is estimated that between 100 and 200 workers die in mine related accidents every year. Pakistan’s lucrative mining industry remains lightly regulated with authorities having little access to coal mining sites, several of which remain unregistered.

While Pakistan’s coal reserves are widely perceived as a panacea to the country’s acute energy crisis, the miners who extract this energy resource are treated with a contemptuous indifference. According to the Pakistan Standard of Living Measurement survey, coal miners earn less than the minimum wage per month. The prevalence of occupational diseases, particularly respiratory illnesses, remains high in an industry where workers are routinely exposed to deadly toxins.

Pakistan has laws to ensure the safety and welfare of workers engaged in mining and quarrying. These include the Mines Act 1923, the Mines Maternity Benefits Act 1941, the Coal Mines (Fixation of Rates and Wages) Ordinance 1960 and the Excise Duty on Mineral (Labour) Welfare Act 1967. If anything, the utter uselessness of these laws reinforces a disappointing reality: that all too often laws exist not only to protect the powerful but to legitimise the abject condition of the powerless.

In many ways the plight of the Balochistan coal miners stands as a metaphor for the wider suffering faced by the 13 million people of the province. Resource-rich Balochistan remains the poorest province of the country, with its people deprived of the most basic amenities

In many ways the plight of the Balochistan coal miners stands as a metaphor for the wider suffering faced by the 13 million people of the province. Resource-rich Balochistan remains the poorest province of the country, with its people deprived of the most basic amenities.

With its abundance of natural resources and proximity to Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia, Balochistan’s strategic importance has assumed even greater focus with the development of its port at Gwadar. In spite of this, people remain mired in poverty in a province where despotic feudal power structures continue to hold sway. As a result of Balochistan’s routine neglect on both provincial and federal levels, separatist sentiment has struck a responsive chord within parts of the province.

Like so many other big industries in Pakistan, the coal industry’s abiding inability to ensure basic safety measures for its workers highlights how the country remains woefully lagging in human rights, social development and governance. On a broader level, the lack of reform in the face of such recurring tragedies casts a dark shadow over a deeply unequal society which remains inured to the suffering of the labour workforce that plays a critical role in turning the wheels of industry.

The depredations suffered by Balochistan’s miners may be forgotten tomorrow, but in the absence of accountability and reform, perhaps it’s only a matter of time until the voices of the invisible and marginalised galvanise into a more powerful expression of social revolt.

 

By Mashaal Gauhar

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Now Walk the Talk, Imran
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LATEST POSTS

Now Walk the Talk, Imran
Violence against Minorities
Unsheltered

Unsheltered

November 5, 2018
Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality