1. Khalid Zahid: Transforming Saudi Art
  2. Now Walk the Talk, Imran
  3. Violence against Minorities
  4. Unsheltered
  5. Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality
  6. How to Encourage Terrorism
  7. Faisalabad in 2028
  8. Mental Illness & the Progress of a Nation
  9. Child Sexual Abuse
  10. Living amongst the clouds : Aalia Bux
  11. Mental health – What soldiers can teach us
  12. Many Cookies still to Crumble
  13. Steering Through Turbulence
  14. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  15. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  16. Making ADR work for Women
  17. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  18. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  19. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  20. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  21. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  22. Come on Skipper !
  23. GUMM
  24. Annus Horibilis
  25. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  26. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  27. Method in the Madness
  28. Legal System Reforms
  29. Power Over Impulse
  30. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  31. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  32. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  33. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  34. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  35. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  36. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  37. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  38. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  39. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  40. NEWS PICKS
  41. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  42. Fitness with the Mughal
  43. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  44. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  45. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  46. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  47. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  48. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  49. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  50. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  51. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  52. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  53. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  54. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  55. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  56. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  57. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  58. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  59. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  60. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  61. Money for nothing, bits for free
  62. FinTech
  63. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  64. Crisis of Civilization
  65. Child Sexual Abuse
  66. Education is the only Solution
  67. Fit for Purpose
  68. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
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  70. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
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  72. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
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  75. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  76. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  77. Five major political events of 2017
  78. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  79. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  80. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  81. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  82. What we can learn from Ghalib
  83. QUINOA SALAD WITH THAI DRESSING
Sat, Feb 16, 2019
  1. Khalid Zahid: Transforming Saudi Art
  2. Now Walk the Talk, Imran
  3. Violence against Minorities
  4. Unsheltered
  5. Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality
  6. How to Encourage Terrorism
  7. Faisalabad in 2028
  8. Mental Illness & the Progress of a Nation
  9. Child Sexual Abuse
  10. Living amongst the clouds : Aalia Bux
  11. Mental health – What soldiers can teach us
  12. Many Cookies still to Crumble
  13. Steering Through Turbulence
  14. ExxonMobil – Close to hitting huge oil reserves in Pakistan, bigger than Kuwait’s
  15. NAYA PAKISTAN?
  16. Making ADR work for Women
  17. Women’s Rights under Family Law
  18. Shutting the Door on Refugees
  19. Water Challenges and Opportunities
  20. In Conversation with Dr. Ghulam Rasul on Hydrology
  21. In Conversation with Shafqat kakakhel: Internal Water Management Practices
  22. Come on Skipper !
  23. GUMM
  24. Annus Horibilis
  25. The Inhumanity of Pakistan’s Coal Industry
  26. Iran Nuclear Deal The U.S Withdrawal
  27. Method in the Madness
  28. Legal System Reforms
  29. Power Over Impulse
  30. Refugees and Migrants are People too
  31. PTCL – A Nonstop Journey Towards Excellence
  32. Gulgee – The Last of The Greats
  33. Patrik Hoffmann – Sonraj
  34. Pakistan’s Primordial Hindu Heritage
  35. Pakistan’s Migrant Tragedy
  36. PTCL – Fastest Growing Brand in Pakistan
  37. Keep Pakistan’s Wagon Hitched To The China Star
  38. Anique’s Chocolate Cake
  39. Selfless & Fearless – Lahore Qalandars
  40. NEWS PICKS
  41. Intellectual Property and Tourism
  42. Fitness with the Mughal
  43. REBEL WITH A CAUSE
  44. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-1)
  45. Mummy’s Recipes Roast Chicken & Veg
  46. ENGAGING HEADS HEARTS AND HANDS
  47. The Big Fat Lie – Cholesterol (Part-2)
  48. Q & A with Star of Parchi
  49. Addressing Sexual Abuse
  50. Q & A with EMAN ZAEEM & MEHR SAAD
  51. Pakistan’s Lost Children
  52. ENGLAND AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  53. STICK WITH FRIENDS AND DITCH THE ENEMIES
  54. The Phenomenon that Stephen Hawking was!
  55. In Conversation with ANUSHAY ZEESHAN
  56. Q & A with owner of District 6 – Anum Rafat
  57. Ali Rehman Khan – Naturally A Star
  58. MUNIBA`S Call for Tolerance & Justice
  59. Q&A Muniba Mazari
  60. Health Quotient (Dental health)
  61. Money for nothing, bits for free
  62. FinTech
  63. TRADING THREATS OF WAR
  64. Crisis of Civilization
  65. Child Sexual Abuse
  66. Education is the only Solution
  67. Fit for Purpose
  68. BLUE CHIP TALKS TO THE CREATOR OF TEETOO AND TANIA
  69. Mini meringue recipe
  70. NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES PAKISTANI
  71. Changing the Perception of Public Transport Motorway Express
  72. AUSTENISTAN DEBUTS WITH ELEGANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
  73. PAKISTAN’S WOMEN OF 2017
  74. THE BEAUTY IN BUSINESS
  75. PERCEPTIONS ARE ALSO REALITY
  76. Blue Chip Q/A with Atiqa Odho
  77. Five major political events of 2017
  78. WHAT DOES TRUMP’S TWEET MEAN FOR CPEC AND THE REGION
  79. THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IN 2017
  80. AFGHANISTAN GOING DOWNHILL
  81. 2017 FOR PSX – THE CLIMB AND THE DECLINE
  82. What we can learn from Ghalib
  83. 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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Unsheltered

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Lumbering Giant with a Midget’s Mentality