Chinese engineers’ guards seeks pay hike

 GILGIT (ET):Hundreds of policemen, deployed for the security of  Chinese engineers on the Karakoram Highway [KKH] in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), staged a demonstration in front of the chief minister’s office on Saturday, demanding a pay increase as well as regularisation of their service.

As part of upgrading KKH, the government had initiated a Karakoram Security Force (KSF) to provide security to the Chinese engineers supervising work on the highway.

The KSF men were inducted on a contract basis, about three years back for a period of four years.

“We are demanding a clearance of arrears, regularisation of our services and raise in our salaries,” said one of the 100 security officials who took part in the demonstration.

One of the protesters asserted that they had not been paid for the past three months. He added that more of their colleagues were eager to join them in further strikes that will make the Chinese engineers vulnerable to grave security threats. It was a spectacle to witness KSF officials protesting along with their arms. They also refused to hand over their weapons to the authorities, when asked to exercise their ‘right of expression’ in a peaceful way.

Sources said none of the government representatives turned up for negotiations and efforts made by Bashir Ahmed, the province’s opposition leader, were not successful.

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