Abbas Zaidi: Clerks of Punjab, sell your children!

The Punjab government had decided to sack thousands of clerks who have been working on contract basis for the past nineteen years. Other than the office boys, the clerks are at the lowest ladder of government jobs, and it is very difficult for them to live respectably. This is one reason—one reason—that being clerk is synonymous with being petty bribe taking. Clerks are also known to be mean, petty-minded, and live in infamy and economic deprivation. The reason: they usually deal with the very poor and it is these poor that they have to squeeze to make extra bucks.

Now that the Punjabi government has decided to deprive them of the low salaries and petty pilfering, they have put up their children on sale because they cannot feed them. The wailing clerks beat their chests and pull their hair as their lovely little kids crying and begging the government to have pity on them and their fathers.

The government is merciless and will not be moved by the wailing or Children of Sale. One clerk, however, said something significant. He said that the economic ruin of the clerks and their families would lead to the Talibanization of the clerks, which means that pushed against the wall some clerks or their children will become suicide bombers. The clerk is right: the only language that the government understands is the language is violent as the victories of the Taliban in northern Pakistan show.

Suicide bombing as we Pakistanis know is an extremely wicked act, which results in nothing but destruction and fitna on a very large scale. Having said that, I believe that the clerks or their children will not become suicide bombers unless religion is brought in. This is why, the government will disdain the clerks, protests, and they, the clerks, will continue to protest and put up their children on sale.