Fired from his job for being a Christian.
is what happens in Pakistan, in the city of Gujrat (Punjab province), where
Naveed Maqsood has been waging a legal battle for over a year to put an end to
the ongoing discrimination he has suffered at the hands of his boss, a Muslim
woman, the principal of a state school.
man, aged 39, is the father of three young children and was employed as a
driver. The episode dates to August 16,
2012 when, thanks to government quotas reserved for minorities, Naveed was employed
by the Government
Special Education Center Sara-e-Alamgeer in Gujrat.
Parveen, the principal of the institute, harbored a personal grudge against the
Christian, and from December 2012 to September 2013 blocked - illegally - payment
of his salary.
The man approached her to ask her
to let him do his work on a regular basis, but the principal explained that the
place assigned to him was "destined" for an acquaintance of hers and
that she "did not like him because he is a member of a minority".
to resolve the dispute, Naveed requested and was granted a transfer to
Faisalabad, where he began working for the National
Special Education Center.
the government ordered he be paid the wages he was due, but Nargis Parveen never
put the man on the payroll.
The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) brought a case
before a Lahore court on behalf of Naveed Maqsood. The
court sent two subpoenas to the principal, but the woman never appeared before
the judges. In
January 2014 Naveed was called to testify in the presence of school authorities
and the result was his dismissal.
Bunny Edward, lawyer and coordinator of the NCJP legal aid program, Pakistan
"is fast becoming an intolerant society. In Naveed Maqsood's case, we
filed an appeal at the High Court of Lahore, so he may regain his place of employment and the wages owed