All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA); its affiliations; how it is treated by the present government; the circumstances of the killing of its chairman, Ishaq Saqi, in March 2000; newspaper reports of APCA leaders arrested in a strike by the APCA on 17 May 2000 [PAK37729.E]

The All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA) was founded by Ishaq Saqi and Hidayat Yar Bokhari (Dawn 20 Apr. 2000) with the reported objective of restoring respect for clerical staff (HRCP June 2000). APCA was recognized by the Prime Minister on 9 April 1974 under letter No 16-17/73/Fi (ibid.). By 1985, the Association had established an united platform across Pakistan, with Bokhari as its president and Saqi as its secretary general (Dawn 20 Apr. 2000; HRCP June 2000). Today, APCA, reportedly the "sole representative of employees from grade one to 16" (Dawn 18 July 2001) claims a membership of 2.2 million clerks (ibid.; ibid. 20 Apr. 2000).

The following persons are referred to as current or recent leaders of APCA: Hidayatyar Bokhari, president (Dawn 20 Apr. 2000); Syed Hidayat Yar Bokhari, patron-in-chief (ibid. 11 Feb. 2001); Haji Fazl-i-Mabood Khan, central president (Jang 20 June 2001); Zulfiqar Qaimkhani, Sindh secretary general (The News International 15 Nov. 2000a); Ammanullah Shah Mashwani, Sindh president (Dawn 29 July 2001); Riasat Ali Khan, president PID Karachi Unit (Business Recorder 20 Apr. 2000); Nusrat Ali Toor; Chaudrary Safar Ali; Mehboob Ali Bhatti (Jang 20 June 2001); Shabbir Ahmed, Khursheed Ahmed Tanoli; Muhammad Umer Lasi (The News International 15 Nov. 2000b).

No reference to APCA affiliations with other organizations could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, a report by the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) noted that APCA, along with nine other unions, had participated in the May Day 2001 rally organized by PTUDC in Kasur, Punjab (n.d.). As well, a 29 July 2001 article reported that APCA, along with the Government Secondary Teachers Association and other organizations, had expressed solidarity with the Paramedical Staff Association which was staging a token hunger strike in protest of the alleged excesses of the medical superintendent of the Larkana Medical College Hospital (Dawn).

A 15 November 1999 article reported that "dissident office-bearers" of APCA had announced the formation of All Sindh Clerks Association (ASCA) (Dawn). Expressing dissatisfaction over APCA's performance and a lack of confidence in the Association's leadership in Sindh, the chairman of ASCA, Mohammad Safar Jatoi, along with Deedar Ali Jaskani and other members, claimed that APCA had not held elections at the central or provincial level since its inception and that there was some question as to the use of revenues raised at unit and district level elections (ibid.).

Although no reference to the present government's treatment of APCA could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions' (ICFTU) 1999 annual survey reported that, in July 1999, Punjab authorities had announced their decision to "curb the activities of unions and associations, especially the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA), because they were perceived as obstructing public policy."

Various articles refer to APCA protests and demands (Business Recorder 20 Apr. 2000; Dawn 26 July 2001; ibid. 18 July 2001; ibid. 22 April 2001; ibid. 11 Feb. 2001; ibid. 10 Apr. 2000; The News International 15 Nov. 2000a; ibid.b; Jang 20 June 2001). However, no reports of the arrest of APCA leaders participating in a 17 May 2000 strike could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

On 12 April 2000, APCA chairman, Ishaq Saqi, died while in the Dera Ghazi Khan central jail (Dawn 20 Apr. 2000; HRCP Feb. 2001; ibid. June 2000). Saqi, along with Javid Lund, Bilal Shah and Muhammad Safdar (Dawn 14 Apr. 2000), had been arrested a week earlier under the Maintenance of Public Order Law for holding a protest demonstration against the elementary education director who was reportedly responsible for the "arbitrary" relocation of clerks to other districts (HRCP Feb. 2001; The Pakistan Newswire 21 Apr. 2000). Although a district and sessions judge granted bail to those arrested, Saqi alone was not released, but was instead re-arrested on charges dating back to July 1999 that involved the recovery of property; charges which had reportedly already been dealt with (Dawn 20 Apr. 2000). Saqi's body reportedly bore indications of injury and, according to a report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, "his mysterious death was believed to have resulted from the failure of prison staff to provide him any medication for his diabetes and the harsh treatment meted out to him" (Feb. 2001). For more information on the circumstances surrounding the death of Ishaq Saqi, please refer to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's (HRCP) June 2000 report on their fact-finding investigation into the incident.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Business Recorder [Karachi]. 20 April 2000. "Clerks Demand Concessions." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

Dawn [Karachi]. 29 July 2001. "Larkana: Two Killed, 13 Hurt as Buses Collide." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

_____. 26 July 2001. "APCA Protests Against Retrenchment." [Accessed 12 Oct. 2001]

_____. 18 July 2001. "APCA Leaders Resent Changes Under New Plan." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

_____. 22 April 2001. "Peshawar: Devolution to Render Workers Jobless: All Pakistan Clerks Association."

_____. 11 February 2001. "Clerks to Begin Protest From 20th." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

_____. 16 June 2000. "HRCP Publishes Report on Ishaq Saqi's Death." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

_____. 20 April 2000. "Multan: Mystery Shrouds APCA Leader's Death." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

_____. 14 April 2000. "APCA Chief Laid to Rest." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

_____. 10 April 2000. "Multan: Clerks' Strike in Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan Today."

_____. 15 November 1999. "STPP to Oppose Bifurcation of Province." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). February 2001. State of Human Rights in 2000. (CD-ROM)

_____. June 2000. "Ishaq Saqi's Death in Custody: Fact-Finding." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). 1999. Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights 1999. [Accessed 12 Oct. 2001]

Jang [Rawalpindi, in Urdu]. 20 June 2001. "Pakistan's Government Servants Prepare to Launch Movement Against Budget." (FBIS-NES-2001-0623 20 June 2001)

The News International [Karachi]. 15 November 2000a. "APCA Demands Quota in Colleges." [Accessed 12 Oct. 2001]

_____. 15 November 2000b. "APCA Demands Facilities." [Accessed 12 Oct. 2001]

The Pakistan Newswire. 21 April 2000. "HRCP Demands Judicial Inquiry into Saqi's Death." (Pakistan Press International/NEXIS)

Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC). n.d. "May Day 2001, Report on Activities of the PTUDC and the Arrests that Took Place." [Accessed 15 Oct. 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

The Europa World Year Book

IRB databases

Political Handbook of the World

Resource Centre. Country File

Trade Unions of the World

Oral sources:

All Pakistan Federation of Trade Unions

Pakistan National Federation of Trade Unions

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions-Asian and Pacific Regional Organizations

Internet sites including:

Asian Labour Update

Labor Online

Labour Start

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Human Rights Watch

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions-Asian and Pacific Regional Organizations

International Labour Org

World Socialist Web Site