By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- Thousands of Pakistani Christians live like slaves in Punjab's Muslim-owned brick kiln industry.
Working as bonded labor, employees rise at 4 a.m. to make more than 1,000 bricks from mud; although the government has set the price for this task at 500 rupees, employees are only paid 200 rupees, or $2.25 U.S., according to Pakistan Christian Post sources.
Further, these indentured servants live in company towns called Bhattas in small, single room residences whose rent and utility costs are continuously billed to their company-owned accounts; these unpaid bills can continue for generations as a family's debt is passed from the parents to their children.
As there aren't any nearby medical services, hundreds die annually from TB and other health issues, but should any worker attempt to flee, they are hunted-down and charged 50,000 rupees for the expenses incurred by their employers to bring them back to the Bhatta.
There are even accounts of Christians being forced to sell their own kidneys in order to pay off the debt to their Muslim masters, recoup their freedom and leave these latter-day industrial plantations.
"Christians are slaves in Punjab while Hindus from lower casts are also slaves in Sindh province in Pakistan,” said Nazir Bhatti, president of the Pakistan Christian Congress.
Bhatti urged Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry to free thousands of Christians and Hindus from industrial slavery in Pakistan.