PESHAWAR: Jamaat-i- Islami chief Sirajul Haq on Saturday criticised the ruling PTI for establishing soup kitchens (langarkhana) instead of fulfilling its commitment of promoting industrialisation in the country.

“Before elections, the PTI had promised to establish industries after coming to power but now after forming the government, it is opening langarkhanas in the country. It had also promised to create more than 10 million jobs but has unemployed 3.4 million people in the last 16 months,” he told the Peshawar Press Club’s ‘Meet the Press’ programme.

The JI leader said the country’s economic situation was worsening fast to the misery of the common man but Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed to be striving to create a true Islamic welfare state.

He said the ruling PTI had miserably failed to deliver, while his party was the only ray of hope for the poverty-stricken people under the current dismal circumstances.

Mr Siraj said political parties were playing politics to serve the interests of own leaders.

He said it was extremely pathetic that Pakistani rupee had lost its value even against the Afghan, Bangladeshi and Indian currencies but the government had yet to control damage.

The JI chief said Pakistan was the world’s eighth largest wheat producer, so he wondered how the price of wheat flour could rise so steeply. He demanded an immediate probe into the matter and punishment of the culpable people.

Mr Siraj said the people had voted the PTI to power but it had miserably failed to live up to their expectations.

“It is no secret now that the rulers are too inexperienced and incompetent to devise effective policies to drive the country out of the serious economic crisis,” he said.

The JI chief alleged high incidence of corruption in the ruling PTI’s Naya Pakistan.

He said his party was acting as a real opposition party in the prevailing situation, while the rest of political parties were serving own interests.

About development schemes, Mr Siraj said the Kartarpur Corridor was established for Sikhs in just nine months but the Peshawar Bus Transit project hadn’t been completed for a long time despite the spending of billions of rupees. He said the ruling PTI had promised the people prosperity and development but unfortunately, all those promises had turned out to be false.

“The poor people are completely shocked as they had lots of expectations from the new government of the PTI,” he said. The JI leader said the unprecedented price hike and unemployment coupled with new taxes had upset the common man.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2020