LAHORE: The Jamaat-i-Islami has termed the Rs12 billion “relief package” announced by the federal government for fighting price hike too meagre.

“The government has sanctioned a subsidy of Rs2 billion per month for Utility Stores which is insufficient to control the genie of inflation,” JI emir Senator Sirajul Haq said at a party workers’ meeting here on Wednesday.

He argued that more than 70 per cent of the population living in the rural areas having no access to Utility Stories won’t be able to benefit from the so-called relief package.

Overall, he said, the subsidy amount was a mockery of a common man’s needs who was starving and unable to afford two meals a day for his family.

Expressing his concern at the increasing school dropout ratio, he said people were opting for sending their children for labour instead of studies. He said the poor were being made a laughingstock by opening Langar Khanas (free food outlets) and Panahgahs (shelter homes) in every town.

He highlighted the need for creating jobs in the public as well as private sectors, establishing factories and mills to end unemployment and fix the economy.

However, he said, the government lacked vision and was incapable of bringing the country out of the crises it was faced with. Therefore, he demanded, the PTI government must admit its failure and quit in the larger national interest.

JI secretary general Ameerul Azim said Pakistan could be put on the path to development by the enforcement of “true Islamic values” in every sector.

He regretted at the silence of the world on the atrocities being committed by Indian forces held Kashmir and termed the BJP’s defeat in Delhi state election a result of its anti-Muslim policies.

He advised the prime minister to mend his attitude and try to build national consensus on the issues of Kashmir, Afghanistan and Palestine. He also expressed concern over, what he called, the flawed economic policies of the government which resulted in inflation and unemployment.

Meanwhile, the JI has moved the Federal Investigation Agency’s Cyber Crime Wing against the circulation of a fake social media post attributed to its emir Senator Sirajul Haq. The contents of the post (a letter) had nothing to do with the JI emir, stated information secretary Qaisar Sharif while filing the complaint with the FIA here on Wednesday.

He demanded action under cyber crime laws against the elements behind the circulation of fake letter.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2020