KARACHI: Jamaat-i-Islami on Monday demanded the federal government take back its decision regarding retrenchment of over 4,500 employees of Pakistan Steel Mills and come up with a reform plan to run the industrial giant which it claimed could still be made profitable.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters Idara Noor-i-Haq, the JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rahman along with the Pakistan Steel Mills Workers Union’s Asim Bhatti, warned the federal government that it could face strong resistance from workers if it insisted with going ahead with the layoff plan.

“And in such a situation we would be standing with the workers,” he said. “It’s so unfortunate ... that important and essential entities are being privatized. Thousands of workers are being rendered jobless. The retrenchment of over 4,500 workers of Pakistan Steel Mills is the worst example of this policy. Now we fear the same for PIA and other organisations. We would not allow this and announce our final strategy very soon.”

He said that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf used to raise voice against privatisation of Pakistan Steel in the past but it sacked the employees when it came into power, proving difference in the words and deeds of the rulers.

“The people of Pakistan are going through unprecedented times, particularly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and sacking of people is sheer injustice. The government should be focusing on providing relief instead,” he said.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2020

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