PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam- Fazl held separate protest rallies against price hike across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday and asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to control inflation, corruption and joblessness immediately or step down.
In Peshawar, the ANP rally was addressed by Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and former minister Syed Aqil Shah outside the Peshawar Press Club, while JUI-F workers led by Maulana Amanullah Haqqani, Abdul Jalil Jan, Asif Iqbal Daudzai and Khalid Waqar Chamkani took out a procession from Madni Masjid in Namak Mandi and held a public meeting at Khyber Bazaar.
A large number of people, holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against price hike, participated in the protest demonstrations.
The ANP leaders said that the growing prices of daily use essential commodities and petroleum products and frequent increase in the tariff of power and gas had proved that economic policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government had totally failed.
PM asked to control inflation or step down
They said that during its three years in power, the PTI government did not provide any relief to the poverty-hit masses rather further made lives of the jobless and low-income people miserable.
They said that there was need to control prices of essential commodities on emergency basis otherwise Imran Khan had no right to remain on the PM’s seat.
They said that the price-hike of utilities and imposition of more taxes, particularly in power bills, would directly affect every citizen. They said the rulers had created an uncertain situation in the country as they badly failed to fulfil their election manifesto which included provision of financial relief to all citizens and five million houses and creation of 10 million jobs.
Similarly, the JUI-F leaders recalled that Imran Khan during his 126 days sit-in in Islamabad had mad tall claims to change fate of the poor people, but he could not fulfil his promises rather further added to problems of the common people.
Criticising the government for increase in prices of petroleum products, electricity, natural gas and different kitchen items, the JUI leaders said that the people were ready to come on to the streets for sending the government packing as early as possible.
The JUI-F leaders said that the government was unable to arrest those involved in the sugar and flour scams. They said that the rulers were actively following IMF agenda for the only purpose to get loans.
Chanting slogans against the government, the protestors also demanded reinstatement of the thousands of employees who were recently sacked from different public sector departments.
In Charsadda, the protestors led by ANP provincial spokesperson Samar Haroon Bilour, party district president MPA Shakeel Bashir Umarzai and others said that the ‘selected rulers’ had miserably failed to run the government affairs.
Addressing the party workers, they said that Imran Khan had deceived the voters with hollow slogans of ‘change’.
Rallies and demonstrations were also held in Mansehra, Lakki Marwat, Swabi, Bajaur, Dera Ismail Khan and other districts against the record price hike and unemployment in the country, with protesters asking the government to provide them immediate relief or step down.
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2021