MANSEHRA: People from different walks of life on Sunday took to streets to protest increasing inflation and unemployment in the country.

“The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government has increased the prices of petroleum products to a record high level, depriving people of three times meal,” Mohammad Anwar, former tehsil councillor, told the protesters.

Holding placards, the protesters marched through Darband Bazaar and demanded immediate withdrawal of recent rise in the prices of petroleum products and electricity tariff. They also chanted slogans against the government.

Mr Anwar said that PTI came into power in the name of change and revival of the economy but it did nothing for its overhauling and pushed the country to the brink of economic collapse because of its anti-people policies.

Workers of PPP and JI, lawyers and traders attend rallies in different cities

Speaking on the occasion, Salahudden said that government increased the prices of petroleum products, electricity and natural gas to avail loans of International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile, Peoples Lawyers Forum demanded of the government to withdraw the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products.

“PPP has recently held protest demonstrations against inflation and unemployment. Now we would follow suit as peoples’ purchasing power reduced drastically following the recent surge in the petroleum products prices,” Sheikh Noorulamin, the president of Peoples Lawyers Forum, told journalists after a meeting of the forum.

The meeting passed a resolution demanding an immediate withdrawal of recent increase in prices of petroleum products and electricity tariff.

In Kohat, thousands of protesters at a rally organised by Pakistan Peoples Party against a price hike demanded of the rulers to step down.

PPP provincial secretary information MPA, Amjid Afridi, former MNA Pir Dilawar Shah, Senator Shamim Afridi, Pir Adil Shah, Nadir Khattak, chairman of Kohat Businessmen Qaumi Tehreek Ameer Khan Afridi and others addressed the rally.

Lawyers, traders and people from all walks of life attended the rally. The speakers said that government had let loose mafias that led to uncontrollable prices of sugar, ghee, electricity, medicines, flour, wheat and petroleum products. They condemned loadshedding of gas and electricity, unemployment and blocked the main road of the city.

The rally, led by MPA Amjid Afridi, started from Peshawar Square and after passing through the main bazaar turned into a public meeting at Bab-i-Khatam-i-Nabuwat.

The speakers said that government failed to fulfil its promises of providing five million homes, 10 million jobs and economic turnaround on all fronts. They said that essential daily use items had gone beyond the reach of the poor.

They said that people were dying for a loaf of bread but the prime minister and cabinet were engaged in a tussle over the appointment of ISI chief.

They said that purchasing power of people dwindled and the poor longed for flour and sugar.

In Bajaur, Jamaat-i-Islami workers staged a protest demonstration against the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products and other essential commodities.

Scores of JI workers, traders and locals participated in the demonstration held at main Khar Bazaar.

Holding party flags, banner and placards, the protesters criticised government for its failure to control price hike.

The protesters said that incompetence of government plunged the country in deep financial and political crises.

JI district chief Sardar Khan, former MNA Sahibzada Haroon Rahseed, Qari Abdul Majeed, Hameed Sufi, Abdul Manan, Sahibur Rahman and others addressed the rally.

They said that PTI leaders, especially Prime Minister Imran Khan, were not tiring of making tall claims to improve the living standard of people but the country did not see any improvement and relief during their government.

The speakers said that such financial crises, bad governance and huge inflation were not witnessed in the country in the past.

They also slammed the local lawmakers for ignoring the issues of the district.

They criticised the government for not allocating three per cent share in the National Finance Commission award for the tribal districts.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2021

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