QUETTA: Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Emir Sirajul Haq has said that the assets of former rulers and others who looted the national resources should be sold to repay the foreign loans, which pose a significant burden on the country’s economy.
Speaking to participants of a protest sit-in staged by Balochistan JI near the Governor House Quetta on Sunday, he said that huge loans were acquired by the rulers, and now they are imposing the burden of repayment on the people, as per the IMF’s demands.
A large number of JI workers, supporters, and other individuals gathered in the afternoon, responding to Balochistan JI’s appeal.
This gathering led to traffic blockages in the red zone and surrounding areas, and the sit-in continued into the late evening. JI’s provincial emir Maulana Abdul Haq Hashmi and other leaders were also present at the sit-in.
Mr Haq strongly criticised the previous governments, holding them responsible for the worsening economy of the country due to their involvement in looting and plundering national resources, resulting in increased inflation and price hikes.
“Governments around the world present their budgets once a year, while Pakistan is the only country where rulers present budgets on a daily basis,” Mr Haq said, adding that the rulers burden the people every day with price hikes while filling their pockets with national resources, thereby pushing the country’s economy to the brink of disaster.
“The 250 million people of the country cannot manage their daily affairs as their purchasing power has become zero due to wrong policies of the rulers.”
Skyrocketing price hikes have severely affected the poor, and heavy utility bills, including electricity and gas, have made life difficult for common people, he added.
Referring to the situation in Balochistan, he said that the poverty rate in the province is higher than in other provinces, as the people lack jobs and basic facilities such as education, healthcare, drinking water and communication.
“The chairman of the Senate and the Chief Justice of Balochistan should play their role in resolving the province’s issues,” he said.
The JI emir also pointed out that the prices of essential items in Afghanistan, Iran and Bangladesh are lower than in Pakistan, and their economies are improving, while Pakistan faces a dire situation.
Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2023