Ahead of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s movement for “Haqeeqi Azadi” (the real freedom) set to kick-start on September 24, the party has mobilised its workers in the provincial capital through a series of protests.
PTI local leaders continued to stage protest demonstrations against the historic inflations and increase in petrol price and utility bills in different areas of the metropolis, on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, Lahore PTI President Sheikh Munir Mahmood and General Secretary Zubair Niazi said their party has decided to send the imported rulers in packing over high rate of inflation, unemployment and increase in petroleum products and electricity tariffs.
The PTI local leaders also highlighted that initially, the party launched protests at the town level as “the imported rulers”, a term the PTI leadership and activists use for the government, have increased petroleum products prices even when the oil prices have dropped in the international market.
They underscored that “the imported rulers” have proved they are the real enemy of the country and the people of Pakistan. The PTI local leaders were of the view that these “corrupt rulers” toppled the elected government of Imran Khan on the pretext of inflation, however, they multiplied the prices of all commodities. They (the rulers) did not do anything for the common citizens except giving another NRO (amnesty) to save their looted money.
A large number of the PTI workers staged a protest demonstration at Batti Chowk. They were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the imported regime.
They also shouted slogans against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) -led Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) government. They also burnt electricity bills to register their protest. They demanded immediate withdrawal of taxes from electricity bills and a reduction in petroleum products tariffs.
Meanwhile, PTI has also decided to mobilise traders’ bodies ahead of the launch of the PTI’s “the real independence movement” starting from the weekend. PTI has scheduled to hold a traders’ convention in the provincial capital on Sunday. The party has already extended invitations to trader leaders of the different markets of the province to launch a decisive action against the imported regime.
PTI Information Secretary Andleeb Abbas said the imported government had “stolen the right of living from common citizens”.
“The government had badly failed to provide relief to the masses. Oil prices are continuously decreasing in international markets but imported rulers are increasing petroleum tariffs in Pakistan,” she remarked.
She said people had to sell their household goods to pay for utilities.
She also pointed out that farmers have also taken to the street against these corrupt rulers as fertiliser prices have also increased dramatically owing to the negligence and failure of corrupt rulers.
Meanwhile, the latest bill collection data of the power utility, Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO), indicated that the company has to face a shortfall of Rs7 billion during the month of August as people were unable to pay inflated electricity bills.
Last month, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced to waive fuel price adjustment (FPA) but the company has billed included the in current month’s bills. The LESCO officials deducted the FPA from consumer bills, however, the same has been included in the current bills as arrears with a notice of disconnection on non-payment of electricity bills.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2022.
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