PESHAWAR: Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has criticised the government for imposing taxes worth Rs40 billion on the masses in a bid to secure another loan of $502 million from the International Monetary Fund.
Addressing media persons at the party office on Saturday, Siraj said the government would not have needed any loan had it cut down expenses and controlled rampant corruption.
He claimed “corruption worth Rs1,000 billion” takes place every year in the country have been made to root it out.
“The government, after coming to power, had promised to break the begging bowl and make the country financially strong, but it did not live up to people’s expectations,” the JI chief added.
He lamented the fact that the prices of luxury items had decreased while prices of edibles were on the rise due to flawed policies of the government.
He pressed the government to introduce financial reforms to get rid of the loans and make the country economically sound and stable. Haq said people would not be able to afford the burden of more taxes.
The JI chief also criticised the provincial and federal governments for delaying surveys in quake-hit areas.
“Around 10 days have passed but a damage assessment survey is yet to be concluded,” he said. “If they are taking 10 days on a survey; how much time it will be taken on reconstruction and rehabilitation,” he asked.
Siraj said he asked for the provincial and federal governments to work jointly, but it seemed they were poles apart. “Winter has arrived and people are spending nights under the open sky. They can neither reside in their own homes nor rent houses in the Malakand Division,” he said.
He was of the view that people would definitely migrate to Peshawar, Islamabad and other cities if the government did not expedite its relief and reconstruction efforts.
To a question about his meeting with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Fazlur Rehman, the JI chief said he was in contact with leaders of different religious and political parties to forge a unity and restore the Islamic system in the country.
He said a few influential families have been running the affairs of Pakistan and manipulating its political system. “That is the reason the living standard of people in rural areas of Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab is the same as it was in 1947,” he said.
Earlier, workers belonging to Qaumi Watan Party from Charsadda joined JI.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2015.