JI stages protests against high cost of power, outages, budget

Monday, Jun 24, 2024

LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) organised nationwide demonstrations on Sunday against the high cost of electricity, prolonged loadshedding and the “anti-people budget”.

These protests were held on the call of JI Ameer Engineer Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, marking the commencement of the first phase of a peaceful national resistance movement.

A large number of people participated in the rallies across major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad Sukkur, Faisalabad, Multan as well as in other numerous small cities. The demonstrators voiced their discontent with the IMF-imposed budget and rising utility bills demanding immediate relief.

According to reports, JI Naib Amir Liaquat Baloch led the protest in Rawalpindi, Secretary General Ameerul Azim in Gujrat, JI Amir Punjab South Rao Zafar at the Multan Press Club, JI Amir Punjab Central Javed Kasuri in Kasur, JI Amir Balochistan Maulana Abdul Haq in Quetta, JI Amir KP Professor Ibrahim in Peshawar, JI Secretary General KP Abdul Wasey in Mardan, JI Amir Lahore Ziauddin Ansari Advocate in Lahore, JI Amir Karachi Munam Zafar at Kala Pull in Karachi, JI Amir Sargodha Awais Qasim in Sargodha and JI Amir Sheikhupura Rana Tuhfa Dastgir in Sheikhupura. Additional protests were held across interior Sindh and at district and tehsil levels led by local JI leaders.

Speakers at these events criticised the government for what they termed a complete capitulation to the IMF resulting in a harsh and anti-poor budget. They asserted that the government lacked credibility and legitimacy and vowed that the JI would persist in its struggle for the people’s rights.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) led by its president Dr Atif Chaudhry met JI Ameer Engineer Hafiz Naeemur Rehman at Mansoorah. The doctors apprised the JI leader of the current situation at hospitals following the fire incident at the Sahiwal Hospital and outlined their demands.

Hafiz Naeemur Rehman condemned Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz for the handcuffing of doctors after the Sahiwal Hospital fire, calling it a fascist act and an intolerable disgrace to professionals. He demanded a public apology from the chief minister and called for dialogue between doctors and the government to resolve the situation, which is causing suffering for the common people.

He demanded a transparent inquiry into the incident. He also called for transparent audit of the funds being utilised on revamping of hospital buildings across Punjab.

Hafiz Naeemur Rehman expressed support for the doctors’ legitimate demands and urged them to avoid causing hardship for patients during their strike. The doctors assured him that patient care would not be affected by their protest.