Nation out on roads to fight real battle of independence: PTI

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Apr 24, 2022

The incumbent government has had to face embarrassment within a week, with beggars seen to be begging from the IMF, while on the other side, the nation is out on the roads to fight the real battle of independence.

Provincial assembly opposition leader Haleem Adil Sheikh made these remarks while addressing a news conference at the PA, along with former spokesman of the finance ministry Muzammil Aslam.

Sheikh said the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) has been setting new records every day, adding that if a public gathering is arranged in a city, the nation responds to it by holding gatherings across the country.

He said that more than a million people hold a gathering on social media, while “Imported Government Namanzoor” has become the top trend on a microblogging website.

Now it is not a movement of the PTI, but it has become a people’s revolution, with the entire nation demanding fresh elections, but the alliance of 12 parties is afraid of polls because the case is now in the court of the people, who have to decide the fate of the country, he added.

Sheikh said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) are questioning the “threatening letter”, but the handout issued after the meeting of the National Security Committee has “proven foreign intervention and the stance of the PTI as factual”.

He lauded Asad Majeed, who played the role of a respectful Pakistani. He claimed that in the past they might have received such threats, but this time it was then prime minister Imran Khan who took a courageous stand.

He demanded a judicial commission headed by a judge of the Supreme Court to investigate letter-gate in the presence of the media while keeping its proceedings open. He said that former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other officials should also be called to record their statements on the issue.

He stressed that the “imported government” could not shrug off letter-gate that easily because “serious threats” had been extended to the security and solidarity of the nation.

He criticised the present government’s “propaganda” about Toshakhana and the use of helicopter, saying that the PPP and the PML-N had made mansions during their tenures, while the expenditure of Khan’s US tour was less than the expenses of the limousine used by Nawaz Sharif.

He said that they declare their private houses as the PM House and spend billions from taxpayers’ money on them, while the condition of the Bani Gala Secretariat is in front of everyone.

The PTI leader said Hammad Azhar had inked an agreement for the provision of 2,000 megawatts of electricity to Karachi to facilitate industries and businesses.

However, he said, immediately after taking charge, the present government cut down additional supply of 300MW to the city, pushing the people into misery due to load-shedding and water scarcity during Ramazan.

He lamented that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan had not voiced their concerns against injustices with the people of Karachi, saying that the PTI will hold a protest against power load-shedding in the biggest city of the country.

He censured the Mehar (District Dadu) incident in which nine people, including children, had burnt to death, while the affected communities had not been provided any relief.

He said that fire brigades were unavailable, and no rescue or relief activities had been provided so far, while some of the dispatched relief items had been looted by Jiyalas (PPP activists).

Sheikh said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah is urging the corporate sector to step forward to provide facilities to markets, but he forgot that Karachi contributes 90 per cent to Sindh’s revenue, while over 70 per cent of the country’s tax is collected from the city. “If everything is supposed to be done by traders, what is the role of the government and the CM?”

Referring to the Nazim Jokhio murder case, he termed it a grave violation of human rights, saying that the man was subjected to brutal torture, and now his widow and relatives were pressurised and coerced into withdrawing their case.

He said that the same people have returned to power to “plunder” the country again, but a revolutionary movement has started across the country, and what is going to happen is something no one has thought of, and the nation will get rid of all these “thieves” soon.

He added that a day earlier, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s grandson was sitting next to “the son of Ziaul Haq”, a person who had “spread indecent pictures of his mother Benazir Bhutto”.

The PTI leader said that undermining the SC’s judgment, the Sindh government has announced holding local government elections in haste, so they can secure some seats. He said the act is in violation of Article 140-A of the constitution.

He pointed out that the provincial government has formed a committee that has not convened a meeting for 45 days, and vowed that the PTI and its ally, the Grand Democratic Alliance, will protest if the LG elections are announced before implementing the orders of the country’s top court.

Aslam said during the news conference that steering the federal government is quite different from running the affairs of a province, and Shehbaz Sharif will realise it soon. Now he has to ensure tax collection, provide resources to the federating units, bring down the deficits and manage all the affairs, he added.

He said Sharif made tall claims on the first day and then started inaugurating the PTI’s projects, adding that Metro buses come on roads in just five days, which is a record, while the Karachi-Quetta highway was completed by Murad Saeed, which the current PM is inaugurating.

He also said they used to criticise the PTI government for the IMF programme, but now Miftah Ismail and his team are in Washington for the same, adding that the State Bank governor, who was dubbed an IMF agent, is leading the negotiations, while the finance minister is assisting him.

The PTI leader said they are trying to convince the IMF, and assuring them that they will accept all their conditions, but the IMF is telling them beggars cannot be choosers.

He pointed out that the nation should be ready for a price hike because the “imported government” is going to raise diesel and petrol prices by Rs50 and Rs25 respectively on the IMF’s directives, while due to expensive deals of LNG, the electricity tariff is likely to increase as well.

He claimed that during the PTI’s government, there was no power load-shedding in the country, while within 20 days, the whole country is in the grip of power outages.

He said that sufficient fuel is available in the country, but the same is not being used for power generation, while they have issued tenders for the procurement of fuel.

He added that the PTI government had received $5 billion from China and another $2.5 million were yet to be provided by them, but the no-confidence move affected the transaction.