RAWALPINDI-A massive protest demonstration was held by scores of traders, lawyers, journalists and members of civil society in Gujar Khan against the exorbitant rise in the power tariff and inclusion of excessive taxes in the electricity bills by the government.
The protest demo was held on call of All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran President Muhammad Ajmal Baloch. Most of the traders observed complete shutter down strike while the legal fraternity also boycotted court proceedings. Blocking GT Road for traffic from both sides, the violent protesters chanted anti government slogans and urged the Prime Minister to withdraw draconian taxes from electricity bills or else the public will march towards Islamabad. The mess of protestors on GT Road triggered a massive traffic jam causing immense troubles for commuters.
According to details, a large number of traders, lawyers, journalists and members of civil society including President Gujar Khan Bar Association Muhammad Irfan Qureshi, General Secretary Muhammad Ikhlas Advocate, President Gujar Khan Press Club Amir Wazir Malik, President Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajran Raja Muhammad Jawad Khan and others assembled at GT Road and staged a protest demonstration against inflated rates of electricity and slapping of unnecessary taxes.
Addressing the protesters, the speakers said that government had increased the electricity tariff besides imposing baseless taxes while making lives of common man a hell. They said that at some places people burnt electricity bills to vent their anger. They said that the rulers are living luxurious life by getting free petrol and electricity whereas all the burden was shifted to shoulders of poor people of Pakistan. They said the days of those rulers have been numbered and public is on roads for snatching their rights.
“The poor people are already facing difficulties in getting two time meals and the leaders and others are robbing their pockets,” they said adding that people are committing suicide due to hefty electricity bills and other costs of living. The speakers said that the traders of Gujar Khan will also observe a complete shutter down and wheel jam strike on September 2, 2023 against the injustice of government and WAPDA. Meanwhile, Muhammad Raees, Senior Vice President of Anjuman-e-Tajran Bara Bazaar, said that the people have poured on roads and in streets against the horrible surge in electricity tariff and the government should withdraw the anti-poor decision immediately. He said that the traders are facing loss in their businesses due to price hike whereas the rise in electricity tariff has broken their back bone. “If a trader is paying Rs 70000 rent of a shop then he has to pay Rs 100000 electricity bill,” he said adding that the government is not realising the troubles of poor masses.