JI announces countrywide protests against costly electricity, prolonged load shedding

LAHORE   -   Jamaat-e-Islami Emir Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman has announced countrywide protests against costly electricity, prolonged load shedding and anti-people budget, marking the official start of the first phase of the national resistance movement.

Addressing a press conference at Mansoorah on Saturday, Rehman urged the public to join the struggle for their rights, emphasizing that it is essential to rid the nation of the corrupt ruling elite for the sake of future generations. He criticized Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s claims about ending load shedding, calling them lies. He pointed out that inflated electricity bills and persistent load shedding have made life unbearable for the masses. Rehman rejected the finance minister’s statement on the privatization of national enterprises, arguing that the minister has no right to make such declarations. He accused the finance minister of representing those who have destroyed national institutions and demanded that those responsible be brought to justice before making

any further statements or decisions about selling these institutions. He also condemned the imposition of a 35 percent tax on salaried individuals and the proposal of an additional fixed tax in electricity bills. The ruling elite, he said, have deprived the masses of basic needs, fostering widespread disillusionment, especially among the educated class, leading to a significant brain drain. He cited a 119 percent

increase in this trend. Rehman criticized the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for failing to expand the tax net, arguing that the government is burdening the already overburdened population at the

behest of the IMF. He said the IMF was imposing the US agenda and using loans to maintain control over developing and poor nations. Rehman assured that the protest led by Jamaat-e-Islami on Sunday would be peaceful, rejecting the imposition of Section 144 as a colonial law designed to suppress the people.

He stated that the rulers, imposed based on Form 45, mistakenly believe they

can control the populace through fascist tactics and fear, but these methods would no longer work as the people are aware of their rights and the rulers’ lack of a genuine mandate. Rehman condemned Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz for handcuffing doctors

following the fire incident at Sahiwal Hospital, calling it fascist act and an intolerable disgrace to professionals. He demanded a public apology from the chief minister and announced Jamaat-e-Islami’s support for the protesting doctors, legitimate demands, urging them to avoid causing trouble for patients during their strikes. In response to a question, Rehman reiterated the demand for a money trail from those

named in the Dubai leaks. He also called on the Foreign Office and former Chief of Army Staff General (Retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa to clarify their positions on Kashmir policy.