JI holds countrywide protests against high cost of electricity, prolonged load shedding

LAHORE:   -   Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) organised nationwide protest demonstrations on Sunday against the high cost of electricity, prolonged load shedding, and an anti-people budget. These protests, held at the call of JI Emir Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman, marked the commencement of the first phase of a peaceful national resistance movement. Large number of people participated in the rallies across major cities including Karachi,  Lahore, Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Faisalabad and Multan, as well as numerous small cities. The demonstrators voiced their discontent with the IMF-imposed budget and rising utility bills, demanding immediate relief. According to reports, JI vice-Emir Liaqat Baloch led the protest in Rawalpindi, Secretary. General Amirul Azim in Gujrat, JI Emir Punjab South Rao Zafar at the Multan Press Club, JI Emir Punjab Central Javed Kasuri in Kasur, JI Emir Balochistan Maulana Abdul Haq in Quetta, JI Emir KP Professor Ibrahim in Peshawar, JI Secretary General KP Abdul Waseh in Mardan, JI Emir Lahore Ziauddin Ansari Advocate in Lahore, JI Emir Karachi Munam Zafar at Kala Pull in Karachi, JI Emir Sargodha Awais Qasim in Sargodha, and JI Emir 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 criticized 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 lacks credibility and legitimacy, and vowed that JI would persist in its struggle for the people’s rights. Meanwhile, a delegation from the Young Doctors Association, led by its president Dr Atif Ch, met with JI Emir Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman at Mansoorah. The doctors apprised the JI leader of the current situation at hospitals following the fire incident at Sahiwal Hospital and outlined their demands.  JI Emir 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.  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 the doctors and the government to resolve the situation, which is causing suffering for the common people. He demanded transparent inquiry into the incident. He also called for transparent audit of the funds which are being utilised on revamping of hospital buildings across Punjab.

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