Karachi Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has condemned the caretaker government for further increasing the electricity tariff by Rs3.28 per unit, placing an additional burden of Rs159 billion on the already troubled masses.
The JI leader expressed these views on Saturday. He said the recent development unfolded at a time when the entire nation was protesting against the skyrocketing inflation and hiked prices of petroleum products and electricity.
Rehman said the caretaker government had continuously been pounding masses with inflation bombs, instead of providing some relief against the backdrop of tough economic situation.
He said the caretaker government, in continuation of the previous governmental policies, had been overburdening the salaried class and providing clean chit to feudal lords.
He said the interim rulers had been claiming they did not have the mandate to reduce inflation and prices of utility services but they could not elaborate who had given them the mandate for increasing the inflation.
Rehman said people in Karachi and other parts of the country would not be able to pay the bills. The anti-people policies by the caretaker government would be counter-productive, he added.
He announced that the JI would further pace up its campaign against inflation and unjust policies of the ruling elite.
A day earlier, the Karachi JI chief discussed the issues of Karachi with Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori who had called on him at the Idara Noor-e-Haq.
Following the meeting, Tessori and Rehman held a joint press conference, in which the governor said an unpleasant situation had arisen because of a misunderstanding and communication gap on the issue of the Jefco Ground and now the issue had been resolved amicably.
He also thanked the JI leader for extending him an invite to visit the Idara Noor-e-Haq.
Tessori stressed the need for working jointly for the betterment and development of the city. He said he agreed with Rehman that the population of Karachi was over 35 million and had already raised his concern over the census results.
He added that resources of the city and the province had been plundered in a systematic way and the system needed to be put to an end.
Karachi supported the economy of the entire Pakistan but its own progress and development had been halted for the past several decades, the governor remarked. He expressed the hope that over 25 million US dollars would be added to the foreign reserves of the country in the days to come and 30 per cent of the total inflows would be invested in Karachi.
Rehman clarified the position of the two sides and quoted the governor as saying that he just wanted to develop another park for the people of Karachi.
The JI leader said the party had launched a massive campaign and also approached the judiciary for the restoration of the Jefco Ground.
He added that as per the court decision, a piece of land allocated for a playground could not be converted for any other use nor it could be used for commercial purposes.
Also in 2022, all the previous agreements for the commercial use of amenity plots had been quashed, he said.
Earlier, Rehman welcomed the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) announcement of the date of holding the general elections in the country. He said that in principle, the polls should have been held during the first 90 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly.
However, he added, it was a good sign that the elections were going to be held. He reminded the ECP of its responsibility to ensure that the polls were held on the date announced with complete transparency.