PTI, JI hold rallies against prices, outages | Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
<p>Saturday, July 04, 2009<br /> By Asim Hussain<br /> <br /> LAHORE <br /> <br /> THE Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami held rallies and demonstrations across the country on Friday, giving impetus to the ongoing protests against the excessive raise in prices of petrol and power, loadshedding, lawlessness and unemployment.<br /> <br /> Though both the parties staged their protest demonstrations separately, they sounded strong warnings that the movement could turn into a mass agitation against the government by joining hands with traders??? groups if the rulers did not reduce prices of fuel, power and basic necessities immediately. <br /> <br /> The traders??? organisations engaged in protests against loadshedding and exorbitant fuel prices also joined in the rallies of the JI and PTI when they appeared on The Mall.<br /> <br /> PTI Chairman Imran Khan issued a warning to the rulers to reduce the prices of fuel, power and basic needs to a reasonable level within the month of July failing which his party would join hands with other political forces to bring out the masses on streets against the government. <br /> <br /> Leading a large rally from GPO Chowk to the Punjab Assembly, Imran Khan lashed out at the rulers for bagging votes in the name of Roti, Kapra Aur Makan, but snatching the same from them after coming to power. <br /> <br /> ???The ruling elite, led by Asif Zardari, has plundered massive public money and kept it in foreign banks. These rulers are leading a luxurious life on public money while the poor are dying of hunger and poverty. They are squeezing the masses??? blood in form of taxes to fund their own luxuries, but demanding sacrifices from the masses,??? he said while addressing a slogan chanting crowd, comprising mostly of youth, at the Faisal Chowk. <br /> <br /> Imran said it was time people come out on streets to snatch their rights from the ruling classes. He demanded President Zardari and others in the government declare their assets and sources of income, and the amount of taxes they paid. <br /> <br /> He expressed sorrow that the rich were involved in corruption and getting scot-free by evading the taxes, while on the other hands all the taxes were imposed on the poor. He cited the latest report of the Transparency International, saying the corruption of the government quarters had increased by 400 percent during the last year. <br /> <br /> Earlier, the JI also took out a rally after Friday prayers on The Mall, marching from Masjid Shuhada to the Punjab Assembly to condemn the massive increase in the price hike and military operation in Fata and Swat.<br /> <br /> The rally was a part of the countrywide protest day to launch the movement against what the JI leaders called the US slavery of the PPP government under which not only the prices of basic necessities were raised but the innocent people were also being killed in the military operation to carry out the US agenda in the region. <br /> <br /> The JI rally, comprising slogan chanting and banners waving workers, was led by party Secretary General Liaqat Baloch, deputy Sec Gen Dr Farid Ahmed Paracha, JI, Punjab, ameer Dr Waseem Akhtar and Lahore ameer Ameerul Azeem. <br /> <br /> Addressing the participants, Liaqat Baloch alleged that the PPP, which came to power on the slogan of Roti Kapra Aur Makan, had denied the masses the right to survive. He said the country was purchasing oil at lower rates than the world market since Saudi Arabia, Iran and UAE were providing it oil on subsidised rates. <br /> <br /> Baloch said one litre petrol was costing Islamabad around Rs 21 but the rulers were making huge profits on it. He said there had been only 15 to 20 per cent raise in the salaries of the middle class people while the prices of basic commodities had gone up by over 200 per cent. He warned that the country would continue facing cruelties unless it was freed from the US slavery for which a massive public movement was required. He said rulers had surrendered the country???s sovereignty and security before Washington for the sake of dollars in personal accounts, which was the reason they had been increasing oil, power and food rates on the IMF and World Bank dictation. He alleged that President Asif Zardari had deposited over 2 billion dollars in Swiss Banks while Sharif brothers had deposited around 1.75 billion dollars in foreign banks and a known terrorist had removed massive public money to London. He said the country???s economy could not progress in the grip of corrupt leaders. <br /> <br /> Baloch appealed to the masses to join hands with the JI???s ???Go America Go??? movement to rid the country of all problems by winning back its freedom from Washington and its agent rulers.<br /> <br /> The JI held demonstrations in major cities besides small towns and districts all over the country.<br /> <br /> Source: <a href="">The News</a></p>