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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), on Wednesday, kicked off its protest drive against inflation and price hike from Rawalpindi, but with no central leadership in presence.

As part of the protest drive announced by the central leadership of the PDM against skyrocketing inflation and price hike, a large number of party workers, particularly belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) gathered outside historic Liaquat Bagh on the Murree Road and chanted slogans against the PTI government for its failure to bring down the prices of essential commodities, while criticising the recent increase in prices of petroleum products and power tariff.

No prominent PDM leader was present on the occasion other than PML-N secretary information Marriyum Aurangzeb and the local leaders including Hanif Abbasi, Malik Abrar Ahmed, Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, Sajjad Khan, Qamar-ul-Islam, Rawalpindi Mayor Sardar Nasim Ahmed, and a few local leaders of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl(JUI-F) and others.

Holding placards and banners, the protesters chanted slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, and members of his kitchen cabinet.

Addressing the protesters, the PDM leaders denounced the price hike in essential commodities, the recent increase in prices of petroleum products, and announced that the protest drive would continue for another 14 days in various cities followed by a “long-march” against the government.

They added that the inflation has broken the backbone of ordinary citizens and people are committing suicides due to poverty and price hike.

They recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised of making a “New Pakistan”, but everybody is witnessing the government has transformed the country into a “graveyard” for the poor and the needy.

In her address to the protesters, Marriyum alleged that the ruling party has robbed the poor masses, adding that the people could not even buy medicines and pay fee of their school going children.

She maintained that the country’s economy has derailed, adding that economy was stable during the tenure of Nawaz Sharif.

“Then Imran (Khan) Niazi appeared from somewhere and destroyed the economy. The poor are living under the worst situation ever and even they cannot pay their rents,” she further maintained.

She appealed to the masse to join the protest demonstrations against the “anti-people” policies of the government.

Referring to the delay in appointment of the DG ISI, she said that the current government’s “incompetence” was resulting into damaging national security.

Hanif Abbasi, in his address called upon the people to take to the streets against the government, adding that people are dying of hunger and deceases.

Sardar Nasim said that the PDM has started anti-government movement from Rawalpindi as the masses are suffering badly due to rising inflation and hike in prices of essential commodities.

Workers of several political parties and members of civil society were present on the occasion.

Protestors demanded an immediate reversal of the rise in POL prices.

The protesters had blocked the Murree Road, which caused a huge traffic jam on various roads connecting the Murree Road.

A heavy contingent of police and personnel of other law enforcement agencies were deployed to avoid any untoward incident on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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