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KARACHI: The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Friday held an anti-government rally in the city to galvanise public support on a fresh political rhetoric of "soaring" inflation in the country. The PDM - a bloc of several opposition political parties - set off its maiden protest demonstration at Karachi's Empress Market, downtown, on the issues of public importance.

The fresh spell of anti-government protest is tagged to the surging inflation as the PDM reckons the economic policies brought about a "backbreaking" rise in food prices that made the poor suffer the most. The protest against the growing cost of living in the country will continue for 15 days across the country. The country saw fuel oil prices rising to a historic level this month, stoking food inflation, according to the PDM.

General Secretary for Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri told his party's charged activists that the anti-inflation protest should be seen as a public "referendum" against the PTI rule. The supporters and members of the JUI-F, a religio-politico party, raised their party's black and white striped flags and shouted anti-government chants to show their resentment.

Haideri alleged the PTI government for "snatching" bread and butter from the poor, as he believed the public's purchasing power is diminishing against the skyrocketing inflation.

"Unless the selected government is sent packing, the protests will continue," he said and added that there should be fresh elections in the country to arrest the surging inflation.

Haideri, who is also a Vice President of the PDM, asserted to stand by the farmers, labourers and lawyers as a firm supporter to fight the inflationary policies of the federal government.

He said that the country has been thrown into the IMF mire, leaving every field of life at its mercy with no headway to the economic growth. He also criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for "fake" promises to provide the youth with 10 million jobs.

"Media is being restricted, the government stands on lies and could not set up a single mega project," he remarked, adding that the public is running from pillar to post to find jobs and stem their poverty. "People are committing suicides for being jobless," he added.

Shah Muhammad Shah, President Pakistan Muslim League Sindh, Nehal Hashmi, JUI-F General Secretary Sindh, Rashid Mehmood Soomro and Qari Usman besides other local leaders spoke to the rally.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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