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KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Ameer Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has demanded of those in the corridors of powers to shift the burden of taxes introduced in the aftermath of the International Monetary Fund’s program from already marooned common man to the privileged class and feudal lords.

JI Karachi Ameer Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman expressed these views while addressing a big protest demonstration held at New MA Jinnah Road. Thousands of people from various walks of life participated in the protest demonstration.

The protesters, carrying placards and banners, chanted slogans against the government over rising inflation, skyrocketing street crimes and the illogical delay in completing the electoral process for the local government elections.

Addressing the protest demonstration, Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that the price of luxurious life, extravagances, and personal expenditure by corrupt rulers should be paid by the same class. He added that common men already marooned by the sky rocketing inflation and street crimes; should not be made to pay the price of plundering and corruption committed by the ruling elite in the country.

He demanded of the government to reduce the size of the federal cabinet which he said was totally out of proportion. He also demanded to lower the extra ordinary high expenditure of the prime minister house and other governmental houses.

Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman quoted a report saying that some 200,000 vehicles, including luxurious cars, have been assigned to the civil and military bureaucracy with facility of some 400 liter fuel per month that cost the taxpayers around Rs300 billion per annum.

He further said that the International Monetary Fund has also asked Islamabad to withdraw the amenity of taxes to the tune of Rs2.4 trillion to a particular class. He also quoted the report that the K-Electric also didn’t pay its dues since 2018 and the dues against the company were clocked in at Rs662 billion. He made a point that the same regime withdrawing subsidiaries for masses was unable to do the same for the elite class.

The JI leader dubbed the government as a coalition of feudal lords and the privileged class in the country. He added that the two sides were safeguarding their interests while pressing the masses hard against the wall.

He has pointed out that students and laborers in Karachi are supposed to purchase petrol for their bikes on exorbitant price, whereas the privileged bureaucrats and high-ups’ in the military, judiciary and other departments were granted hundreds of liters fuel free of cost every month.

Talking about the local government setup in Karachi, he said that the mega city has been facing immense problems due to lack of a local government setup. An empowered local government setup in Karachi is the only way forward in order to mitigate miseries of Karachi and Karachiites, he said.

Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that the local government elections were delayed thrice in the mega city and were held after a delay of over two years following an extensive campaign by the JI. He said that the Election Commission of Pakistan played a bold role by holding the election on January 15. However, he maintained, since then, the ECP has started showing lethargic behavior. On the occasion, he demanded of the ECP to hold local government elections in the remaining 11 union councils in the city. He also asked the commission to timely decide the cases about the local government polls in the city, pending before it, in order to pave way for activation of the local government setup in the city.

The JI leader also highlighted the issue of deteriorating law and order in the city. He held the government and the law enforcement agencies, including the police responsible for the sky rocketing deadly street crimes in the megalopolis. He demanded of the government to take serious measures, including brining in police reforms, in order to provide a safe environment to the citizens as it was the prime responsibility of the government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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