DERA MURAD JAMALI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday presented a five-point charter of demands to PML-N government, threatening to launch a country-wide protest if ruling party failed to meet the demands.
The PTI chief urged the government to reduce petroleum prices, eliminate taxes on gas and power supply, improve management of national institutions and pay salaries to employees of Pakistan Steel Mills.
“Accept these demands and don’t force us to come on roads,” the PTI chief told flag-waving supporters in Dera Murad Jamali area of Balochistan. He said his party had resorted to the historic 126-day sit-in in Islamabad only after it exhausted all means of seeking justice.
Imran demanded a further reduction of Rs 5 per litre in price of petrol and Rs 20 in price of diesel to benefit the citizens. “The government suffers a loss of Rs 700 billion per anum because of tax theft,” he lamented, while quoting the statement of former finance minister Shaukat Tareen.
He said the second demand pertained to reversal of infrastructure taxes on gas prices and the newly imposed taxes on electricity. He said the government must reduce electricity rates by Rs 3 per unit.
The third demand related to the prevailing crisis in PIA. He said the privatization process should be stopped immediately and government must appoint professionals in key institutions instead of favouring relatives of ministers. The PTI chief said it was the constitutional right of the airlines workers to stage a peaceful protest. “Why cannot government bring a better management in PIA instead of selling it to a private institution? It’s all part of an evil plan. They appoint corrupt people on the top who make the institution suffer and then they sell it out.”
He also asked the government to release funds for payment to workers and employees of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and other institutions who had not received their salaries for last five months.
The PTI chief demanded of the government to reform the Federal Board of Revenue and bring back the plundered wealth from foreign countries.
He pointed out that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had stated that millions of dollars of plundered wealth was lying in Switzerland. “Bring back this money and compensate the down-trodden masses of Pakistan,” he demanded. “This is democracy, not monarchy. You must declare assets,” he said, in apparent reference to the prime minister.
Pakistani nationals, he said, had bought property worth Rs 650 billion in Dubai during last two years. Nawaz’s son, he alleged, was living in a Rs 200 billion flat in London. “From where the money has come which the Pakistanis have spent aboard,” he questioned. Imran said he will fight for the rights of Balochistan, claiming he did not have an idea how rights of smaller provinces were suppressed until his party formed government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“[The] K-P does not get its due share of water, electricity and gas from the centre,” he said. “A water channel supposed to be built in 1992 has not been built by the government as yet.” The government was taking loans and spending on metro buses instead of development of smaller provinces, he added. Imran assured the people of Balochistan that if PTI came into power, no excessive force will be used against the masses.
“Security forces will not open fire and force would not be used against people who demand their rights,” Imran assured the PTI supporters, who had arrived from various parts of the province. “I will never start a military operation in your province but will respect your right to protest,” he said, claiming that he understood why Balochis were struggling for their rights.
He lamented the fact that despite supplying gas to other parts of the country, many areas of Balochistan were still without this basic facility. Imran said that instead of taking his younger brother on foreign tours, Nawaz Sharif should take chief ministers of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Balochistan along.
He said in case the government did not accede to his demands, he would again be compelled to come on roads.