Protest against inflated electricity bills and inflation gains momentum in Mardan

Anees Takar

MARDAN: In a resounding display of public dissatisfaction, the citizens of Mardan gathered in front of the WAPDA office on Main Malakand Road for a sit-in protest organized by Jamaat-e-Islami Mardan. The protest aimed to address the pressing concerns of the community, particularly the skyrocketing electricity bills and the relentless inflation gripping the nation. This event also featured a prominent figure, Center Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, whose presence lent substantial weight to the demonstrators’ cause.

Addressing the gathered crowd, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan made impassioned remarks about the dire situation faced by the people due to the thirteen types of taxes levied on their electricity bills. He vehemently described these levies as economic terrorism, highlighting that no other country in the world imposes such an extensive tax burden on its citizens through their electricity bills. These taxes, he pointed out, disproportionately affect the impoverished individuals who are exempt from paying Zakat, making their financial struggles even more burdensome.

Mushtaq Ahmad Khan didn’t stop at merely identifying the problem; he also presented a potential solution. He urged the people not to pay their electricity bills and argued that if the government were sincere, it could resolve this issue without relying on the IMF. He claimed that a substantial sum of 326 billion rupees could be allocated from other sources to provide electricity to the public at a significantly reduced rate of 10 rupees per unit, provided the issues with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) were resolved.

Furthermore, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan underscored the untapped potential of alternative energy sources in Pakistan. He pointed out that the nation could generate a substantial 2000 megawatts of electricity from wind, water, and coal, offering a viable long-term solution to the ongoing power crisis. This, he argued, could lead to electricity rates as low as 5 rupees per unit.

Despite the passionate appeal for change, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan also voiced his skepticism regarding the current leadership. He contended that the Prime Minister was merely a puppet without real authority. This assertion further fueled the resolve of the protesters to fight for their rights, with Mushtaq Ahmad Khan emphasizing that resistance was integral to life.

Among the notable attendees at the protest were Jamaat-e-Islami District Ameer Ghulam Rasool, former MNA Dr. Attaur Rehman, former Provincial Minister Fazal Rabbani Advocate, former MPA Mian Nadir Shah, former District Naib Nazim Ibrahim Buland, former Tehsil Nazim Takhtbhai Muazullah Khan, former Tehsil Naib Nazim Mardan Mushtaq Seemab, former Tehsil Naib Nazim Katling Abdul Jalal Khan, as well as various leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami and the local populace of Mardan, all of whom turned out in large numbers to express their solidarity with the cause.

In conclusion, the sit-in protest in Mardan, organized by Jamaat-e-Islami Mardan, brought together a diverse group of citizens united by their concerns about escalating electricity bills and inflation. Mushtaq Ahmad Khan’s impassioned speech not only shed light on these issues but also offered potential solutions, emphasizing the importance of resisting injustice.

As the movement gains momentum, the people of Mardan remain committed to seeing it through to its logical conclusion, determined to secure their rights and a brighter future for their community.