PTI to launch nationwide protests against inflation

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Renewing the demand for early elections, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said his party would spearhead an aggressive protest drive against runaway inflation as the country’s economic managers have “completely failed” at doing their job.

“The party has decided to give a call to its local cells to stage demonstrations against rising prices due to the country’s current economic situation,” Chaudhry said while talking to the media after a meeting of the PTI’s core committee. He was flanked by Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rashid.

“If the government continues to drag its feet on the elections, then we will wait for a final call in these two weeks as consultation continues. We think workers should await a final call in September,” the PTI leader said. Chaudhry said the PTI’s core committee was “deeply upset” with a sudden spike in street crimes in major cities, adding that these incidents had touched an unprecedented level.

“A large number of factories have shut down, while joblessness has skyrocketed in the last four months; it is estimated that around one million more people will lose their jobs in the next few months,” Chaudhry said. He said the rupee and stock market are “gasping for air” even after the release of the International Monetary Fund tranche, which meant the government was out of solutions to these economic ills.

“Whether the government wants it or not, Pakistan will finally go to vote, sooner than later. The PTI won’t stop at anything before the polls,” he said. To a question, he said there was no room for a technocrat or interim government in the Constitution and anything like it would be “martial law”. “Whatever is to happen will happen this month,” Chaudhry said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Chief Imran Khan announced to hold a third flood relief telethon (today) Sunday at 9 pm.

The PTI Chief said that they are collecting donations for flood-affected people of the country and urged people to donate as much as they can for their fellow men. They have collected over Rs10 billion in the first two telethons, he added. The former premier added that they will have extra phone lines so that maximum people can call and donate to affected people.

In the second telethon last Sunday, the PTI Chairman collected a total of Rs5 billion for flood-affected people. The PTI Chief said that Pakistan contributes less than 1% to the global carbon footprint but we are among the most affected countries by climate change. We have pushed ourselves into calamity by not building more dams, said Imran Khan.

Over 33 million people have been severely affected by the floods, situations worse than the 2010 floods, the PTI Chief said at the start of the telethon. The nation would have to come together in this difficult time, he added. In the first telethon, PTI Chief Imran Khan collected over Rs5 billion for flood relief operations.

According to Senator Faisal Javed Khan, who moderated the event, the former prime minister collected over Rs5 billion in donations in 3 hours long flood telethon.