LAHORE  -  PTI on Wednesday held protest demos across the province against electricity and POL prices tariff increase with the warning of re-launching of the protests if the government will not withdraw the fresh tariffs.

PTI leadership at all the districts of the province organised protest demonstrations, rallies and sit-ins against the increase in the tariff of electricity and petroleum products.

In the provincial capital, PTI Punjab President, Ijaz Chaudhry led the protest demonstration held in front of the Lahore Press Club, which was participated by a large number of provincial and City leaders, besides a good number of workers.

Prominent among the party leaders who participated in the protest demo included Dr Yasmin Rashid, Andleeb Abbas, Hamid Miraj, Jamsheed Cheema, Neelam Ashraf, Sadia Sohail, Shehneela , Aslam Iqbal, Ishtiaq Malik, Rana Ishtiaq and Tariq Bajwa.

The protesters were carrying placards inscribed with slogans against the tariff increase of electricity and petroleum products and demands for withdrawing the fresh raise. PTI leaders addressing the participants on this occasion demanded that the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should not let the government getaway with this violation of NEPRA rules and the Constitution.

They claimed that PTI would not allow the government, which was protecting the interests of the elite to manipulate the economic system to suit the riches and ruling party members.

They maintained that the government had broken all records of increasing prices in the history of the country.

PTI leaders said that the government instead of providing relief to the working classes made their life miserable by increasing the tariff of electricity and petroleum products. They warned the government of a massive countrywide protest drive if it fails to withdraw the fresh tariffs. 

Meanwhile, JI has decided to hold three-day protest demonstrations and rallies in every nook and corner of the country against the recent hike in POL and electricity prices from Friday (tomorrow).

A meeting chaired by the JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch decided that protest rallies would be held across the country, after Friday prayers.

On Saturday and Sunday, the JI leadership at district, tehsil and Union Council level would hold rallies in all the four provinces.

JI and its organisations leaders connected with trade and labour would address these rallies and protests.

A big rally has been planned in Islamabad which would be addressed by the JI Chief Syed Munawar Hasan and other party leaders on the last day of the three-day protests.

While welcoming the suo moto notice of the Supreme Court on the sharp hike of POL and electricity prices, JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch also drew the attention of the apex court to the Sui Gas companies decision to charge additional connection fee from the new as well as old gas consumers.

Meanwhile, JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan stressed upon the government and the Taliban to appoint their nominees for the talks and also announce the date for the commencement of the dialogue to foil all conspiracies against the peace process.

In a statement on Wednesday, he said that the entire nation was unanimous on the issue of the dialogue with the Taliban but the US and the Indian lobby were against the talks and they wanted continuation of anarchy and chaos in the country. 

The JI chief said the government should not delay the talks any further as dialogue alone would help forge national harmony and bring an end to the violence.

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He said that the foreign hands involved in terrorism must be dealt with iron hand. Munawar said the appeal from prominent Ulema of the country to the government and the Taliban to begin dialogue was in fact the voice of the nation. Besides, the parties attending the APC had also represented the whole nation and had agreed for the dialogue and the government should have started the talks, he said.