Sun, 02 Oct 2022

Karachi [Pakistan], September 23 (ANI): Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Friday launched a three-day referendum on "unjust" charges in power bills in Pakistan.

JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has said that his party's referendum on electricity bills that include "irrelevant and unjust" charges will represent the will of the people of the city, following which the JI will devise its strategy accordingly, reported The News International.

He said that the referendum will be held outside mosques in the city after the Friday prayers. The referendum will also take place at educational institutes, markets and other public places, while online platforms will also be used to engage the masses for the three-day vote, he added.

The JI leader said that all segments of society, including religious scholars, lawyers, traders, industrialists and labourers, will be approached in connection with the referendum, reported The News International.

He said his party will fight for the rights of the people of the city inside the courts and on the streets. All available forums and options under the ambit of the law and the constitution will be utilised, he added.

Talking about the demands of the people, Rehman said that Karachiites want the municipality charges and "fake" fuel adjustment charges removed from their electricity bills, reported The News International.

He demanded that the government force K-Electric to pay Rs 50 billion, which the utility had held under the head of the clawback, to its consumers.

He also demanded that the government revoke the licence of KE over its grave violations of the agreement signed between the state and the utility.

He said that the JI has also been demanding a forensic audit of KE's accounts in order to unearth the "discrepancies" by the "shady" company's management, reported The News International.

Apparently, the over-billing of the electricity bills and long load-sheddings have infuriated citizens forcing them to take to the streets in different areas of the city. For a long period, the protestors have been demonstrating continuously in different parts of the country to condemn the inflation in energy bills.

Last month, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the federal government was making all-out efforts to revive the stalled power plants to put an end to the huge energy crisis faced by the country, reported Geo News.

Pakistan already has two long-term supply deals with Qatar -- the first signed in 2016 for five cargoes a month, and the second in 2021, under which Pakistan currently gets three monthly shipments but the nation is currently under a massive grip of widespread power outrages as procurement of the chilled fuel remains unreliable and expensive due to its increased reliance on LNG for electricity generation.

The fast depletion of the foreign exchange reserves was the result of Pakistan's inflation of twin deficits and a lack of foreign currency inflows.

Rehman expressed his grave concerns over the rising lawlessness and street crime incidents in Karachi. He said that the police department and other law enforcement agencies have failed against crimes and criminals in the city.

Talking about the flood-affected people, he said that several outbreaks of diseases have erupted in the relief camps. The JI chief said that the flood-affected people are enduring a very bad situation but the role of the provincial government is limited to lip service, reported The News International. (ANI)

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