People in different areas of Sindh, including Badin, Mirpurkhas, Dadu, Umerkot, Sanghar, Larkana, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Ghotki, Khashore, Jamshoro, and other small towns came on the roads to vent their anger against the recent hike in petroleum prices.
Transporters, businessmen, workers of different political parties, lawyers and members of the civil society staged demonstrations outside different press clubs to show their anger, indignation and exasperation over the steep rise in the prices of petrol and diesel and other products by the current coalition government.
Speaking to the media, the protest leaders alleged that rulers had made the lives of the common people miserable in their desperate bid to please the high-ups of IMF and other lending agencies.
They said that the hike would devastate the routine life of the people and could also create lawlessness in the country. They said that the rulers, who had come into power with the slogans of minimising the prices of food items and other essential commodities, had snatched the morsels from the mouth of the people.
They lamented that the people of Sindh would suffer more in the wake of the unavailability of irrigation water for crop cultivation. They said that for the first time in recent history, all three branches of the province were facing over 70 percent shortage of water flows, and people living in the tail-end areas were lacking water even for drinking purposes. Over in Nawabshah, rickshaw drivers staged a protest against fuel prices and set their vehicles on fire.
According to details, the rickshaw drivers set two auto-rickshaws on fire outside Nawabshah Press Club to register their protest against rising inflation and fuel prices. During the protest, Nawabshah Rickshaw Union members chanted slogans against the incumbent government and criticised the “poor” economic policies of the nine-party federal government. “Today, we are blazing our vehicles, but if things go on like this, we would be committing suicides with our children,” the protesters maintained.
Similarly, in Sujawal, civil society, drivers, and growers took to the streets to protest against the hike in oil prices and shortage of irrigation water in the district over the past four months.
In the district headquarters, drivers staged a sit-in by parking their vehicles outside the district commissioner’s office and chanted slogans against the federal government. They expressed their concerns over the latest government move. They maintained that the country was heading towards an unprecedented crisis that would trigger a Sri Lanka-like situation in Pakistan.
Annoyed protesters blocked the main Sujawal-Bathoro road to record their protest against the shortage of irrigation water in the district that has the agricultural sector on the verge of decline with required measures yet to be taken by the authorities concerned.
In Thatta, transporters took out a rally and warned of going on a wheel-jam strike if the same situation prevailed. It is pertinent to mention that Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government on Wednesday jacked up petrol price by Rs24 per litre. The announcement was made by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail while addressing a press conference in Islamabad, saying that government was not in a position to bear more subsidies anymore.