ISLAMABAD: Protests against inflated electricity bills continued in many parts of the country for the fourth day, with hundreds of people surrounding the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) office in Rawalpindi on Monday.
IESCO officials called in the police for extra security as protesters shouted slogans against the electric utility company, demanding a reduction in the exorbitant charges or stating they wouldn’t pay their bills.
Citizens are already grappling with high inflation took to the streets in cities like Sargodha, Hafizabad, Vehari, Arifwala, Bahawalnagar, Hyderabad, Gujrat, Multan, Chichawatni, Mandi Bahauddin, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Pakpattan, Mansehra, Sahiwal, Rawalpindi, Lodhran, and Sheikhupura. Participants included members of civil society, traders, farmers, and representatives from the legal and business sectors.
Furthermore, Hyderabad witnessed a strike in various areas, with the closed shops in several locations. Mansehra experienced a similar situation, with closed business centers district-wide. In other cities, protestors blocked main roads, leading to traffic congestion, while displaying placards and banners protesting against what they deemed a “cruel” increase in utility bills.
Additionally, the power tariff increase compounded the challenges posed by inflation and rising prices, burdening individuals who are already struggling to make ends meet. Protestors voiced their grievances, highlighting the impact on their daily lives and businesses.
Caretaker Prime Minister holds an emergency meeting
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar chaired an emergency meeting at the PM House, which yielded no concrete outcomes on addressing the issue of inflated bills. Ministry of Energy (Power Division) officials briefed the premier on electricity tariffs.
Anticipate another meeting later today with the participation of provincial chief ministers and relevant officials.
Furthermore, the caretaker premier assures that decisions will not be made hastily, with the aim of providing relief to the masses within the government’s mandate and in the shortest possible time.
However, in the midst of this, political parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P), and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), condemned the additional taxes on power bills and called for protests against the hike.