The dark conspiracy against the indigenous people of Sindh to convert them into minority should be foiled
All armed religious outfits should be banned and the policy of their state support should be ended
Protestors condemn Israel, burnt effigies of IMF and ILO
A big rally of workers, youths and civil society activists here Sunday blamed the government policies dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the rising price hike in Pakistan, especially record-breaking food inflation.
The rally against price hike, poverty and unemployment was staged jointly by National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), youth organizations Alternate and Shehri Awami Mehaz from Regal Chowk to Karachi Press Club. Led by Comrade Gul Rehman, Zehra Khan and Aqib Hussain, thousands of workers including women workers, political activists, students, youths and rights activists, carrying red flags and banners, participated in the rally.
They also raised the flag of Palestine to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and to condemn the genocide in Gaza at the hands of the occupation army of Israel. They burnt an effigy of IMF. The affected families of the martyrs of Baldia factory fire, on the occasion, burnt an effigy of ILO to condemn its anti-worker attitude.
Those spoke included Zehra Khan, Nasir Mansoor, Asad Iqbal Butt, Ramzan Memon, Rafiq Baloch, Dr. Riaz Sheikh, Khalid Zadran, Wahid Baloch, Nuzhat Shareen, Comrade Sultan, Riyaz Abbasi, Comrade Jannat, Saeed Baloch, Qazi Khizar, Comrade Kulsoom, Akram Baloch, Kami Sid, Faiza Siddiqui, Saira Feroze, Himmat Ali, Saira Khan, Parveen Bano, Anny Yusuf, Ahsan Mohammad Advocate, Nooruddin Advocate, Shaima, Iqbal Abro, Bilawal Khan, Shahzar Hussain.
Speakers said that the biggest issue of the people of Pakistan is the rising price hike, especially food inflation, unemployment and the growing poverty. He said the political and religious parties have failed to present a solid strategy to resolve this burning issue.
They further said that due to the wrong policies of the rulers, the country is facing the worst economic crisis of its history. The rate of inflation is 40 percent, while the food inflation is 50 to 60 percent. Pakistan has the least per capita income in the South Asia coupled with the highest inflation in this region. He added that during the last five years the Pakistani rupee has witnessed a devaluation of more than 50 percent, which means that the real income of the Pakistani people is slashed by half, affecting badly their purchasing power. Illegal and excessive taxes on petroleum products have further poisoned their lives.
They said that healthcare system in the country has been failed, deliberately. The government hospitals have no medicines or healthcare facilities, leaving the poor people at the mercy of the private hospital mafia. During recent months the pharmaceutical companies have raised the prices of medicines by 80 percent. The tariffs of gas and electricity have been hiked sharply, not only affecting the common man but also harming the agricultural and industrial production. She further said that Joblessness has risen sharply and the number of the jobless people is 17.5 million, about 19 percent of the labor force.
The anti-people forces that are responsible for the current crisis have formed a nexus against the working classes of Pakistan and in these circumstances the only way for them is to get them organized under their own leadership and wage a decisive war for their own political and economic independence by announcing their revolutionary charter, they said.
At the end of the rally, the participants demanded that the minimum wage should be fixed at Rs.50000 per month and recent increase in minimum wage should be applied to all sectors including agriculture. The ratio of difference in wages should be gradually brought from one to ten.
- All citizens should be given social security and for this purpose one percent social security tax should be applied to the production of all organizations besides 0.5pc social security tax on those with monthly income of more than Rs.200000 per month.
- The government subsidy on food items, medicines and public transport should be restored.
- Concession should be given to the electricity consumers using up to 300 units.
- All nonproductive expenses including the defense expenses should be frozen for the next ten years at their present level.
- Cheaper electricity should be given to the export sector along with setting export target for these industries.
- Trade, diplomatic and cultural relations with India should be promoted to maximum level. There is possibility of hiking bilateral trade to $37 billion per year. Meddling into the affairs of the neighboring countries and every form of hate should be stopped strictly.
- Work on promoting renewable energy sources including solar and wind power should be started on war footing. Every household should be given interest-free loans for buying solar panels.
- All seminaries should be gradually integrated with the government educational system and they should be nationalized, freeing them from sectarian elements.
- All armed religious outfits should be banned and the policy of their state support should be ended.
- Electoral reforms should be introduced, paving way for a class-based representation in parliament.
- All absent landlordship should be abolished.
- A grand dialogue should be initiated to break the debt trap of IMF.
- Steps should be taken to meet with the challenge of climate change.
- The compensation of more than Rs.1.25 billion for the affected families of Baldia factory fire was given to an insurance company by the ILO without consultation with the affected people which is condemnable. The hidden agreement between the ILO and the insurance company should be made public.
- The dark conspiracy against the indigenous people of Sindh to convert them into minority should be foiled.
- The process of privatization of the public sector organizations should be ended.
- The right to make trade unions in Karachi shipyard and other entities should be restored. Contract labor system should be abolished and forced sacking of workers should be ended.
- All home-based workers and Haris should be registered with social security and pension institutions. Like the home-based workers, the domestic workers should be brought under the labor laws.