Karachi/Hyderabad / Lahore / Islamabad: Public protests against the high electricity bills are intensifying, with people demonstrating in various parts of the country. On Monday, during protests, burning of bills, blocking roads, and shutter-down strikes occurred in several cities. In Karachi, Cooperative Market Saddar, Sports Market MA Jinnah Road, Timber Market, Babar Market Landhi, Sindhi Hotel, Liaquatabad Market, Iqbal Market, and New Karachi Market remained closed as part of the protest.
Following the appeal of the Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce, a shutter-down strike was observed. All small and large business centers and shops in the city remained completely closed. Traders demanded a reduction in electricity rates and the abolition of taxes.
In Rawalpindi, hundreds of citizens surrounded the IESCO Grid Station in Bakra Mandi and set electricity bills on fire. People chanted slogans against the government and declared that they would neither pay bills nor allow electricity to be cut off from their homes. Due to the protest, traffic came to a halt, and long queues of vehicles were formed.
A protest demonstration was held in Charsadda, and people intensely chanted slogans against the government and WAPDA officials. The demonstrators said that despite the fact that all electricity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is generated from hydel sources, fuel adjustment charges are still being imposed on electricity bills.
Protests against high electricity bills also took place in Swabi’s Chota Lahore and Karnal Sher Khan Kallay. Demonstrators blocked the roads and demanded. They said that the patience of the citizens had been exhausted, and they should not be put to further test.
In Mansehra, traders observed a complete shutter-down strike on the call of the traders’ association. All business centers in the district remained closed. In Pand Daden Khan, on the call of the traders’ association, a complete shutter-down strike was observed. All businesses and shops in the district remained completely closed.
In Chichawatni, protests were held against high electricity bills, and a complete shutter-down strike was observed on the call of the Bar Association Chichawatni. A large number of traders marched from the central square to the WAPDA office in protest and staged a sit-in outside the office. In the Chachh area of Kamra Cantt, there was a protest demonstration against high electricity bills. The protesters announced that they would not pay their bills until the unjust taxes are abolished. They called for an end to the oppression against the poor.
Furthermore, in Balakot, the trader community rejected the increase in electricity bills and staged a strike on the call of the traders’ association. They also held a rally against the surge in electricity prices and inflation.