Jamaat-e-Islami Emir Senator Sirajul Haq has asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to meet the retrenched employees of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in person who have been staging a sit-in in front of the Chairman House in Steel Town for the last 14 days.
Addressing the sacked employees and their families during his visit to the sit-in, Haq called for the restoration of more than 4,000 workers and withdrawal of police cases instituted against leaders of the Employees Action Committee.
He also asked the federal government to take back recently proposed privatisation decision of nine state-owned enterprises. Privatisation and contract system in these institutions was not the right strategy to resolve the economic crisis, he said.
The JI chief stressed the need for purging the state-owned enterprises of dishonest and corrupt officials. He called for confiscating and selling off their properties, and depositing the sale proceeds to the national exchequer.
The senator told the protesters that the JI had already raised voice for the rights of the PSM employees in Senate and assured them that he would continue doing so.
He said JI MNA Abdul Akbar Chitrali and Sindh Assembly member Abdul Rasheed would become the voice of the retrenched employees in their respective assemblies. He said the present system in the country was based on injustice and oppression and the JI was fighting against it. When the state-owned enterprises were incurring losses, their chief executives were being paid millions of rupees in salaries, he remarked.
“I myself saw a payment receipt of a PSM worker who was given Rs500,000 instead of the announced Rs2.5 million in compensation. We ask the PM and the Sindh governor to please take Rs5 million and let free the souls of masses.”
The rulers sitting in Islamabad were incompetent and apathetic who did not realise difficulties of the people, Haq said. He added that JI Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman and his team were working day and night for the people of Karachi and the resolution of their issues under the campaign for Karachi’s rights.
Pakistan Steel Labour Union President Asim Bhatti also spoke on the occasion. He said the rulers were making false promises with the workers. He thanked the JI chief for his support for the sacked employees, stating that the JI leadership was with them from the very first day.