LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami has announced countrywide protest against the fresh raise in the prices of petroleum products on Friday, September 4. JI top leadership has directed provincial chapters to ensure holding of demonstrations and rallies in major cities to protest against raise in POL prices. Decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held here at Mansoora on Tuesday with Secretary General JI Liaquat Baloch in the chair. Addressing the participants of the meeting, Liaquat Baloch said that the POL bomb has been dropped on the masses without any moral or legal ground at a time when the people were facing the sugar and flour crisis created by the ruling junta. He said the POL prices had been raised when the price in the world market was 148 dollars per barrel. Now that the price in the world market had dropped by almost 50 per cent, fresh raise was a cruel step on the part of the rulers. He said that the fresh raise was due to the IMF conditions, which made it mandatory to revise POL, gas and electricity rates at the time of each loan installment. Meanwhile, major opposition parties have flayed recent hike in POL price, terming it as a step that would additional burden on the poor. The PML-N Central Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal criticized the federal government for the recent increase in the POL prices, saying the step would further enhance miseries of people. He demanded the government to revise its decision with immediately withdraw increase in POL prices in the larger interest of the nation. The opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Ch Zaheer-ud-Din said that the recent increase in the diesel price would cause a serious blow to the agriculture in the country. He said that the raise would make it difficult for the people to travel on public transport. He demanded the government to immediately withdraw the decision regarding raise in POL product prices.