ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) once again has turned back to the politics of agitation as Chairman Imran Khan yesterday gave a countrywide protest call for February 6 against the government’s economic policies including its decision of PIA’s privatisation.

While addressing a press conference at his residence in Bani Gala, the PTI chief gave a call of countrywide protests at all districts on next Saturday against, what he said, the government decision to privatise PIA, Orange Line Metro Train Project in Lahore, imposition of high taxes on petroleum products and tax amnesty scheme.

“I will also join the protest but I have yet to decide the venue where will join,” Khan said. However, official party sources say that Khan on Saturday will first join the protest in Lahore against the Orange Line Train Project and then in Karachi against PIA privatisation.

PTI after a break of almost a year since its protest sit-in in August has again given a protest call against the ruling PML-N that has given rise to some speculations that the party was perhaps going to hold another big sit-in in the capital. However, a senior PTI leader said that the party leadership felt that this was the best time to play the role of ‘real’ opposition when people were confronted with a host of issues including imposition of heavy taxes on POL prices despite its falling prices internationally and the protests of PIA employees against its privatisation. “We want to play the role of effective opposition and this is the best time to do this,” he said.

In the press conference, Khan announced that his party would give its further course of action on protest on February 6. “This protest may reach D-Chowk of the capital,” he warned.

He condemned the incident of firing on PIA’s protesting employees and said, “This is the pure reflection of military dictators’ mind set within the PML-N”.

He termed this democratic set-up worse than the dictatorship regime of General (r) Pervez Musharraf. “The bullets were fired on people as this used to be done in military regimes, he said. PML-N had done the same against workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in Model Town Lahore. “As they (PML-N) have brought up in the lap of dictators, they cannot go with this thinking. It is their usual practice to misuse police, he argued

Khan said that if PM-N government wanted to privatise PIA, it should hold discussion on the process. “We are making reforms in the hospitals of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and are even not privatising these, but we held talks with the doctors for more than a year,” he said. They bulldoze like PIA Bill was sailed through the National Assembly.

Khan alleged that the government had a bad track record of privatising state owned entities as they did with the banks and cement plants in the past. And they are in the habit of giving favours to their blue eyed and this is call cronyism, he said He said that people should be convinced what they would benefit through privatisation of PIA.

About the taxes on petroleum products and tax amnesty scheme, Khan said that on one hand the government was imposing more tax on the poor masses and on the other side tax exemptions were being given to wealthy class through tax amnesty scheme.

When the prices of diesel increase, the farmers affect and the prices of daily utilities increase. The price of diesel should Rs 38 per litre. He claimed that the government got highest ever-foreign loans in the history of country. Now a new tax on gas has been imposed in the name of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC).

About the Orange Line Metro Train project, the PTI chief deplored that the government had started the project with a huge loan that should have been first spent on education, health, access to justice and the protection of lives of citizens.