Lahore

Thousands of electricity/Wapda workers observed ‘protest day’ on Wednesday under the aegis of All Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Workers Union (CBA) all over the country by holding protest rallies and processions in Peshawar, Mardan, Attock, Rawalpinid, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Sukkur, Hyderabad and Quetta.

In Lahore, a large rally of thousands of the workers was held before Lahore Press Club Square, which was led by veteran trade union leader Khurshid Ahmad, general secretary of the union. The protesters were carrying banners in support of their demands and condemning feudalism and crony capitalism which make rich even richer and poor even poorer while raising unemployment, poverty and prices of the commodities including petrol. They said The World Bank and IMF were imposing privatization of the national public utilities. The rally was addressed by Khurshid Ahmad, along with Abid Hussian Minto, Syed Zakir Ali Shah, Syed Sajid Kazmi, Rana Shakoor, Muzaffar Mateen, Ch Maqsood, Rana Akram, Osama Tariq, Syed Zulqarnain Shah and other representatives of the union.

The rally demanded to the Prime Minister to introduce far reaching economic and social reforms in the federal budget that benefit the poor and make country self reliant by adopting national self reliance policy taxing the feudal lords and crony capitalists and raise the wages and old-age pension of the workers by at least 50%.

 The rally also demanded not to privatize national public utilities including electricity, suggesting that reforms be introduced and the power companies control should be handed over either to WAPDA or PEPCO for raising their efficiency. It also demanded the government to develop better services culture for the electricity consumers and develop hydel, gas, thermal and coal-fired thermal power station in the public sector, and checking high rate of tragic accidents of the line staff. Khurshid Ahmad urged to all the patriotic forces of the nation to extend support to the struggle of the working class in the wider public interest. By another resolution, the house condemned the brutal killings of innocent citizens at Mastong (Baluchistan).