ISLAMABAD - Senior leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and candidate for NA-48 by-elections Assad Umer on Monday came down hard on the incumbent government for increasing power tariffs saying it would further financial burden on the already crippled masses.

“The government has broken the backbone of people by increasing power tariffs. The masses are already burdened with huge taxes and the increase in power tariff is a clear proof of the anti-masses policies of the incumbent government,” said Assad while addressing different corner meetings in Islamabad as part of his election campaign. He was accompanied by PTI Chairman’s Advisor on Foreign Political Parties Dr. Shahzad Waseem, and other leaders including Amer Mughal, Sardar Zahid, Ali Awan and Malik Sajid.

Assad Umer said that the PML-N government has miserably failed to materialise the tall claims, which it had made with the masses during the election campaign, to resolve different issues like energy crisis, law and order, inflation and unemployment.

“These problems are aggravating with each passing day. Every day innocent people become victim of terrorist attacks while the government is playing the role of a silent spectator,” remarked the PTI leader.

He further said that the incumbent government has failed to formulate national security policy. He said the PML-N government is making desperate attempts to call the All Parties Conference (APC) but it has no preparation in this connection. He said that the government has neither consulted the stakeholders nor taken them into confidence regarding APC. “In such a situation, the APC will not achieve the desired results,” he commented.

Regarding the investment in the country, Assad said that foreign investors were hesitating to invest in the country due to poor law and order situation. He said that energy crisis led to closure of big industries, which forced the labour class to face starvation. “Our party has solid and comprehensive polices to resolve all these problems. We will bring the country at par with other developed nations of the world,” he claimed.

ECP finalises polling scheme for by-polls:  The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Monday summoned all the contesting candidates from NA-48 for today (Tuesday) in an application filed by Anjum Aqeel about cancellation of withdrawal of his nomination paper.

On Monday Zafar Ali Shah Advocate appeared before the members of the ECP (KPK and Balochistan) as Aqeel’s counsel. The ECP adjourned the hearing for tomorrow and directed for summoning all the 22 contesting candidates.

Meanwhile, the ECP has finalised and issued the polling scheme for the upcoming by-polls to be held on August 22. A total of 1,987 of the 7,622 polling stations in Pakistan have been declared sensitive and 1,657 have been declared most sensitive. Three districts in Karachi have been declared sensitive. In Punjab, 724 polling stations were classified as sensitive and 287 most sensitive.

By-elections in over three dozen National and provincial Assembly constituencies will be held on August 22.

Members who were elected from more than one constituency in the May 11 general elections vacated most of the seats. On some seats elections were not held due to deaths of contesting candidates.