KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Sindh chapter President MNA Dr Arif Alvi has said that the sitting rulers have deliberately ruined the Pakistan Steel Mills and they are bent to sell this strategic national asset for peanuts.

Addressing a press conference at the Insaf House, he said that the Sharifs could run the Ittefaq Foundry, but not the Pakistan Steel Mill. He said Pakistan Steel Mill has been closed for many months and its workers are not getting their salaries.

He further said that the government has no plan to re-run the Pakistan Steel Mills. Their only plan is to sell it. He said in past the rulers also went to privatise the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), but when the PTI raised voice against it, they took some steps to salvage the PIA.

He said that the workers of Pakistan Steel Mills have been protesting for their due rights, but the government is issuing them show-cause notices and FIRs are lodged also against them. He said we are giving an ultimatum of 15 days to with these notices and FIRs; otherwise, we would close down the National Highway and the rail track along with the protesting workers and on their advice.

Alvi said we stand shoulder by shoulder with the workers. He said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) only pay lip service to the cause of workers but did not support their struggle. He said both parties want to loot and plunder the national wealth to stuff their purses.

He maintained due to these wrong policies the poor is being poorer and the rich richer. He said after the Gaddani incident the government slapped Section 144 there, which resulted in the halt of wok, forcing workers and their facilities to hunger and starvation.

He said mills and factories, saving the factories of the Sharifs, are being closed down. He demanded that the section 144 should be lifted from Gaddani. He reminded that Gaddani contributes Rs 12 billion tax annually. He also demanded a fair probe into the tragedy to expose the real culprits.

Alvi regretted that the government has yet to fulfill any of the promises made with the heirs of the Gaddani's martyred workers. He said the hospital at Gaddani is in the shambles and no facility is available there. He demanded to upgrade the Gaddani hospital. He also demanded immediate payment of the compensation to the heirs of the martyred workers and the injured workers.

He said the government is not serious in the Panama Leaks case. He said the PTI would deal the case, itself without relying on the PPP. He said the PPP lack courage to challenge the PML-N.

To a question, he said that PTI represents the working class of Pakistan. He said we will chalk out our strategy as per the suggestions of the working class. He also said for last 68 years the corruption mafia has looted and plundered Pakistan. He said the PTI is the only party that has raised cases on corruption and other national issues. He hoped that the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the Panama Leaks case would be the best decision in the history of Pakistan.

PTI leader further added that the protesting workers of Pakistan Steel Mills on their insistence have ended their sit-in and if the government failed to meet their demands within 15 days, we on the advice of workers and along with them would close down the National Highway and railway track.