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Imran says Model Town tragedy repeated in Karachi

ISLAMABAD, 02 FEB, (DNA) – Calling for nationwide protests against privatization and tax policies, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan described Karachi situation as a repeat of Model Town tragedy.

“We will hold protests on February 6 in all districts against privatization and anti-masses tax policies of the government,” Khan announced while addressing a press conference in Islamabad Tuesday.

“I’m participating myself in the protest because this democratic dictatorship is crushing the common man,” he said.

Imran Khan has strongly condemned the use of force against the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) protesting employees.

Lashing out at the federal government for today’s police torture on PIA employees, Khan said that rulers have an old habit of opening fire on public especially when people are protesting against their brutal rule. He asked the government that why the employees of PIA were not taken in confidence before deciding about the privatisation.

“Government should tell us what benefit will the airline get after getting privatised?”, asked Imran Khan.

“What happened in Karachi today is a repeat of Model Town tragedy,” Khan remarked, referring to police action at Minhajul Quran Secretariat, resulting in killing of 14 people.

“If government was adamant on privatization of PIA, it should have taken the workers into confidence,” he said, adding that attempt was being made to oblige cronies.

Khan said that increasing tax on petroleum products without parliament’s approval is against the law. He said that Pakistan People’s Party applied 22 percent of tax on petroleum while now the tax rate is 98 percent.

Khan also criticised government on Orange Train project. He said that to protect the house of a minister, the Orange Train track is being constructed through the homes of poor. He said that the current government is crueller than Musharraf government.

Imran Khan threatened that their protest can once again reach to D Chowk.

At least two PIA workers were killed and over a dozen were wounded during a clash with law enforcement agencies at Karachi airport.

Demonstrators were taking out a rally in protest against the proposed privatization of national flag carrier and imposition of Essential Services Maintenance Act.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have demanded formation of judicial commission to probe the incident. Pakistan People’s Party and PTI have been quite vocal against looming privatization of the PIA.

The protest of PIA employees turned violent today when they attempted to move towards Jinnah Terminal, which was opposed by the management. Subsequently Rangers and police were called to control the situation and that transformed into a clash as law enforcers used batons and water cannons to disband the protesters. =DNA

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