Extended PTI, PAT sit-ins multiplying hardships for accompanying transport drivers who say that Rs 200 being paid for daily food requirements not enough
The transporters accompanying “Azadi” and “Inqilab” marches on Thursday said the prolong sit-ins in federal capital have caused a lot of miseries for them, urging Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) to end their demonstrations in a peaceful manner.
The drivers and other supporting workers who had braced inconveniences during long travelling from Lahore and Islamabad with the two parties almost two weeks back said they are now fed up with the long protests.
Most of the drivers said their vehicles were hired for three or four days but after almost two weeks, still there is no chance of early culmination of sit-ins.
A driver, Muhammad Ali, whose company provided around hundred buses on rent to PAT, said payment of daily rent was not an issue as it was dealt by the transport company.
“Our problem is food, medicine and appropriate place for living,” he said, adding that one could survive for one or two days without proper living or food but two weeks were enough to add more miseries. Organisers have been repeatedly asked to ensure relief but simply promises and nothing on ground was shown.
“It is a known fact that Islamabad, being a capital is an expensive city where it is difficult for us to survive within a meagre amount being given to us,” Muhammad Ali said.
He said the drivers and supporting workers at the vehicles are being paid Rs 200 each for food on daily basis which is not enough, adding that who is responsible for our health as most of workers are suffering from fever and other health problems owing to food being eaten by them at low quality restaurants.
Another driver, Sulman, who accompanied with PTI rally, said sick workers have to spend their daily allowance on medical as well and this issue has been raised with organizers but to no avail.
He said the other major problem being faced was unavailability of outfits as almost all of them have only one suit (Shalwar Kamiz) and they are unable to buy or arrange another one in a tensed atmosphere. Washing of clothes is also another issue, he added.
He said drivers and other supporting staff have to spend most of the time and sleep in their buses as non availability of shower facility have been causing more inconvenience for them.
A bus conductor said he was told the sit-ins in Islamabad would be lasted for three days but after two weeks there was no chance of its culmination and added that sometimes he feels like home sick, especially when he telephoned his family in Lahore. “I wish the sit-in of the two parties should end in a peaceful manner, which is in favour of our country,” he added.
Transporters said that both Khan and Qadri should pay heed to their problems. They said the extended stay of protesters in the capital have caused losses to them.
The transport belonging from different parts of the country including Layyah, Faisalabad, Multan, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot etc. was hired for the rallies. They said PAT had hired a total 117 buses in which 83 were big ones and 34 mini-buses while PTI hired 97 buses in which there were71 big buses and 26 mini-buses.