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A despicable crime

Dec 17,2022 - Last updated at Dec 17,2022

The nation is still coming to terms with the news of the killing of a senior police officer on Friday.

Col. Abdulrazzaq Dalabeeh, deputy police director of Maan Governorate, was shot in the head while in the line of duty after police were dispatched to calm unrest in Maan Governorate in the south. For several days, the Kingdom has witnessed strikes and work stoppages, mainly concentrated in the southern region, over increases in fuel prices.

The peaceful right to expression is guaranteed under Jordanian law. However, wanton violence is unjustifiable and unacceptable. The disruption of public order and safety is counterintuitive to the peaceful society that constitutes the foundation of the Jordanian social fabric.

Extending condolences to the fallen officer, His Majesty reaffirmed that violence against the state, vandalism of public property and violating Jordanians’ rights will be dealt with firmly.

“We will not tolerate violence against our security personnel, who work day and night to protect Jordan and Jordanians,” the King stressed.

His Majesty acknowledged Jordanians’ difficult economic conditions and their right to peaceful self-expression within the law, highlighting that state institutions will take all measures to hold outlaws to account.

Even Jordanians who are sympathetic to the partial work stoppage by some truck drivers have unified to strongly condemn this heinous crime.

The government has promised to examine the strikers’ demands. The Lower House has been charged with finding a solution and a governmental-parliamentary committee has been formed.

Burdens on the Kingdom’s economy exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, not to mention the stretched resources resulting from the long-term hosting of refugees have placed pressure on the Treasury. 

While it is a fact that economic pain and financial pressures are a reality, particularly considering travel and transport costs, the government has already provided JD550 million in fuel subsidies this year. Though the government has ceased fuel subsidies, as it “no longer has the luxury” of capping fuel prices, the rate of inflation — expected to hold at around 4 per cent according to Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh — is among the lowest in both the region and abroad. 

Announcing the 2023 budget, the finance minister said tax and customs reforms and a revamped public debt strategy will bring down the nation’s debt to 90.9 per cent of the estimated GDP in 2022, against 91.6 per cent in 2021 and will go further down to 84.4 per cent by 2024.

It’s reassuring that container traffic at the Aqaba Port has returned to almost normal levels.

It’s time for all involved parties to unite and strike an amicable agreement. As Jordan is known for its security and stability, it goes without saying that public order is sacrosanct and must be upheld. 


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