Shehbaz, Bilawal, other opposition leaders lambast petroleum price hike

‘Tsunami of inflation’: Shehbaz, Bilawal, other opposition leaders lambast PM Imran Khan for petroleum price hike


The opposition on Saturday heavily criticised the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for a record level increase in the prices of petroleum products and called it a “tsunami of inflation”.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, reacting to the price hike, said PM Imran Khan should spare the lives of the people instead of “bleeding them dry”. Shehbaz termed the increase in prices as a continuation of the mini-budget.

“After the recent 14% increase in the price of electricity, the bomb of petrol inflation is a continuation of the mini-budget which is evidence of the current government’s failures,” he said.

The PML-N president added that raising the price of petrol by more than Rs10 per litre was similar to taking the “being cursed by oppressed people”.

“How will the people survive?” he asked. “How will people feed their children? Cost of everything goes up with the increase in petrol prices. Then Imran [Khan] Niazi says that the nation does not understand the reason for the inflation.” He lamented that a person with a salary of Rs10,000 was getting an electricity bill the same amount.

“What will that person eat?” he asked. “How will they pay the rent? How will he survive?” Shehbaz Sharif added that the premier had completely failed in the service of the country and its people. “No matter what, such a person doesn’t have the right to cling to the seat of the prime minister.”

“No words to describe the extreme cruelty this selected PTI regime has inflicted on the people in the form of yet another increase in the prices of items of daily use,” he tweeted. “These latest hikes along with petrol bomb will push people to the brink of starvation. Utterly shameful!”

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in his reaction said Prime Minister Imran Khan is “an enemy of the people” after the federal government increased the price of petrol by Rs10.49 per litre taking it to a record level of Rs137.79 per litre.

The PPP leader said the increase in the price of petroleum products a day after the rise in electricity tariff prices proved that “Imran Khan was an anti-people prime minister”.

“By bringing the price of petroleum products to the highest level in the history of the country, PTI has brought a tsunami of inflation,” he said. “By increasing the price of petrol by more than Rs10 per litre, the government is actually collecting the price of its incompetence from the people.”

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari added that only a people-friendly government of the PPP could save the country from this turmoil. “During PPP’s rule, the prices of petroleum products in the world market had skyrocketed, but we did not impose such a burden on the people,” Bilawal said.

He also urged the masses to support him to get rid of the “tyrannical government” that was pushing Pakistan into the mire of inflation.

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal criticised the federal government for raising the price of petroleum products, which he said was akin to forcing the common man up against the wall.

“This has been repeated so many times that it now sounds strange even to say that the government does not [care for the common man],” he said while delivering a media talk in Karachi. “Forget giving them 10m jobs, the ones who already had jobs are now unemployed as well.

“This hike in prices of petroleum products [would make] the life of a common man go from bad to worse. You don’t give gas in the winters and electricity in the summers so the common man has been forced against the wall.”

Meanwhile former Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani demanded the government roll back its decision to increase the prices of petroleum products.

“In September, the price of petrol was hiked by Rs9 per litre,” he said. “The prices of necessary food items are at an all-time high now. The government should immediately withdraw its decision to increase the price of petrol,” he added.

He said the masses will be unable to brave the hike in prices of petroleum products, adding that the “elite in the government” is pushing people towards either suicide or rebellion.

Raza Rabbani said the government had increased the power tariff by Rs1.39 per unit in line with the IMF’s demands. He said the PPP condemns the move, adding that it was taken after a subsidy of Rs77bn on electricity was withdrawn by the government.

“The government has hiked the prices of cooking oil and ghee by 40%,” he said. “The prices of cooking oil and ghee have skyrocketed to Rs399 and Rs409 per kg. Prices of tomatoes, potatoes, ghee, mutton, LPG and 22 other items of necessary use have seen an increase recently.”

Raza Rabbani lamented that the US dollar had reached an all-time high over the past couple of days, adding that the IMF wanted the government to impose more taxes in exchange of its loan to Pakistan.

PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday has said that the incompetent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is not worried about the problems of the general masses.

Reacting to the recent hike in prices of petrol and electricity, the PML-N leader predicted that the cost of gas, flour, sugar, medicine, milk and other items will also increase. The poverty-stricken people are unable to manage their livelihood due to inflation, she added.

Marriyum Aurangzeb further said that the time has come to send the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan back to home.

Meanwhile, PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah KHan has urged the nation to come out of their houses in protest against the inflation. He also demanded Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to hold long march.