PESHAWAR: The opposition parties have rejected an increase in the prices of petroleum products and urged the government to withdraw it immediately to ease the common man’s misery.

In separate news conferences here on Saturday, Pakistan Peoples Party provincial president Mohammad Humayun Khan, Awami National Party provincial spokesperson Samar Haroon Bilour and Qaumi Watan Party provincial president Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao said the fuel prices had been revised twice in a fortnight that was unacceptable to the people as it was meant to eliminate the poor people instead of controlling poverty in the country.

They also condemned the impounding of a Pakistan International Airlines plane in Malaysia over a lease dispute declaring it the government’s failure, which, they said, caused embarrassment to the country at international level.

Humayun Khan condemned price hike and said since the New Year had begun, the government had increased the prices of most essential items, including petroleum, sugar, gas, power, cooking oil and wheat flour, showing it’s not sincere about improving the socioeconomic conditions of the people. He said the people were struggling to make ends meet.

Insists people are struggling to make ends meet

The PPP leader said the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had always claimed to bring about a positive change in the people’s life but it had badly failed to translate it into a reality during the last two and a half years and instead, its policies had made things really difficult for the common man.

“We reject the frequent increase in essential commodities and ask the government to withdraw it otherwise the frustrated people will agitate without being invited by the opposition parties,” he said.

ANP spokesperson and MPA Samar Haroon Bilour said the people didn’t have enough money to buy essentials due to the faulty government policies.

She said on one hand, unemployment was increasing in the country and on the other, prices had skyrocketed making life miserable for the common man.

The ANP leader said frequent increase in the prices of essential commodities proved that the government didn’t have the ability to formulate and execute an effective policy to control inflation and joblessness and provide relief to the poverty-hit people.

Meanwhile, QWP provincial chairman Sikandar Sherpao said the PTI government had failed to manage the country’s affairs and it was following the policies of the International Monetary Fund and therefore, poverty had increased in the country.

He said the people should help opposition parties eliminate incompetent rulers.

The QWP leader said the anti-government struggle launched by the Pakistan Democratic Movement would continue until the rulers were ousted.

He flayed the ruling PTI for not ‘honouring a single election promise’ and claimed that the people were no more willing to see the party in power.

The Jamaat-i-Islami activists also held a protest demonstration outside the Peshawar Press Club against increase in petroleum prices.

Holding banners and placards, the protesters shouted slogans against the government and declared increase in the prices of essential items a complete failure of the government to manage financial affairs.JI Peshawar chief Atteequr Rehman said the government was following the policy of the International Monetary Fund by increasing the prices of essential goods. He said the rulers had no vision for the alleviation of poverty and joblessness and only knew the way to fleece the poor people.

Mr Rehman said the party would force the government to withdraw price hike with the people’s support.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2021

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