ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Sunday issued a threat to launch a countrywide protest against the government if it failed to stop increasing prices of essential commodities and did not bring down inflation.
In a statement, PBC vice chairman Khushdil Khan and executive committee chairman Mohammad Faheem Wali took exception to the sharp increase in prices of all consumer items across the country. It has made the lives of the common man miserable and adversely affected the purchasing power of an average Pakistani.
The PBC blamed the government’s inefficiency and anti-people policies for the surge in prices and said that in a country where almost half of the population lived below the poverty line, increase in the prices of essential items had broken the back of the people.
Accuses govt of following anti-people policies
Khushdil Khan and Faheem Wali asked the government to take immediate measures to stop this trend, otherwise the bar councils and associations would be forced to announce and hold countrywide protests against the government.
Meanwhile, a senior lawyer and member of Justice and Democratic Party, Sheikh Ehsanuddin, has welcomed the decision of the PBC to hold protest rallies and meetings in the county on the issue of increase in prices of daily-use commodities like petrol, gas and electricity.
He said that it was the government’s failure and lack of good governance and said that the lawyers’ community had always raised such issues as it is the defender of the Constitution.
Sheikh Ehsanuddin said that the unprecedented hike in the prices of essential goods had made daily-use commodities out of the reach of the masses and the government was helpless before the IMF.
Recently the trade and industry leaders had rejected the hike in petroleum prices and said that the government’s move would not only hit the country’s economic performance, but also multiply the difficulties of the masses, who were already enduring skyrocketing food prices.
The massive rupee devaluation, they said, had raised the cost of doing business and it was crucial to review the current strategies being pursued by the country’s economic managers.
Likewise, the leaders of opposition parties had criticised the government for raising prices of petroleum products.
They asked the federal government to withdraw the decision of increasing fuel prices as it would cause massive and unprecedented inflation in the country.
The opposition said that the rise in fuel prices and depreciation in the value of rupee would trigger more inflation as prices of cooking oil, ghee, flour, sugar, pulses and all other commodities had registered massive hike over the last three years.
The policies of the PTI government, it said, had pushed millions of people below the poverty line and now even well-off people were complaining about being unable to make both ends meet in the prevailing circumstances.
Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2021