ISLAMABAD: The country’s two main opposition parties — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — on Wednesday described the relief package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan as the “biggest and historic fraud” with the nation and asked him to step down if he really wants to provide relief to the masses.
In their statements, leaders of the two opposition parties lashed out at the government’s economic policies.
Hours after the prime minister’s address to the nation, PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb through a statement asked Mr Khan to resign for “lying on national television and announcing a fraud package to fool the nation”. She said this was a Takleef (pain) Package and not a relief package. She ridiculed the claim that it was a historic package and said the only thing historic was that it was a “historic fraud.”
PML-N, PPP assail govt’s economic policies, say the real relief for the masses will be if PM quits office
Ms Aurangzeb said this package would bring a new tsunami of misery and unleash more inflation and unemployment in the country.
“The only public announcement that would help solve the crisis created by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) would be corrupt, incompetent and clueless Imran Khan’s resignation,” she said.
She ridiculed the prime minister for giving a relief package with an announcement that inflation, unemployment and economic destruction would continue for more months. She said while announcing the relief package, the prime minister had told the nation that sugar, electricity, gas, petrol and cotton would get more expensive in coming days.
“What kind of a relief package is this which has come with the terrible news that there will be a shortage of gas in the entire winter season,” she said.
Ms Aurangzeb said the age-old fake narrative of the Opposition’s corruption had bitten the dust.
Sherry Rehman, the PPP parliamentary leader in Senate, in her statement said “the blame minister of Pakistan” had given a “bizarre speech” where he said an unprecedented inflation, tsunami of oil, gas prices and other essential items was because of past governments and the international market.
“Maybe he has forgotten that the PPP faced higher global oil prices at over $130 per barrel, but local petrol was still half of today’s prices and the Pakistani rupee still stood strong,” she said, adding that the PM was living in a parallel universe where he could not see the pain inflicted on the poor by soaring prices and were becoming completely unsustainable for the whole country.
“It’s ironic how the biggest welfare package in Pakistan’s history is targeted for 20m people when in fact the entire 240m population of this country needs relief,” she said.
Similarly, PPP’s information secretary Shazia Marri said that Imran Khan had no idea about the per capita income of the US, Germany and Turkey.
Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2021