KARACHI: PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday down hard on the coalition government for what he called massive increases in the prices of all petroleum products. He also blamed the government for the downgrading of Pakistan’s outlook by Moody’s from stable to negative.

The PTI chairman appealed to the masses to hold peaceful demonstrations after Juma prayers against the government’s anti-people policies.

“Imported govt has increased petroleum prices by 40% or Rs60 per litre. This will increase burden on the public by Rs900bn & price hike in basic necessities. Plus, the Rs8 incre­ase in electricity price will put entire country into shock. Expect inflation by 30% highest in 75 yrs,” he said in a series of late-night tweets.

“Our govt sustained pressure of Covid & gave Rs1200bn worth economic package. This yr alone we reduced sales tax to zero percent & additionally provided Rs466bn energy subsidies to protect our public. For us our priority has always been our people.

PTI chief gets protective bail from PHC, calls for protest on Friday

“I want everyone to come out & protest peacefully after Juma prayers tomorrow [Friday] against this Imported govt’s anti-people policies of massive price hikes to crush the public & wreak economic havoc in the country since they have no stakes here as their assets are all abroad,” he added.

Referring to Moody’s decision, Mr Khan said those who had conspired to topple the PTI government had no plans to deal with the economy. “Their [incumbent government] main priority was to give themselves NRO 2 (immunity from their corruption cases), rig elections; destroy state institutions with their goons & crush opposition thru FIRs & state power. This cabal of crooks poses a far more serious threat to Pakistan than any of our external enemies.”

Transit bail granted

Earlier, the Peshawar High Court granted transit bail to Imran Khan till Jun 25 in 14 cases registered in different police stations of Islamabad after he held his ‘Azadi March’ on May 25.

Mr Khan has been staying in Peshawar since he abruptly called off his long march in Islamabad on May 26.

Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan allowed the transit bail to Mr Khan on condition of furnishing two sureties of Rs50,000 each. He also directed the former prime minister to appear before the relevant court by Jun 25.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2022

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