ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday asked the Punjab police and bureaucracy not to follow “illegal orders” of the provincial government during the upcoming local government elections, claiming the PTI has been maintaining the departments’ record.
He also claimed that despite pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), his government did not shift the burden of global inflation to the people. He then urged the masses to participate in an anti-inflation protest scheduled for July 2 at Islamabad’s Parade Ground.
While speaking at a news conference and earlier chairing a party meeting, the former premier said it was becoming obvious that Hamza Shehbaz would not remain the Punjab chief minister for very long.
“As by-elections on 20 general seats of the Punjab Assembly are going to be held, I want to give a message to the police and bureaucracy in the province: what you are doing on the orders of the Sharif mafia and the way you treated people on May 25 [ahead of the PTI’s long march on Islamabad] is being recorded. This is an era of social media and everything is on record. They [the government] will not survive, but you salaried people will pay for any step you take against us,” he said, addressing the police and bureaucracy, adding they should think of their families and that he had a record of all activities of police officials.
Ex-PM says ‘salaried people’ will pay for any step they take against PTI
While criticising the abysmal financial situation of the country, Mr Khan said that although the circumstances were difficult during the PTI government, they did not pass on the burden of global inflation to the masses despite IMF pressure, a weak economy and the Covid-19 pandemic. He warned that the country could suffer further if it continued to be ruled by “experienced thieves”.
Mr Khan urged the masses to participate in the peaceful protest he had called on July 2 as it was for their future. The party meeting discussed arrangements for the protest.
Meanwhile, PTI Central Additional Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan, while speaking at a press conference at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House, here, blamed the coalition government for taking the country to the verge of an economic collapse due to its allegedly flawed policies and a constant surge in petroleum product prices, consequently bringing the economic wheel to a grinding halt.
He claimed the petrol price would increase further to Rs320 per litre in the coming days, while the oil and gas regulator had approved a four-fold increase in the gas price. He alleged the “imported government” was reducing electricity voltage from grid stations due to which houses and industries were not getting sufficient power, resulting in worst outages.
Ayub remarked the government was leading the country to a disaster. Talking about the previous government’s performance, he said the Economic Survey testified the PTI-led regime was performing exceptionally well, questioning what the need was for a change of government.
He further claimed Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had purportedly admitted that striking expensive power deals during the PML-N era was the main contributor to the current power crisis.
The former minister said around 70 per cent of electricity was generated through expensive imported fuel. However, he claimed there was zero loadshedding during the PTI government, crediting it to its “prudent policies”.
Meanwhile, former planning and development minister Asad Umar also lashed out at the government through a series of tweets.
“A highly abnormal delay in release of current account number for the month of May by @StateBank_Pak. What is going on? Things not in control or deliberate delay?” he asked in a tweet.
“Current account numbers for May show disturbing trends. Remittances which were growing by 7% vs last year in Jul-Mar declined by 7% in May. Exports were growing at 27% from Jul-Mar slowed to only 15% growth in May. Visible deterioration since the installation of imported govt,” Mr Umar wrote in another tweet.
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2022