ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan will lead a rally from Rawalpindi to the Parade Ground in the federal capital, the venue of his slated protest against the coalition government and record inflation, on Saturday (today).
Addressing a seminar titled ‘Regime change: Impact on Politics, Security and Economy’ and organised by Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI) on Friday, Mr Khan blamed the “imported government” for crushing the masses under the burden of “unbridled fuel price hikes and power outages”.
The former premier who was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion in April this year said that the incumbent government, in a short span of time, increased the price of petrol by Rs99 and diesel by Rs133 per litre instead of buying “cheaper oil from Russia”.
Repeating his allegations that he was removed from power through a US-backed conspiracy, the PTI chief alleged that Pakistan “suffered the most” because of the regime change and cited the current economic condition as proof.
Mr Khan claimed that the Pakistan Economic Survey, unveiled a day ahead of the federal budget, testified that the economy was flourishing during the PTI era with the agriculture and other sectors recording improvements.
He raised a question as to why his government was removed from power in spite of positive economic indicators. “We are told that our [PTI] government was not capable of reining in the price hike,” he said, adding that the incumbents unleashed a storm of inflation within three months. He further questioned, “Who should be blamed for this unprecedented price hike faced by the masses?”
According to the PTI chief, the current state of the national economy could lead Pakistan towards a national security crisis just like Sri Lanka. He added that economic security was also just as important as “military security”, insisting that the ‘neutrals’ – a euphemism he uses for the establishment – would also suffer if the economy collapsed.
Earlier, the former premier issued a statement asking his supporters to join PTI’s protest against inflation today. He expressed optimism that it would be a historic gathering at the Parade Ground.
Imran Khan said that people should come out in huge numbers against the “imported government” over political destabilisation, excessive load-shedding, and a massive hike in fuel prices.
Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022