Opposition, govt allies reject hike in petrol prices


ISLAMABAD – Opposition parties and two allies of the PPP are flexing their muscles to take the government head-on for an unprecedented hike in the POL prices, vowing on Saturday to vociferously protest against the increase in and outside parliament.
Talking to Pakistan Today, representatives of the PML-N, PML-Q, MQM, ANP, JI, JUI-F and PPP-Sherpao said it was unfortunate that the already hard-pressed people of Pakistan had been forced to pay for the government’s corruption and mismanagement. Rejecting Friday’s increase in POL prices, the PML-N, ANP and JI submitted two separate adjournment motions in the National Assembly and Senate secretariats.
Although the PML-Q, MQM and JUI-F have not submitted any such motions, their leaders condemned the price hike, saying their parties would take up the issue in the House with full force. The PML-N’s motion sought a debate on the POL price hike. “The government has dropped a petrol bomb on the masses on New Year’s eve, which will cause more inflation and increase the misery of the people,” it said.
It said the hike in POL prices would badly affect the agriculture sector and the economy as a whole. The PML-N said the PPP government that chanted slogans of providing the people with bread, cloth and shelter, was depriving the people of their right to live. In its separate adjournment motion, the ANP said the hike would burden the people and called on the government to review its decision.
Senator Zahid Khan of the ANP said his party had submitted an adjournment in the Senate Secretariat. “The ANP believes that the recent increase in petrol price will burden the already strained masses,” he said. He said his party had demanded the government withdraw the notification of POL price hike. The JI also submitted a similar adjournment motion in the Senate Secretariat.
“The poor are being subjected to tyranny. They are paying the price of the government’s mismanagement, corruption and nepotism,” it added. Talking to Pakistan Today, MQM MNA Wasim Akhtar said his party would take up the issue in NA with full force. “We condemn the recent increase in POL prices and will pressurise the government to reverse its decision,” he added.
Ghous Bux Mehar said his party’s adjournment motions on POL and gas price hike were already submitted in the National Assembly and “we will take up the issue in the upcoming sitting of the House”. JUI-F spokesman Amjad Khan said his party would raise the issue in and outside parliament.
“The government is under oath to implement IMF’s dictation and is resolute to kill poor instead of eradicating poverty,” he added. PPP-Sherpao President Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said the people were unable to bear more burden, as they were already finding it hard to make both ends meet.