Opp parties to protest against ‘unjust’ hike in oil prices


ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties have decided to lodge a protest in the National Assembly against the government’s latest hike in prices of petroleum products.

During a joint session on Monday, the leaders of all opposition parties agreed to demonstrate in the National Assembly against the ‘unjust’ hike from the government in taxes, electricity, gas, petrol and other basic necessities. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) leader Asadur Rehman and other senior PML-N leaders attended the joint party conference. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader Syed Khursheed Shah also joined the conference through telephone and commented on financial and political scenario and also discussed the internal and external situation of the country.

In a joint statement, the opposition parties’ conference rejected the hike in petrol price and declared it financial suicide for public, commenting that the government doesn’t have any viable financial vision to run the country.

“It’s been clear in nine months that Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team is incompetent to deal with public and national sector,” they said. “Poor and average classes are suffering directly through unjust government policies and have no access to two-time meal.”

They expressed their concerns over the elevation in poverty, unemployment, inflation, and slow financial progress, declaring it a dangerous step for the country.

The government is introducing new direct taxes, increasing the rates of basic necessities and making people life miserable, the statement said, adding that the PTI’s current policies are unjust for the public sector and even against their pre-election claim.

The PML-N leaders highlighted their mega-electricity projects which helped Pakistan to overcome electricity shortfall and claimed that the current shortfall is due to the incompetence of the PTI leadership. They showed their grievances over the addition of Rs 20 billion daily as outstanding debt.

The conference declared PM Imran Khan’s governmental mandate controversial and criticised their performance. Opposition leaders said that the incumbent government has failed to secure the people’s interests. Participating political parties formed a consensus to strive to ‘liberate’ the ‘actual mandate’ of the people and jointly demanded a parliamentary committee to scrutinise the previous general election and investigate rigging allegations.

The conference, while accusing the prime minister of taking a ‘U-turn’ on his promise to hold a recount in every constituency of the country, said, “We will not let you run away from your promise.”

The joint opposition, under the supervision of PPP’s Khursheed Shah, will also present their nominations for Sindh and Balochistan’s Election commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) members. They expressed concern over the nomination of ECP members and accused PM Khan of violating the constitution, parliamentary laws and exceeding his power as the executive.

They said that they will not be ‘dictated’ by the premier and will fight for the democratic system both inside and outside the parliament. They further alleged that the PM is not complying with Article 213 of the constitution simply due to his “vengeful and egotistical thinking”.

While discussing the National Action Plan (NAP), the joint conference decided that although the implementation of the NAP is advantageous for the country, the PM should only discuss and brief the policy in parliament and move on it with consensus.