Locals have criticised the recent petrol and diesel price hike by the government which has added to their financial burden.
Civil society members in Swat valley also criticised the recent decision of the government to raise the cost of fuel, threatening to launch a movement if their demands are not met.
“The prices of all commodities directly related to fuel will rise, further downgrading the quality of life of the poor,” said Dr Khalid Mahmood, a civil society member from Mingora. “We are not in a position to survive the additional inflation. The present government has done nothing but pile miseries on the people,” he added.
Another civil society member, Murad Ali Khan, stated that “The government is successfully implementing its ‘policy’ of making the poor poorer and the rich richer.”
Local residents now feel that instead of providing “Roti, kapra aur makan”, the government is snatching each of these things away one by one. After massive increases in gas and electricity rates, the petrol price hike is the last straw, said locals.
The inflation hits the poor especially hard, who find it difficult to purchase basic necessities. “In the past four years, the government has done nothing except for creating more crises,” said a day labourer in Mingora bazaar, Zamin Khan. “It is strange to increase prices every month.”
“If the government fails to withdraw the price hike immediately, the nation will be forced to commit collective suicide as prices of
essential items are spiralling out of control,” said an old lady in Mingora’s Haji Baba Square.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2012.