Soaring oil prices: Amidst outcry, allies, opposition censure govt

Published: April 2, 2012

In a late night development petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain met with President Zardari and briefed him on the increase in fuel prices. According to sources, the president advised him to review the prices. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/ EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: 

As Saturday’s massive increase in fuel prices triggered calls for a countrywide strike from transporters and traders, the Pakistan Peoples Party’s government came under scathing criticism from the opposition and allies alike.

The main opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), announced on Sunday that its lawmakers would boycott a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), scheduled for today (Monday).

“Boycott of the PCNS meeting, which is revisiting its recommendations on foreign policy, would be the first step against the government’s anti-people decisions,” said Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. “If the nation accepts this hike, it would prove they deserve rulers like (President Asif) Zardari,” Khan added.

About the PML-N’s future line of action, Chaudhry Nisar said, the party’s top leadership would make a decision. He added that other political forces would also be taken on board to chalk out a strategy to counter this ‘unjust’ step by the government. Terming the move a manifestation of bad governance, Khan said the president and the prime minister were enjoying foreign trips while the nation was suffering. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is currently in China to attend the Boao Forum for Asia, and President Zardari will be travelling to India on a private tour next week.

Khan also announced that his party would stage a rally in Rawalpindi against the increase in petroleum and CNG prices. “All political forces, traders and people have to unite against these injustices being done by the government,” he said.

The opposition was not alone in criticising the government’s decision. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a collation partner of the PPP, also demanded an immediate withdrawal of the increase in fuel prices. The MQM said it would wait for the government till April 5 to take its decision back.

“The Coordination Committee is in consultation with parliamentarians to determine the party’s future course of action,” MQM spokesperson Wasay Jalil told The Express Tribune.

“We will wait till April 5, the day the joint session of Parliament resumes and announce our strategy if the government does not withdraw its decision,” he added. The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), another coalition partner of the PPP, described the decision as a ‘failure’ on part of the government. “It is a failure on the part of policymakers since such policies will create a wide gap between the masses and the government,” Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed told The Express Tribune.

“A new national approach, above party lines, has to be forged by declaring an energy emergency, so that a workable plan of action is implemented to help ease the suffering of the people,” he added.

However, Mushahid termed PML-N’s reaction ‘uncalled for and unimaginative’.

Meanwhile, in a late night development petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain met with President Zardari and briefed him on the increase in fuel prices. According to sources, the president advised him to review the prices.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2012.

Reader Comments (12)

  • anybodyagree
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:41AM

    nobody is sincere to poor people, just scoring some cheap political points. . . ????

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  • aa
    Apr 2, 2012 - 7:47AM

    petrol was 84 in Musharaf regime…and it came spiraling down after that….let s see what hapens now…

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  • Not me
    Apr 2, 2012 - 8:15AM

    This is a cause worth calling a country wide strike.

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  • Apr 2, 2012 - 8:16AM

    The Govt keeps raising the price of oil without understanding that if they raise the price of petrol, the price of all other things go up too. Govt imposes heavy taxes on petrol to cover their corruption.

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  • A
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:20AM

    Previous Government: National Reserves = Subsidies + Development
    Current Government: National Reserves = Corruption + Corruption + Corruption …….

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  • Peace On Earth
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:30AM

    This is one of the many reasons Pakistan has not progressed. Whenever their is an increase in the price of a commodity, the people scream and politicians run to Parliament and demand that prices be brought down to a reasonable level.

    Does the average Pakistani not realize that the petrol prices has to do with demand VS supply? Do they not realize that world consumption of oil & gas is the reason why fuel is more expensive than it was few years prior?

    Government interference and price controlling are the reasons why this country is going on a downward spiral towards oblivion.

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  • misaffiri
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:34AM

    @not me precisely come shutterdown strike and implementation of sharia will bring down prises.

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  • Harry Stone
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:46AM

    @misaffiri:

    I did not realize that sharia would outlaw the laws of economics. If it does then it should be implemented.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:02AM

    Elect once again PPP’s government in next general elections for next 5 years and enjoy the unlimited,unrestricted and uninterrupted freedom of expensiveness in Pakistan.

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  • Apr 2, 2012 - 12:09PM

    @A:
    This govt. installed by previous govt.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:16PM

    Now where are PML-N,MQM,ANP and PML-Q which always have been claiming that we are the well-wishers of the nation and also supported the PPP’s government in regard of 20th amendment on the basis of prices’ reduction???????

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  • La La jee
    Apr 2, 2012 - 2:14PM

    The per liter price for liter is 1.21 US$, Should the people’s Goverment comes with import price of HSD and Petrole to justify ever increasing prices.

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