PPP flexes muscles in power show

Protesters say the government is trying to cover its budget deficit and flawed policies.

Our Correspondent November 06, 2017
PPP activists burn electricity bills outside Lahore Press Club. PHOTO: ONLINE

LAHORE: Hundreds of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers took to the streets of the provincial capital on Sunday against increase in the prices of petroleum products, inflation and electricity load-shedding in the country.

PPP workers gathered in front of the Lahore Press Club and shouted slogans against the government and the ruling party ie Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Protesters were holding banners and placards on which slogans were inscribed against the government, inflation and load-shedding.

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PPP Lahore President Azizur Rehman Chan said flawed policies of the government had made citizen’s lives miserable. “The recent increase in petroleum products prices has further inflated the cost of essential commodities. Electricity prices have also been hiked by the government but it could not reduce load-shedding in the country,” he said. “PPP is the only political party in Pakistan that raised voice for the common man and it will continue its struggle,” Chan remarked.

PPP leader Faisal Mir said the government had increased the prices of petroleum products to cover its budget deficit. “Rulers are not paying attention to public problems and are busy in their own agendas.”

He said the ruling family and its cronies had made billions of rupees in Pakistan and abroad by looting public money.

“If they bring a fraction of the looted amount to Pakistan, the country would not have to increase petroleum products prices or borrow money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank,” Mir said.

PPP leader Faiza Malik said prices of tomato, onion and other essential commodities were at the highest level during the present government rule.

“Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif always made tall claims of good governance but failed to control commodity prices. Prices of tomatoes were hovering between Rs150 to Rs200 a kilogramme for the past two months but the government could not formulate a strategy to control the prices,” she said.

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“The government also failed to rein in onions price which were being traded between Rs140 and  Rs165 a kilogramme in the provincial capital.”

Malik underlined that increase in petroleum products prices had also ignited a new wave of inflation in the country.

During past five years oil prices have dropped in the international market but the present government was not passing this benefit to citizens. “During the PPP regime,” she highlighted, “prices of almost all the essential commodities were under control. Electricity tariffs were affordable. But present government had not only increased electricity rates but it also failed to control electricity blackouts.”

Meanwhile, addressing a reception in the honour of PPP Lahore leadership, PPP senior leader Aitzaz Ahsan strongly criticised deposed premier Nawaz Sharif by saying that Sharif family was trying to make the entire accountability system controversial just to hide their corruption.

“They have accepted the ownership of properties worth billions of dollars but still did not produce single evidence which could prove that these properties were acquired through legal means.” Ahsan said.

“The court had given them several opportunities but they were continuously trying to make the entire system controversial.”

Ahsan said Sharif was expecting that the PPP would put its weight behind him but it would not happen until he provided proof of ownership to the court of law.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2017.


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