Imran calls nationwide protest against fuel price hike

Ex-PM says he will announce next strategy tomorrow


Shahid Hamid June 02, 2022

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SHANGLA:

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday the ‘enslaved’ leaders were afraid of America’s backlash, therefore they were reluctant to buy cheap oil from Russia.

Addressing a rally in Bisham and later in a series of tweets after the government jacked up fuel prices, Imran said that those who conspired against the PTI government had no plans to improve the economy rather they just wanted to end corruption cases against them.

“I want everyone to come out & protest peacefully after Juma prayers tomorrow (today) against this Imported govt's anti-people policies of massive price hikes to crush the public & wreak economic havoc in the country,” Imran said in a tweet.

The former prime minister said that the current rulers had no stakes in the country, as their assets were all abroad. For the PTI, he added: “Our priority has always been” the people. “This cabal of crooks poses a far more serious threat to Pakistan than any of our external enemies.”

Imran said that the main priority of the rulers was to give themselves NRO2 (immunity from their corruption cases) rig elections; destroy state institutions with their goons & crush opposition thru FIRs & state power.

The NRO refers to the political amnesty granted by the former military ruler Pervez Musharraf through the National Reconciliation Ordinance in 2007. The ordinance was later struck down by the Supreme Court.

Lambasting the latest hike in the prices of petroleum products, the former prime minister said that the “imported” government increased the prices by 40% or Rs60 per litre, since toppling the PTI government.

“This will increase burden on the public by Rs900 bn & price hike in basic necessities. Plus, the Rs8 increase in electricity price will put entire country into shock. Expect inflation by 30% highest in 75 yrs,” he warned.

“Our [PTI] govt sustained pressure of Covid & gave Rs 1200 bn worth economic package. This yr alone we reduced sales tax to zero percent & additionally provided Rs 466 bn energy subsidies to protect our public,” he said.

At the rally in Bisham in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa earlier, Imran said that the PTI government wanted to buy cheap oil from Russia, but added that the current “imported government” was reluctant to buy the Russian fuel because the ‘enslaved’ leaders feared America’s backlash.

“These [rulers] are America’s slaves. I am campaigning for the real liberation of this nation,” Imran said. “The nation must be prepared, I will announce the strategy in the public meeting in Dir day after tomorrow [Saturday],”he added.

He told the crowd that the government jacked up the price of petrol, while the Indian government recently reduced the price by Rs25. “This highlights the difference in decision-making between free and enslaved countries,” he said.

“All the money of the Sharif family is stashed abroad that is why they could ill-afford America’s anger,” he said. “Only those who are anti-people would make policies of slavery to America. We do not trust this government, nor does the nation.”

The former prime minister also mentioned a visit to Israel by a delegation of Pakistani-Americans. “The delegations to Israel also included a civil servant, we could never recognise Israel but these slave rulers want to recognise it,” he added.

Recalling that there were over 400 drone strikes in Pakistan during the tenures of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) combined, Imran pointed out that both the previous governments even did not condemn such attacks.

He reminded the crowd that a US diplomat had threatened his government. “Our trade and imports rose, and so did the conspiracy against our government deepen,” he said, stressing that the government should only come through people’s votes.

Counting the achievements of his government, the former prime minister said that in the past two years, Pakistan’s gross domestic growth (GDP) rate was 5.6%. “We steered the country out of tough coronavirus pandemic and provided employment.

But under this government now, he continued, load shedding had broken all records, while the country headed toward bankruptcy. “For that, the nation will not forgive them [the current rulers],” the PTI chairman told the gathering.

Directly addressing the establishment, Imran said that his message was that the former Soviet Union broke up because of the economic crisis. “Everyone knows that the authority lay with the military to send the thieves packing. In these circumstances, one cannot remain neutral.”

He charged that current rulers just wanted to end corruption cases against them, adding that they were destroying all government entities, such as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

“A society which could not catch the powerful gets destroyed. I salute the people who fought tyranny and rejected the imported government,” he said, referring to his party’s long march towards Islamabad on May 25.

He said that the atrocities committed against the participants of the long march refreshed memories of General Dyer – a reference to the British Raj officer, Brig-Gen Reginald EH Dyer, who ordered the massacre at Jalianwala Bagh in Amritsar in 1919, killing nearly 400 people.

“They cannot win the election, therefore, they are planning vote-rigging,” Imran said. He announced that he would announce his strategy in the public meeting in Dir on Saturday (tomorrow), adding that he would then leave the province.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, provincial labour minister Shaukat Yusufzai and PTI leader Shahbaz Gill were also present on the occasion. PTI K-P President Pervez Khattak also addressed the gathering.

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