Islamabad [Pakistan]: The rate of inflation in Pakistan is the fourth highest in the world which could lead to unrest and protests against the Imran Khan government.
Citing an incident in a family of Karachi, Shah Meer Baloch wrote in The Guardian that a shoe-seller set himself on fire as he could not meet his expenses or send money home due to the “skyrocketing prices”. Imran Khan had vowed to lift people out of poverty before gaining power as he promised the creation of 10 million jobs. Instead, he announced financial support of USD3 billion from Riyadh after his visit to Saudi Arabia last month.
Imran Khan blamed inflation in the international market for the miseries of the people and announced a “relief package” of 120 billion Pakistani rupees providing subsidies on the essential food items, wrote Shah Meer Baloch.
“The package is a drop in the ocean and will do little to help the mass of ordinary people. The pressure on Imran Khan will continue to mount because we have seen further price hikes, such as of fuel and sugar, after the announcement of the package,” The Guardian quoted an economist, Khurram Hussain as saying.
He said that inflation comes at a time when the unemployment in the country is high and the wages are stagnant which is why the inflation was imposing a crushing burden on the ordinary people. The prices of fuel and electricity are “unprecedentedly high”.
The Pakistani opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has announced a campaign against the Imran Khan government for rising inflation in the country. An announcement of a long march against inflation was made as a part of the campaign from Lahore to Islamabad, wrote Shah Meer Baloch.
A shopkeeper in Pakistan’s north-western province, Mardan had cursed Imran Khan at a mosque as the number of customers at his shop had fallen due to rising prices. He was arrested.
“I rushed to a mosque and announced to the speakers that we should curse Imran Khan. The prime minister promised a new (Naya) Pakistan and that it would be a welfare state for ordinary people but he has done the opposite. He is crushing the poor,” Shah Meer Baloch quoted him as saying to The Guardian.
The shopkeeper further confessed that he regretted voting for Imran Khan in the general election and said that everyone he knew who voted for Khan also regretted the decision.
“People in my neighbourhood supported my calls against Imran Khan after I was released in two days. We believe Imran Khan should resign if he can’t control the prices of essential commodities,” Shah Meer Baloch quoted him as telling The Guardian.