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ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties on Thursday staged a protest demonstration outside the Parliament House as the National Assembly voted for the controversial mini-budget. The opposition parties including the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F),and others protested against what they said was “IMF-dictated” mini-budget.

Addressing the protestors, Shehbaz Sharif, president PML-N, lambasted the government for “opening floodgates of inflation” through the mini-budget. He accused Prime Minister Imran Khan for inflicting “unprecedented tyranny” on the people through the “IMF-dictated” mini-budget.

“Imran Niazi is pushing the poor of the country in the death-trap of inflation. The PML-N, when it will come to power, will pull this country out of these challenges,” he vowed.

He also referred to the expected increase in the fuel prices, saying that news about hike in fuel prices by six rupees per litre in the next three days is alarming. “A news like this would surely cause hoarding of petroleum products,” he added.

The government should address these concerns as soon as possible and take steps to stop storage of fuel, the opposition leader said. “The PML-N has done its part, if still the government is unable to curb the upcoming petroleum crisis, it is only them (the incumbent ministers) to be blamed. It is the duty of the government to protect the common man’s rights,” he stated.

Sharif said rise in petroleum products prices will have an adverse effect on the economy as this will cause a rise in the cost of all the commodities. Every day a new incident indicates that there is no government in charge, he added.

The JUI-F parliamentary leader in the National Assembly, Asad Mahmood, while addressing the protesters, strongly criticised the PTI government on the current inflation, saying that the mini budget would bring a “flood” of price hike across the country.

“These imposed rulers have no concerns for the people of Pakistan. Rather, their only agenda is to please their foreign masters,” he alleged, adding that the joint opposition will soon send the government packing. He also urged the people to support the opposition’s anti-government drive with a view to steer the country out of the prevailing crises.

Other political parties led by Tehreek-e-Sooba Hazara(TSH) also protested in favour of the creation of Hazara province. The TSH protestors were joined by senior PML-N leaders including Ahsan Iqbal, Sabir Shah, Murtaza Abbasi, Sardar Yousaf and JUI-F leaders including Asadur Rehman and Talha Mehmood among others.

A huge deployment of the police was in place at the Red Zone area and around the Parliament House with a view to avert any untoward incident.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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