June 17, 2022
ISLAMABAD – Former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday urged the public to take to the streets on Sunday (June 19) at 9pm to stage a “peaceful demonstration” against rising inflation, which he said has been the doing of a government “incapable of handling the economy”.
In a recorded video message, Imran warned that inflation would soar even higher in days to come if the nation “kept sitting idly”.
“I am inviting the entire nation for a peaceful protest against inflation. I invite trade unions, professionals, doctors, engineers, clerks, and government workers to take to the streets,” appealed the ex-PM.
He said he wanted to ask the incumbent rulers why they “indulged in a conspiracy” when they were not capable of handling the economy and the country.
Imran said the nation remembers the narrative of the incumbent government leaders when they were in the opposition and used to critique inflation. “Now the reality is before everyone.”
“When we left the government, petrol was priced at Rs150 per litre and it was raised by Rs50 in our three-and-a-half-year tenure,” the ex-PM recalled.
Imran said that the International Monetary Fund was also pressing the PTI government to raise fuel prices, because of which “we had reserved Rs200 billion in subsidies realising the impending impact of fuel price hike on the public.”
He noted the government had raised the price of petrol by Rs85 in mere 20 days — contrary to Rs50 hike made by the PTI in its nearly four-year rule — and expressed apprehension that the prices would go even further up.
The former premier warned that a further hike in diesel prices would wreak an “economic havoc” in the country.
He said his government had left the electricity tariff at Rs16 per unit, lamenting that the new government had since taken it to Rs30 per unit.
“A 20kg sack of wheat was available for Rs1,100 and it has now surged to Rs1,500. Similarly, ghee price has been hiked to Rs650 per kg from Rs400.”