KARACHI: “Once I was a supporter of Prime Minister Khan, as I believed that he would bring peace in our lives. But unfortunately, his government has made the lives of common people miserable in the city that has witnessed bloodbaths and unemployment for a long time.”
This is what rickshaw driver Saleem Qadri has to say when asked about the impact of petrol prices on his daily life.
Wandering from one place to another in the city in search of fares, he always thinks about the impact of petrol prices on his family.
“PM asks us to take austerity measures and says that one can get peace only in grave,” he lamented. “But, what about government officials who are still indulged in lavish lifestyles?” he remarked.
Qadri, in fact, pointed towards the speeches of the prime minister during the time when Mr Khan was on the campaign trail, wherein he promised the nation that the government would take austerity measures and stop all extraordinary expenditures, turn all governor houses into universities, stop using luxury vehicles and denounce protocol.
“In his speech, he said that he would set an example like European prime ministers who come to office on bicycles, but instead he forced the entire nation to ride bicycles,” he chuckled.
Similarly, Ahmed Hassan, an employee in a local bank, said that due to lack of government’s interest in welfare of general public, inflation has become a political talking point for the opposition.
“It is not an economic subject anymore but a political one as other political parties malign the government,” he said, adding, “When petrol and diesel become more expensive then your electricity, wheat, bread, vegetables and everything becomes expensive.”
‘Tsunami of inflation’
He further added that “The PTI has brought a tsunami of inflation in the country by bringing the prices of petroleum products to the highest level in the history of the country.”
When asked about how he handled the situation, he said that he usually goes to the office on bike, but now he shares rides with colleagues so one day his colleague fills the fuel tank and other day he does so, and that’s how he manages.
“Believe me, poverty has broken the common man’s backbone,” he said, adding, “Why government is so reluctant to introduce electric vehicles?”
Khursheed Zahra, a housewife who lives in North Nazimabad, said that the people are currently passing through a worst time due to inflation; the prices of medicines have also increased manifold.
She said that it is most unfortunate that the government defends the price hike by saying that it was still lower when compared to the international petroleum prices.
A vegetable seller said that the government has increased petrol prices by more than Rs10 per litre resulting in increase of vegetable prices.
“What should we do? No vegetable is available here for less than Rs150 per kg,” he said.
“This has been repeated so many times that it has now become foolish even to say that the government does not care for the common man,” he said, adding ,“Forget giving them 10 million jobs, the ones who already had jobs are now unemployed.”