LAHORE - Like other segments of the society, lawyers in the city are equally perturbed by the raise in petroleum and gas prices which they feel is hurting poor more severly against the background tension prevailing in the tribal areas and the ongoing military operation therein. Majority of advocates in the city are bitter over the government decision to increase petrol, diesel and kerosene oil prices in such a quick succession, which consequently entailing exorbitant enhancement in the gas price. It is too much to bear for the poor when they are already under great mental stress arising out of the tribal areas and the hike in the petroleum prices is sure to hush them into the clutches of miseries and hardships of life, commented member Pakistan Bar Council Hafiz Abdul Rahman Ansari. He said increase in the electricity prices is another bombshell in the stock of the government which is going to befall the people in a couple of days. Was this the change which the elected government wanted to bring into the life of the people, he posed a question? He said what is happening in the tribal areas is a very serous concern of the masses, and increase in petrol and gas prices is going to broadly add to their problems and difficulties. Another lawyer Atar Mahmood says, the rulers have made life of the people very difficult. The present wave of increase in energy bill, he said, means more price hike in every item of daily use, likely to take the poor further away from normal life. The masses had pinned high hopes on the elected government that it would address their problems and provide them relief after the long-drawn period of trial and tribulations but everything done by this government to let the poor remain in the vicious circle. What a pity, that the people, already hard pressed by a long hours loadshedding have been more tightened in the noose of price hike of the commodities, he added. Secretary Lahore High Court Bar Association, Rana Asadullah Khan has strongly condemned the fresh wave of hike in the energy products and has called for abolishing the OGRA where, he said, prices of the oil and gas are increased, keeping in view of the personal interest of certain persons instead of the interest of the masses. The PPP leader, Asif Ali Zardari, he said, made tall claims that the people had voted his party to rule for the sake of roti, kapra aur makan and not for the restoration of judiciary, and he put a question to the PPP leader that whether the present increase of petroleum and gas, and upcoming increase in the electricity prices would ever go to lessen sufferings of the poor and expedite provision of roti, kapra aur makan to them. The increase in question, he said, speaks loud of the failure of the federal government and added, the situation was pathetic that ruling and bureaucratic class enjoyed every privilege and facility of life free of charge while the poor were being dipped deep into the sufferings of life. He questioned the provision of petrol, gas and electricity free of charge to the privileged class when the masses were dying for one time meal. He called for operating buses for pick and drop of the ruling and the bureaucratic class so that they could also have an idea what problematic life a layman was living in the country. Rana Asadaullah gave the example of Mohatir Muhammad of Malaysia and said, he made his country an economic Asian tiger by himself adapting the lifestyle of a common man. He said Asif Ali Zardari had failed to fulfil his promise vis-a-vis restoration of the judiciary but at least, he should provide the masses with a humble sustenance for which he claims, his party was voted to power. In the present situation, he said, the government is pursuing the same policies which America had wanted Pakistan to follow over the last eight years. Where is the change and what is the change, he posed a query adding, it strongly appears the rulers have miserably failed to break the collusion of America, Musharraf and Establishment against the people of Pakistan and this country. Advocate Irfan Jalil Qureshi and Zeeshan Bokhari have also condemned increase in the petroleum prices and said, instead of giving a slow poison to the poor, why does not government kill them in one stroke?