KARACHI- People across the country have strongly protested against the latest increase in the prices of petroleum, sources revealed to The Nation on Wednesday. It may be recalled here that the government had significantly increased the prices of POL products on Tuesday despite the clear instruction of the Supreme Court to reduce them. The price of petrol has been increased up to Rs62.13 per litre from Rs56.21 per litre, diesel shot up by Rs. 6.94 per litre (Rs62.65 per litre) and price of kerosene oil augmented up to Rs59.35 per litre. Talking to The Nation, an infuriated citizen said the country was passing through a very difficult and miserable condition. We are in a war-like situation. There are daily reports of suicide attacks and bomb blasts. This situation has already taken hopes from the general public and now the devil of inflation, which will result from latest hike in the prices of POL products, will engulf whatever remains in the pockets of the public, he added. The government and the parliamentarians should understand that continual hike in petrol prices will badly impact all segments of the society. Things have already gone out of the reach of common man. It seems as if the rulers want us to die of scarcity of food and other necessities of life, another consumer said. A person from low-income stratum of the society said that after the slogan of a 'public-friendly budget the fresh hike is tantamount to a slap on our faces by the government. Every government promises to make the lives of the poor easy but this hope ends when new taxes are imposed on basic commodities. Why the government is so insensitive to the plight of the general public? The poor in our country have not enough food to feed their children, how can they fight this increasing inflation? Who in this country will answer to such questions? he asked. A mother of three children remarked at the end of the day, I feel dissatisfied. I work very hard to make both ends meet but when it comes to maintain the expenditures, I only get depression, as our expenses exceed our earnings. A salaried person said the hike in petroleum products did not match the increment in the salaries promised in the budget. The petroleum hike has further aggravated the already poor standard of living in the country. The transporters have already made it difficult enough for general public to meet the expenses of travelling. PASBAN HOLDS PROTEST RALLY Pasban Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor on Wednesday said that recent increase in the petrol prices would further aggravate the economic problems and inflation rate in the country. He termed the recent increase in petroleum prices a mockery of the Judicial Oil Commission and accused the government of committing contempt of court through this action. Addressing a protest demonstration of Pasban Karachi outside the Press Club on Wednesday, Shakoor denounced the silence of political parties and public representatives on this issue of public interest. He requested the Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to take immediate notice of the recent increase in petroleum prices, which is against the clear directives of the Supreme Court and therefore tantamount to contempt of court. Participants of the protest demonstration strongly condemned the hike petroleum prices and demanded of the government to withdraw its decision with immediate effect.