The government’s decision to raise petrol prices – third time in a month – has been met by a storm of protests by citizens, opposition and its own allies. The general feeling is that of complete frustration for instance, observed in ANP’s suggestion to wind up Ogra as well as the Oil ministry. It is obvious that things are going haywire, reinforced by Federal Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim’s apologetic press briefing in which he tried to shirk responsibility with the excuse that the parliament can give subsidy. Surprisingly, he gave the impression that the ministry has no role in fixing prices. The confusion among the political parties is aggravating the sorry state of affairs, since there is no collective stand. The MQM has asked for the petroleum minister to step down but chances are that this furore will die down in a day or two.

The masses as always will trundle on in their misery, although they are pushed to the extreme. When before having two meals a day had seemed a luxury! With no electricity either, the combined effects have pushed the economy to its very grave. The government is urged to lower the prices and also devise ways to bring stability in oil market. Unless this is done, the economy cannot get back on track, much less move forward.