One can’t help but feel that PTI’s increase of petrol by Rs.25 per litre is the last nail in the coffin for Pakistan’s poor masses. Just a few days ago the Prime Minister Imran Khan proudly proclaimed that when the price of petrol was compared with other South Asian countries, the commodity was the cheapest in Pakistan.

However since then the price of petrol has again increased, and the relief that was given to the poor has been taken back. One struggles to understand this move, especially considering that the global economy is facing a historic recession, and that the Pakistani Rupee is continuing to weaken. To increase the burden of the poor in the midst of a global pandemic - which has led to difficult financial times, with many daily labourers being made redundant, and many others having their pays cut - is a move that seems shameful and almost ignorant of the public’s hardships. Government servants are scrambling from pillar to post to find some relief as even the minimum increase in their salaries has been denied by the Prime Minister of the welfare state.

Actual Inflation is hovering around 14%, breaking the backbone of the lower strata of society. In an environment where the economy seems to be worsening, unemployment increasing, job opportunities abroad decreasing and general financial uncertainty looms over the masses, due to a global pandemic, the increase in petrol prices seem harsh, and difficult to bear for most. The government must be more aware, and more sympathetic towards the realities faced by the public, and immediately reverse the increase of petrol prices.

IFTIKHAR MIRZA,

Islamabad.