ISLAMABAD - The leading opposition parties on Sunday made it clear that no unconstitutional way will be used to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government.

Speaking at a joint news conference with other parties’ leaders, Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said PM Khan had become a burden on people. He said that the new budget was rejected by the entire opposition in the country as “it is an anti-poor and anti-people budget.” Bilawal said the federal government had increased petroleum price even before the budget was passed.

“The taxes are higher than the actual cost of the petroleum products. This is outright cruelty by the government,” he said. The PPP chief said he had been in contact with every opposition party. “As soon as (Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz President) Shahbaz Sharif gets well, the All Parties’ Conference will take place next week to discuss other issues bothering the people of Pakistan?” He said, justifying the delay in holding the APC.

He said Covid-19 should be controlled in consultations with doctors and health experts but the government was not interested.

“Locust has destroyed the crops of growers. The opposition is united and has played a very constructive role. The country is in very difficult situation due to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Imran Khan has put the health and life of the people in danger,” Bilawal said.

The opposition parties including the PPP, the PML-N, the Awami National Party, the Qaumi Watan Party, the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl), the Balochistan National Party (Mengal), the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, the National Party and the Pashtun Tohaafuz Movement, Also signed a joint statement against the federal government.

Bilawal said the budget meeting of the joint opposition was held and all political parties had rejected the budget. The budget has turned the whole of Pakistan against the government, he added.

He said the government had issued an illegal notification of petroleum levy and even before the budget was passed, more tax was levied than the price of petrol.

Bilawal said the opposition was in a strong position at present and the supporters of government would not stand with the government anymore.

Bilawal said the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf-led government lacked the capacity to solve national and public issues.

“This is a matter of survival of the nation, so the unity of the opposition is stronger than ever. Shehbaz Sharif is making the prime minister sweat even while he is ill,” he added.

 

PML-N leader Khawaja Mohammed Asif said the country needed a new mandate at present as this was the only solution to the people’s problems. “The constitutional way is to get a new mandate,” he added.

Khawaja Asif said opposition would use every constitutional option, not unconstitutional, to dismiss the government. The cowardly ruler is using institutions to satisfy his ego and now the time has come for them to be held accountable. Allies of the government are also leaving as the government is on its last leg.

The PML-N leader said they would fight against the budget on all fronts. The united opposition will adopt a joint strategy against the budget. The longer Imran Khan stays in office, the more disaster there will be. Pakistan can be saved by getting rid of Imran Khan, he stressed.

He feared gas and electricity prices would rise in the coming days. The storm of inflation will be unbearable for the people and in these circumstances, it was expected that some relief would be given to the people but an unbearable burden was placed on the people.

JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani said that the Prime Minister had made the people scream and inflation will rise after the budget. He urged for media Support to get rid of the government.

The joint statement by the opposition parties said the opposition had deliberated over the new budget at length and in depth, hereby unanimously and unequivocally reject it for not raising salaries on government employees despite inflation, there was no relief for common man, PTI lacked any roadmap for health or economic recovery, only Rs10 billion were allocated to fight locust, allocations for water resources and conservation had been cut, petroleum levy will place an unfair burden on people, crony capitalism was protected by allowing money laundering, government slashed social protection by Rs 34 billion and senior citizens were ruthlessly overlooked.

The joint statement said; “In conclusion this budget fails on every account to adequately address the challenges posed by a global pandemic, a huge locust invasion and ongoing global economic shocks. It fails miserably in providing relief to its citizens when they need it most. It fails to protect their lives, their health and their livelihood. Therefore, the joint opposition rejects it totally.”