Ignoring the masses

Courting the establishment

The extraordinary rise in the price of petroleum products has escalated inflation, further reducing the purchasing power of the common man. With power and gas charges also being hiked, inflation would reach an all-time high, pushing millions below the poverty line.

Parents who are unable to pay school expenses have been forced to suspend the education of their children. With flour prices rising, poverty-stricken families have reduced bread intake affecting their work efficiency. With prices of medicines becoming unaffordable to lower income groups, this is likely to reduce life expectancy. People want to know how long it will take their suffering to end. For this they look up to the coalition government in power.

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One had expected PM Shehbaz Sharif to take the population into confidence as he occupies the most cherished seat of the Chief Executive of the country and his son Hamza has finally attained the prized post of the CM of Punjab. Mr Sharif has held several meetings with economists, businessmen and agriculturists. He has however yet to address the people to tell them what the government is doing to improve their lives and how long it will take to bring the economy out of the doldrums. It is the task of a leader to show that as a result of his policies there is light at the end of the tunnel.

With the PTI accusing leaders of the ruling alliance of involvement in mega corruption it was imprudent on the part of federal minister Ahsan Iqbal to claim that corruption doesn’t impede economic development while instability does.

The PM and his government seem to be more interested in seeking the goodwill of the establishment than the support of the people. On Sunday Shehbaz went out of the way to lavish praises on the Army chief over the country’s withdrawal by FATF from its grey list, something the ISPR had already done. It appears that the ruling alliance is willing to hand over its turf to the establishment by ignoring parliamentarians’ demands to present a report on talks with the TTP and failing to issue the production orders of MNA Ali Wazir.

While millions of people lack access to basic necessities, the announcement of brand new cars for Punjab ministers amounts to rubbing salt in people’s wounds. Even if the order for the cars had been placed by the PTI govt., its announcement should have been withheld at a time when the govt is preaching austerity.

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The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]

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