The Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party has given a 72-hour ‘ultimatum’ to the federal government to withdraw the latest hike on petroleum products, warning it of dire consequences if prices are not brought down.
The government increased the price of petrol by up to Rs22.20 and diesel by Rs17.20 per liter on Wednesday amid spiraling inflation as the country continues to face an economic crisis.
During a press conference in Lahore on Friday, TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi said if the government does not withdraw the price hike, the party would do “what it is known for”a -a reference to protest marches in the recent that brought the federal capital to a standstill.
“I am giving a 72-hour ultimatum to the government to withdraw the increase in the prices of petroleum products immediately,” Rizvi said.
He said that the rulers of the country were begging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the 23rd time in 75 years, adding that Pakistan’s debt had increased by 23 percent in just one year. He claimed the rulers were now thinking of making IMF visit the country’s nuclear plants and weapons sites.
“The poor man has been squeezed to such an extent that he is unable to even think of protest,” he added.
Rizvi said the government should reduce its expenses by shrinking its “army of ministers and advisers”. He demanded that petrol offered to politicians and government officials be stopped immediately as they were using “millions of liters” every day.
“The office-bearers [of the party] should go to everyone including the business community and tell them that TLP is standing with them and that an Islamic system is the only hope,” he added.
The announcement from TLP comes after the party was widely criticized for not calling out the current government over the recent price hike, as Rizvi had lashed out at the PTI government when it raised prices. Many questioned the silence of the party after the PML-N-led government raised the tariff despite record inflation.