While naming India, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan once again condemned the Shahbaz Sharif government when the federal government increased the price of petrol and diesel by 30 PKR per liter.
Criticizing the government, Imran said that this “sensitive government” had not followed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) agreement with Russia for 30 percent cheaper oil.
He praised India for buying cheap oil from Russia, a strategic ally of the United States, and for reducing fuel prices by 25 PKR per liter.
“The country has started paying the price for importing petrol and diesel at the rate of 20% / Rs30 per liter – the highest single price increase in our history. The incompetent and sensitive government has not followed our agreement with Russia. 30% cheaper oil.” Imran Khan said in a tweet.
“On the contrary, India, a strategic ally of the United States, has been able to reduce fuel prices by 25 PKR per liter by buying cheap oil from Russia. He said in another tweet.
Pakistan on Thursday hiked the price of petroleum products by 30 PKR per liter, saying the decision was taken to ensure revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.
Petrol will be priced at Rs 179.86, diesel at Rs 174.15, kerosene at Rs 155.56 and light diesel at Rs 148.31, Dawn reported.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail made the announcement at a press conference in Islamabad where he said the government had no choice but to raise prices, adding that “we are still suffering a loss of 56 PKR per liter of diesel” even at the new price.
Acknowledging that the government of Shahbaz Sharif was aware of the political repercussions of this decision, he added: “We will face criticism but the state and its interests are important to us and we need to protect it.”
Moreover, Ismail said that Pakistan could have gone “wrong” if no action had been taken. He added that the decision was a difficult one for Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
The hike came after talks between the Pakistani government and the IMF in Doha.
The talks were aimed at reaching a policy agreement on the conclusion of the seventh review of the USD 6 billion USD program for Pakistan, which had been suspended since early April.
According to media reports, the IMF has made the resumption of the program conditional on the return of energy and energy subsidies introduced by the previous PTI government, which has been termed as sustainable.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)