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Islamabad Pakistan

Inflation relief is underway, says Khawaja Asif

The federal government has devised a relief package to combat the rising inflation, according to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, who also stated confidence that the skyrocketing costs would eventually decline. Speaking to the media in front of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),  the minister said providing relief to the masses and bringing down the prices of essentials was the federal government’s “number one priority”. Asif recalled how the government had just reduced the price of electricity and petroleum products for the benefit of the common person.

Days before, sources had told that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had instructed his government to hammer out a special package to aid households in coping with the stinging inflation. This confirmation of a relief package in the works came as no surprise. The prime minister allegedly also ordered the preparation of a special package for the youth while blaming the previous government for the continued inflationary trend. Analysts have warned that a relief package may backfire and possibly prove to be a counterproductive choice at a time when the nation is experiencing economic difficulties and a potential default risk threatens to make matters worse. While it may serve to cushion the inflationary shock, it would be counterintuitive to open the purse as IMF talks face delay, they said.

Regarding the current political situation, Khawaja Asif stated that the outcome of the motion of no-confidence against the chief minister, speaker, and deputy of Punjab would be known in the following two to three days.

He claimed that PTI leader Imran Khan’s most recent attempt to dissolve the provincial assembly had likewise failed, and that “rather every day a new issue was discovered regarding his [Imran Khan] Toshakhana gifts case.” He regretted that people like PTI leaders ascended to power and occupied high positions during the last tenure. “With the grace of Allah Almighty the no-confidence motion moved by the PDM against the elements, who come into power by committing corruption, would succeed,” he mentioned.

Referring to Imran’s criticism of former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, the defence minister said that the former premier has turned against those who were kind enough to bring him into power. “If you have failed to deliver, it is your mistake, not the others” he added.