Connect with us

Pakistan

"Don't panic!"

Written

on

As soon I woke up in the morning, the news dropped like a bomb that the government has increased the prices of petroleum products by Rs12 per liter. Petrol price rose by Rs10.49 to Rs137.79 and diesel by Rs 12.44.

Imran Yaqub Khan Profile Imran Yaqub Khan

In the last one month, the price of petrol has gone up by a total of Rs20, which has really made the people scream. Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressing the inaugural function of Kisan Portal, was saying that imported goods import inflation, the pressure on the rupee is temporary, we have imported wheat, sugar, ghee, we are trying that everything be produced in the country.

During the reporting of this (PM's) speech, I was looking for a phrase, "Don't panic", but despite searching all the newspapers, I couldn't find these words of consolation from the Prime Minister. I was searching for these words because I was nervous. The reason for the panic was the announcement of the Federal Minister of Energy, the announcement of the Utility Stores Corporation and the ticking of the petrol bomb.

Electricity has been increased by Rs39 paise per unit but there is no need to panic. The slab of cheap electricity for the poor has been reduced from 300 units to 200 units, but there is no need to panic. The price of essentials at utility stores has gone up by Rs15-45 but there is no need to panic. Edible oil prices of 5 companies have been increased from Rs14 to Rs110 at utility stores but there is no need to panic. The price of a two kilogram  pack of washing powder has been increased from Rs10 to Rs21 but there is no need to panic. Repeated instructions about hand wash to avoid coronavirus and an increase of up to Rs15 in the price of bath soup and an increase of Rs9 in the price of a 228 ml pack of handwash but do not panic. The poor used to eat bread with pickles and the price of pickles has been increased by more than 200 per cent. The price of three grams of pickles has been increased from Rs20 to Rs44 but there is no need to worry.

The government's own statistics agency says the overall inflation rate has reached 12.66 per cent. Inflation for low-income earners has reached 14.12%. Prices of 22 essential commodities rose in one week. The price of tomato increased by Rs11 per kg, LPG cylinder for domestic use has gone up by more than Rs43, 2.5kg ghee price jumped Rs6.9, while prices of rice, garlic, potato, mutton and Gurr also went up.     

Despite the words "don't panic", there is no moment of relief and it seems that the captain's famous slogan "I will make them cry" was not for political rivals but for the people. The average income of the salaried class in the country is 20,000 to 25,000. What was left of this revenue after paying electricity, gas and water bills, which the government is now bent on squeezing further.

The word squeezing was used because Federal Minister for Energy Hamad Azhar, while announcing the increase in electricity rates, had admitted that the burden of revolving loans is currently being borne by the people mainly due to capacity payments, which are now Rs700 to Rs800 billion. Thus, the confession of the federal minister proved that arrangements are being made to squeeze Rs800 billion from the people.

The working class and a sslaried class were interested in the captain's slogans. Addressing the Kisan Card Portal function, the captain pointed this out, saying the PTI has launched a movement for justice, Allah Almighty especially listens to the voice of the weak and working class. A man in the street is seen seeking justice. Captain sahib what to talk about your slogan of 'Insaaf' you have forced even poor class to beg for food. The rulers should come ourt on the streets without protocols to see the poor queuing up at traffic signals for begging. Poverty and unemployment could be seen among youth standing alongthe banks of the city canal and injecting drugs into their bodies, while young girls could be seen wearing burqas with their hands outstretched.

Rising electricity, oil and gas prices, continouous depriciation of Pak rupee, the collapse of economy sinks, the world's laughter at a "sensitive deployment" are the outcome of change (of government) that came in 2018. Though the Opposition still insist the change didn;t come, but was brought. Whatever the case, the loss is happening to Pakistan and the millions of people living in it. The scourge of inflation has grappled the country so badly that there is not a single household whose expenditure and income have not "changed". People are now fed up with hollow claims of accountability.

While blowing the horn on inflation, mismanagement and unnecessary issues from institutions, is the government realizing that there will be no response? The patience of the people is running out. The opposition is gearing up for the last battle. The government has reached the abyss of its popularity.

Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen also made it clear during a press conference in Washington that inflation wouldn't come down. In such a situation, whatever the government does to entertain the people cannot be stopped in the face of public outrage. The billions of rupees of subsidies and amnesty schemes if were directed towards modernizing the industry, there would be economic activity in the country today and jobs would be created.

If it is to be accepted that the previous governments haven't paid attention to these problems, but question is what have you (PTI) done in these three years? How long will the rulers and governments of the past continue to cover up their incompetence and worthlessness? The time for elections-- the day of reckoning for any government-- is also coming and of course the people are watching and testing everything. You will have to run a knife on your development budget due to the IMF conditions. Are you ready for that too? Treat inflation immediately or the "Tsunami of change" will knock you to the brink of public outrage!

Continue Reading

Sports

Ten Hag makes Man United's FA Cup semifinal win over Coventry feel like a defeat

Struggling past Coventry only provided more compelling arguments that Erik ten Hag's days as Manchester United manager are numbered.

Published by Web Desk

Published

on

LONDON -- Manchester United are into the FA Cup final, but the manner with which they scraped past Coventry City will do nothing for Erik ten Hag's prospects of remaining as manager.

If anything, the supporters who streamed out of Wembley and back to Manchester after watching their team win a penalty shootout at the end of a dramatic day will be more convinced than ever that the Dutchman is no longer the right man for the job. United were cruising at 3-0 before allowing Coventry to score three times in the final 20 minutes, including a 95th-minute equaliser, sending the game to penalties tied 3-3.

The Championship side were the better team in extra time and thought they had completed one of the greatest FA Cup comebacks ever when Victor Torp found the net with the final kick only to have their celebrations cut short by VAR and the tightest of offside calls. In the end it was more Wembley penalty heartbreak for Coventry, who lost in a shootout to Luton Town in last season's Championship playoff final.

- Stream the replay on ESPN+: Man United vs. Coventry City (U.S. only)

United, meanwhile, go on to the final against Manchester City, a repeat of last season's showpiece. Ten Hag is likely to be on the touchline next to Pep Guardiola on May 25, but there is ever-increasing doubt that he will still be at Old Trafford next season.

"Mixed feelings, it is clear," Ten Hag said when asked to sum up the day. "It's an achievement to be twice in the FA Cup final in two years. In the last 20 years, United were five times in the final but we are now two times in two years. It's a huge achievement.

"When you are so in control, dominating the game, 3-0 up, we should win it. The way we didn't was not good. From the 70 minutes to the end we made mistakes."

What, then, will Sir Jim Ratcliffe be thinking? The 71-year-old United co-owner was in the stands after completing the London marathon hours earlier, but watching Ten Hag's team in the second half provided his most gruelling trial of the day.

The game was seemingly done and dusted in the 58th minute when Bruno Fernandes scored United's third, only for the Red Devils to then inexplicably decide to remind everyone just how flimsy they are.

For much of the afternoon, Coventry played like a team just happy to be on a break from the Championship, where they've lost three of their past four games. But once Ellis Simms pulled a goal back in the 71st minute, United began to creak and crack, and Coventry took advantage.

Callum O'Hare got the second eight minutes later via a heavy deflection before referee Robert Jones caused bedlam in the sea of sky blue behind the goal by pointing to the penalty spot having spotted a debatable handball from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

VAR confirmed it, Haji Wright tucked it away and for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge in 2013, United had thrown away a three-goal lead.

With United now apparently determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Wright flashed a good chance wide in extra time and Simms hit the underside of the crossbar.

Only the VAR lines saved United from losing to Torp's goal in the 121st minute -- "I think it was a toenail offside" Coventry boss Mark Robins said afterwards -- but Ten Hag still had to thank O'Hare and Ben Sheaf for missing penalties in the shootout. They've probably kept him in a job for an extra month.

It said everything that when Rasmus Højlund scored with the decisive kick to book a second successive FA Cup final, the celebrations were muted. If it's possible to be undeserving of victory having led 3-0, then United found a way to achieve it.

"We can play at very high levels, but in the same match we can go to very low levels and that's not explainable," Ten Hag said. "On several occasions we let each other down. Today we got away with it. With all the injuries, we don't have so many tools. We don't even have a back four in their best positions.

"On that part I have to give the team a compliment, the players managed that, they were in a position that is not in their best. They gave 100%, and it's not always easy to play the best football when you're not in your best position."

Ten Hag has been keen to point to the long injury list as the key reason behind the team's miserable campaign, but even though he faced Coventry without 10 senior players and Casemiro as an auxiliary centre-back, it didn't explain the collapse.

Again he substituted Alejandro Garnacho in the second half and ceded an element of control. In the past month, the Argentine has been replaced with United leading Chelsea 4-3, leading Liverpool 2-1 and leading Coventry 3-0, and each time they've fallen away.

Garnacho was still running when he came off in the 66th minute, and it was noteworthy that Robins said United began to look "leggy" around the same time.

United's new ownership team insists no decision has been made on Ten Hag's future, but if he loses his job in the summer, it will be because of days like this.

He said afterward it was "crazy" to think that victory in an FA Cup semifinal might have weakened his position as manager, but that was the overriding feeling when Højlund's final penalty nestled in the net.

Still in charge, no obvious successor and an FA Cup final against City to come, there's still time for him to prove he should stay, but struggling past Coventry only provided more compelling arguments that he should go.
Continue Reading

Pakistan

President lauds IIUI’s role in promotion of higher education; assures support

University Rector Professor Dr. Samina Malik apprises the president of the IIUI’s performance and services in the higher education sector.

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

Published

on

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday lauded the role of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) in the promotion of higher education in the country and assured his all-out support for the institution’s uplift.

The president said this in a meeting with IIUI President Professor Dr. Hathal Homoud Alotaibi and Rector Professor Dr. Samina Malik here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The university rector apprised the president of the IIUI’s performance and services in the higher education sector.

In the meeting, they discussed the overall performance of the institution as well as its administrative matters.

The president was told that the IIUI had formulated a Strategic Plan 2022-2026 to promote research and development, innovation and digitalisation that would also help improve the university’s financial and administrative affairs. In the briefing, President Zardari was told that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was extending assistance for the university’s uplift and development as it had already funded the construction of a new university block and for the provision of modern educational facilities.

 

Continue Reading

Sports

ICC T20 World Cup trophy to reach Islamabad

The sources say the prestigious trophy would not only grace the capital city but would also journey to Abbottabad and Lahore during its three-day tour.

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

Published

on

Islamabad: The ICC T20 World Cup trophy is set reach Islamabad and marked the commencement of a three-day tour across Pakistan on Wednesday night.

The sources said that the prestigious trophy would not only grace the capital city but would also journey to Abbottabad and Lahore during its three-day tour.

Scheduled for an evening arrival, the T20 World Cup trophy would be ceremoniously received at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. Its presence coincides with the highly anticipated Pakistan vs.

New Zealand T20 International match due to unfold at the iconic Gaddafi Stadium.

 

Continue Reading

Trending