Pakistan is experiencing a severe fuel crisis due to a significant increase in fuel prices. The Oil Tankers Contractors Association (OTCA) has gone on strike, suspending fuel supply in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and threatening a shortage in the near future.
The spokesperson for the association, Noman Ali Butt, stated that they have stopped the supply of fuel in these key cities and have demanded a quota from the white petroleum pipeline as well as increased fares. Butt emphasized that the association has raised these issues with the relevant authorities after remaining silent for five years in the country’s best interest.
If negotiations fail in Karachi, there will be a shortage of diesel and petrol in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Petrol filling stations only have enough fuel for the next two or three days, according to the spokesperson.
This fuel crisis comes in the midst of an already troubled economic situation for Pakistan. The caretaker government recently announced a price increase of Rs 26.02 per litre for petrol and Rs 17.34 per litre for diesel, making the total cost of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) over Rs 330 at filling stations.
Criticism has been directed towards the caretaker government, with several political parties claiming that the price hike is exacerbating already rising inflation and diminishing purchasing power among the population. Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has labeled the price hike a “conspiracy” to incite civil unrest, particularly affecting those below the poverty line who are struggling with the increasing costs of essential goods.
Pakistan’s economy has been in decline for several years, placing immense pressure on the low-income population due to uncontrolled inflation. Many people are struggling to make ends meet, and the recent fuel crisis and price hike only add to their difficulties.