Whenever a new government takes over in Pakistan, one of the first things it does is to blame the previous government for the bad economic situation in the country. The PTI government (which has been in power for seven weeks) is no different. But it has set up a dangerous precedent. It has arrested the leader of the main opposition party (Shehbaz Sharif) to prevent him from campaigning for his party's candidates in the by-elections next week. I had no idea they were so desperate to become rulers. The first thing they did was to increase gas prices and raise the bank rate, two steps which are certain to result in massive inflation. Already bus owners have raised fare prices, and with the expected imminent rise in electricity rates as well, we should be prepared for substantial increase in prices of edible items as well.

Everyone thought this party had made preparations for alleviating our miseries, but unfortunately it has proved otherwise. Lahore is paralyzed today and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The stock market has crashed, there is no activity in the property sector, and Pakistanis abroad are reluctant to invest in their home country. I predict that there will be so much chaos and mayhem that this government will fall within a couple of months, unless it takes adequate measures to stabilize the situation.