ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday said the joint opposition would devise a strategy if the government ignored the alleged rigging in the general elections.

Speaking to journalists here, Bilawal however, welcomed the formation of a Parliamentary Commission against rigging in elections. The PPP chief said that chairperson of the committee should have been from the opposition.

Earlier, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf tabled a motion in the National Assembly to investigate alleged rigging in recently held general election. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that transparent elections were mandatory for a strong democracy.

Bilawal said the PTI-led government should have accepted opposition’s demand to appoint a member of the opposition as the head of the committee. “We thought the rigging issue must be raised in the parliament. This is a big issue,” he said.

On the mini-budget presented by the government, Bilawal said the speech of Finance Minister Asad Umar was unimpressive. “We will give a feedback after reading the speech but the minister’s speech was far from his speeches when he was in the opposition,” the PPP leader said.

Meanwhile, former opposition leader in the Senate, Sherry Rehman, expressed her concern over the government’s decision to increase natural gas prices by 143 per cent.

She said: “This is a dangerous decision coming from a party which themselves opposed gas price hikes in the past. Considering how this will affect not only key industries but more importantly, the masses, I find it difficult to understand how the government felt like it could blatantly bypass the Parliament on a decision of this scale while both Houses were in session.”

The Senator said: “The issue regarding how unsustainable the gas prices were has been brought up in past committees but PTI refused to listen. PTI was consistent in lashing out against the exact same move they pulled only a day before the mini-budget. Gas is a basic requirement and changing its price will have effects far and beyond. This is not a decision that the government can spring on its people overnight.”

Separately yesterday, PPP’s Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said that the claimants of ‘new Pakistan’ had started economically squeezing the poor people of Pakistan. In a statement Senator Khokhar, the spokesperson to Bilawal, said that the prices of daily-use items were increasing incessantly since PTI government had come to power.

“Now the increase in gas tariff in the darkness of the night is further increasing the difficulties of the poor people of Pakistan. Imran Khan used to claim that he will change the situation overnight if he comes to power but people of Pakistan are further burdened,” he maintained.

Khokhar said that Imran Khan and his team were totally oblivious to run the country and its economy. “Imran Khan has also hinted against 18th amendment and provincial autonomy but PPP will resist any action which divides the federation and is anti people,” he added.

PPP’s Nafisa Shah and Maula Bux Chandio also criticized the mini-budget. They claimed that PM Khan was disappointing the nation by increasing the rates of daily-use items.