Imran Khan govt’s popularity on wane after defeat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa polls

Islamabad: After being defeated in the local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the popularity of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government seems to be waning.

Last week, PTI suffered a major setback after the Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidate won the seat for the post of Peshawar mayor in the local government elections held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Geo News reported citing unofficial and unverified results.

In an editorial piece in Pakistan’s Geo News, Hussain H Zaidi said that “both mainstream and social media are abuzz with speculations that a change in the government is on the horizon. While such speculations may be not more than wit and gossip, there’s little doubt that the popularity of the ruling party is on the wane”.

Zaidi said many an erstwhile staunch supporter of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the media and among intelligentsia has turned outright sceptical about his avowed ability to rid the country of its chronic problems.

People in Pakistan is facing rising power and gas tariffs, high petroleum prices, and rising unemployment.

Meanwhile, inflation has been predicted to remain high in Pakistan for the next six months and the Pakistan rupee is likely to continue on a depreciatory path despite a support package from Saudi Arabia, Geo News reported earlier citing the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The EIU’s assessment comes after data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed that the Consumer Price Index — a key marker of inflation — surged 9.2 per cent year-on-year in October, the Pakistani newspaper reported.