Oil price deregulation is a national security threat: Dr Hanif Mughal

Dr. Muhammad Hanif Mughal, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Shadbad, emphasized on Friday that the removal of government control over oil prices is not a matter to be taken lightly. It is, in fact, a grave national security issue. He warned that certain elements are pushing for this change, potentially plunging the country into chaos and prioritizing profit over stability, a situation that must not be allowed to unfold.

He added that the Prime Minister, Army Chief, and Chief Justice should take notice of the situation; otherwise, it could go out of control.

Dr. Hanif Mughal, in a statement issued today, painted a grim picture of the aftermath of oil price deregulation. He warned that such a move could lead to widespread bankruptcy among the people and the complete destruction of Pakistan’s economy, a scenario that must be avoided at all costs.

This move, backed by some powerful companies and individuals, will sink the country into a quagmire of problems. He said that Pakistan does not have the infrastructure or storage capacity for such an adventure.

Deregulation is said to empower oil marketing companies to determine fuel prices based on market forces. Consumers getting gasoline and diesel from places closer to ports and refineries would get relatively cheaper products. However, he underlined that it would be a death warrant for the people and the petroleum industry of Pakistan.

According to the International Energy Agency, it is mandatory for every member country to stock at least 90 days of oil. The United States, China, and dozens of other countries have stored oil for several years, which can be brought to the market when needed.

However, he said, Pakistan barely has the capacity to store 15 to 20 days of oil, which is why this sector remains unstable. Despite government oversight, oil marketing companies often create crises for profit.

He warned that deregulation in these circumstances is like playing with fire, as our fragile economy is unable to withstand the shocks resulting from it.

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