Rising fuel, energy prices coupled with increased food prices are the daily issues that Pakistanis are trying to grapple with. The debate by the armchair warriors has shifted to making ends meet rather than the alleged US conspiracy against Khan. This narrative has lost luster. Of course, these armchair warriors may not include the Retired Exalted who do not have to worry about these ‘mundane’ issues. More and more, Khan’s strategy exposes his lack of being in touch with the ground reality. Not his ground reality but that of the common man. Not only rates of everything have gone up, many sellers are taking unfair advantage of this situation too. Past two weeks twice I visited Muslim Town. My son’s dentist is there. I got fruits and groceries from there these two weeks. One example only: Excellent quality Sindhri mango sold at DHA Lahore for Rs 385 per kilo then was at Rs 200 per kilo at Muslim Town. Better quality. I was told 5 minutes away is Wahdat Road. Where costs of groceries are even lower. There is no attention paid by the government to monitor and regulate the consumer prices of daily items. If any effort is made, it is purely cosmetic. It’s definitely not trickling down to the consumers’ level. According to figures released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the inflation rate is the highest against the past 14 years, it stands at 21.32 per cent. Energy ministers Khurram Dastgir and Musadik Malik stated that ‘energy prices will keep increasing for the next three to four months because of ‘landmines laid by Imran Khan’ and then start a downward trend in November-December this year.’ The downward trend promised seem to be a lollipop for the hapless public. With costs of energy and petroleum products increasing on alternated day basis, how can it be downward reversed when all other variables remain fluid? The continuing war between Russia and Ukraine and the undeniable impact it will continue to have on Pakistan’s economy has not been taken into equation. Climbing global commodity prices have impacted Pakistan’s fiscal account and subsidies, having more people slip down under the poverty line. Kiev supplied 39% of Pakistan’s wheat imports last year. We also import corn, barley, grain, seeds among other items from Ukraine. The ground reality for the common Pakistanis is that consumer buying power has dropped and expected to drop further, production has fallen and is more likely to fall further with cost of production increasing. In my article for this paper published February 26th, 2022, I wrote, “Rupee may well hit at two hundred against a dollar making imports very expensive.” Guess what dear readers, we crossed Rs 200 mark. This of course automatically makes any import more expensive. So, the government was right in banning many products that are not want or necessities but fall in the luxury list. However, this in itself is not good enough, the government needs to step up facilities for production of those items that are substitutes for the banned items. This will help the local industry flourish, give jobs to the people and make products available at [hopefully] affordable prices to the common man. When our politicians try to convince the hapless public that the prices of consumer goods, energy, fuel, etc, have risen worldwide, they forget to share the per capita income of citizens of other nations with leaders having better public administration policy have, or that good quality education is free, or that unemployment benefits are awarded as well as workers’ compensation and many other such programs to help those who need help. A friend shared, “Canada has withdrawn tax on petroleum only to bring down the price as a relief measure for public.” My request to such self-declared leaders, “Kindly spare us the crap!” Since we never can do anything sensibly, a 17% of GST imposed on life-saving drugs led to over 40 of these drugs not being available after the pharma industry decided not to import raw materials because of these impositions. The number of these medicines is expected to rise. These include critical medication for epilepsy, many genres of anti-psychotic medications and life-saving cancer treating drugs are included. The list is so long it will take up the entire space if reproduced. The government must sit down and resolve this issue with the stakeholders without any further ado. Any government that can handle the ‘real issues can rule the roost! The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets at @yasmeen_9.