Amidst vociferous protests against frequent power outages in Lahore, chief of the ruling party in the province exonerated the provincial government, putting the blame squarely on the federal authorities.
Nawaz Sharif, the elder brother of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday following huge and violent protests that the federal government’s “inefficiency, malpractices and self-motivated policies” were to blame for the long hour power outages in Punjab. “Those who have ruled the country for three and a half years cannot evade the blame for the snowballing power crisis in the country,” Sharif said in a press release, referring to the rival Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Sharif believes the existing power generation projects can meet the domestic energy requirements, if the government reset its priorities and shun its petty interests. He said that the power crisis has hit the industries hard, rendering thousands of people jobless and weakening the national economy. “Ironically, power generation units are rusting at the Karachi port,” he said referring to the floating power plant.
He added that some of the country’s power generation units were closed due to the shortage of fuel, while others were not utilising their full capacity.
Sharif said he fully supported the peaceful reaction of the people against this “distressing situation”. He promised to discuss this issue in the PML-N meeting tomorrow and will ask for formulating a comprehensive strategy. Sharif said that all lawmakers and office-bearers of the PML-N stand with the people in this situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2011.