Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif turned up at a protest against loadshedding on Madre Millat Road in Green Town here on Tuesday and blamed President Asif Zardari for lengthy power outages in the Punjab.
Addressing hundreds of protesters, the chief minister said that the federal government had left the citizens of the Punjab no choice but to come out onto the streets after depriving them of electricity for 18 hours a day.
He said that 700 megawatts of electricity that was rightly the Punjab’s share was being rerouted to other provinces. He appealed to the protesters to stay peaceful and not damage property.
PML-Nawaz MNA Naseer Bhutta said that the chief minister had made an unplanned appearance at the protest.
The MNA said that he had been scheduled to address the protest, but the chief minister had not been expected.
Bhutta said that the massive electricity shortage had led to an increase in crime while damaging industry and agriculture. He said that President Zardari was to blame for the shortage and he must call early elections to prevent the country from sliding into anarchy. He said that the president was pursuing personal interests rather than that of the masses.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.