Lights out in Faisalabad: Protest or civil war?

Political pundits are of the view that this power crisis may lead to a civil war-like situation.

Shamsul Islam April 06, 2012
The loadshedding crisis in Faisalabad which took place last week could have been expected in the wake of unprecedented quota reduction of power supply from the national grid. Over a dozen demonstrations took place in all parts of the city. Even stakeholders took the opportunity to participate in a protest that was initially launched four days ago by powerloom workers and owners.

The issue of loadshedding seems to be heading towards political turmoil in the country. The Faisalabad protest took a more serious turn when Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, sensing the volatile emotions of the business community, reassured them thus:
If you decide to stage a long march against loadshedding, I assure you that all members of the national and provincial assemblies, PML-N workers and ticket holders will join hands with you and I would also love to lead the long march.

Shahbaz Sharif also said that Punjab was treated in a negligent manner and that all industry, trade and export activities had been plunged into crises by the federal government with an agenda to ruin Punjab’s economy as well as the agricultural sector.

All trade bodies had jointly announced a complete shutdown in Faisalabad and closed off over 6,000 industrial units including spinning, garments, textile, and looms. The president of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) Muzammil Sultan, told The Express Tribune that the FCCI had taken all stakeholders on board and it was a unanimous decision to give up all manufacturing activities for the week.

The only solution for improvement in the power crisis is to arrange for dues to Pakistan State Oil and the Independent Power Projects on a priority basis. Political pundits are of the view that this crisis may lead to a civil war-like situation. The federal government must realise the gravity of the problem and do the needful before things spiral out of control.

Read more by Shamsul Islam here.
Shamsul Islam The author works as a correspondent for The Express Tribune and is based in Faisalabad.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


AhmedMaqsood | 12 years ago | Reply The reason why Faisalabad is suffering so badly is because a lot of the factories were stealing gas and electricity (hence the competitive advantage in manufacturing versus the rest of the country). Until they start paying their bills, they don't deserve any sympathy. This goes for all the manufacturers in Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot and Gujranwala as well - stop stealing electricity and gas and start paying for it!!!!
mrk | 12 years ago | Reply Well it's not a matter of provinces or what - it's simple politicking from an evil mind. Depriving Northern Punjab does not harm the PPP because they are not going to get that vote anyways. So this is a good tamasha for the biggest tamasha-baaz in the country. Do you really think any of those sindhis in the top slot are going to go to Sindh after losing the next elections? No. They'll go to where they came from in 2008 but several billion dollar richer. Long live the brains of the people of Pakistan!!
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