PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has issued a notice to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum, asking it to reply in a petition filed against the failure to provide gas in Thal, Karak. The resource is explored in abundance in the area.
A division bench of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Roohul Amin ordered the petroleum secretary to appear in court if the ministry failed to submit a reply by May 3.
The bench was hearing a writ petition filed by ANP Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash through his counsel Abdul Latif Afridi. The latter complained that the district was deprived of gas which was being produced in the area.
The bench was told that gas was being supplied to different parts of the country from Thal.
“Unfortunately, residents of the area have been deprived of the commodity,” the petitioner’s counsel argued. “This is a violation of Article 158 of the Constitution. Under this provision, a province in which a wellhead of natural gas is situated shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan.”
He said the federal government spent around Rs42 billion on the provision of gas to Punjab.
According to the counsel, the government is least bothered to provide gas to the people who should get preference.
In addition, the prime minister has also directed the relevant authorities to provide gas to the area. However, the premier’s orders have yet to be implemented.
After hearing the arguments, the bench ordered the petroleum ministry to submit a reply by May 3. If it failed to do so, the secretary of the entity would have to appear in person.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2016.
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