ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) announced that it would stage a sit-in outside the Presidency to protest the on-going power crisis.
Though the PML-N’s own government in Punjab is struggling to cope with the outbreak of dengue in the province, the central opposition is looking to cash in on the riots against a crippling electricity shortfall that reached a zenith recently.
(Read: Electricity blackouts - 200 rioters sent to jail as power protests continue)
The party walked out from the National Assembly during Wednesday’s session and then later announced its plans to take its protest to the next level. “The PML-N will stage a sit-in outside the Presidency against the government’s failure to address the power crisis,” opposition leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said.
While revealing the proposed plan, he said, “We will hold a peaceful walk from the Parliament House to the Presidency as well.”
“We have the capacity to end load-shedding, but, in three years, this government has allowed the problem to get worse,” Khan said.
Nisar lashed out at President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, saying that, instead of taking concrete steps, they had only made verbal promises. “The government should tell us what steps it has taken since the outbreak of protests in the country,” he inquired.
(Read: Electricity matters)
Interior Minister Rehman Malik welcomed the PML-N’s announcement, saying that peaceful protesters would be facilitated. However, he added, the “sit-in” was simply a diversion tactic aimed at drawing people’s attention away from the failure of the Punjab government to overcome the dengue menace.
Returning to the issue, Malik reasoned that the government had “inherited” the load-shedding problem, adding however, that it would soon be resolved.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2011.
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