Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday threatened to initiate a civil disobedience movement if power outages continued.
Addressing a press conference, former PTI Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chapter president Asad Qaisar said that the government had failed to deal with the country’s energy crisis over the past five years.
“PTI will start its demonstrations from August 1 in the Swabi district,” Qaiser told media personnel, flanked by other party leaders.
Criticising the provincial government led by the Awami National Party (ANP), he said that K-P was able to produce up to 75,000MW of electricity. He said that this power was lost since the provincial government was involved in corruption and failed to produce a single megawatt of electricity.
Qaiser said it was reprehensible that the government had continued unscheduled load-shedding even in the holy month of Ramazan and that those protesting against the outages had criminal cases registered against them. Speaking at the press conference, PTI leader Zafar Khattak said that the ANP media briefing that took place earlier was trying to deceive people. He criticised the ruling party saying they just wanted to cash in on public sentiments by announcing that they fully supported the protests against power outages.
Earlier, ANP stalwart Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said that they may have to resort to protests if the central powers in charge of power rationing did not heed the concerns of K-P. Bilour and others want the provision of power to the province be handed to regional power entities. “Through a scheme introduced in 1955 we have been deprived of all of our resources,” he said, adding that the control over power issues had been handed to authorities in Lahore.
When questioned if he would resign from government over this issue, Bilour did not directly respond.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2012.