LAKKI MARWAT/ CHARSADDA: Protests against power outages continued in Charsadda and Lakki Marwat on Tuesday.
In Charsadda, activists of the Awami National Party (ANP) tore and lit fire to the portraits of political figures, particularly from the PPP, and warned the government of a civil disobedience movement across the district if the electricity problems weren’t solved in two days.
Addressing the protestors at the Farooq Azam Square in Charsadda, ANP PK-17 president Muhammad Ahmad Khan blamed the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) chief for the district’s power crisis. ANP activists claimed that the transformers issued for Charsadda were being kept at the Rajar Grid station since the Pesco chief did not approve their installation.
Meanwhile, Aba Khel and Dahlu Khel tribes gathered at Lakki city to protest against load-shedding. They raised slogans against the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and concerned district government officials. Notable leaders to address the rally included Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) district amir Maulana Abdul Rahim, former nazim Johar Muhammad Khan and Tanzeemul Haq Pakistan vice president Haji Zar Wali Khan.
The speakers also gave the authorities a two-day deadline to fix the problem, threatening to spread the protest to adjoining areas otherwise.
Protestors passing through various markets also damaged public and private property. The furious activists attacked a Pesco Sub-divisional Office, burning records and breaking furniture. A vehicle parked inside the office was also set on fire. They threw stones on a National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office and destroyed several transformers and gas and electricity meters in the city.
Three people were injured in the demonstrations. The police tried to control the situation by aerial firing and arrested 40 protesters. Earlier, the Aba Khel and Dahlo Khel tribesmen held a jirga and decided to boycott electric bills if the issue remained unresolved.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.
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