Awami National Party (ANP) leaders met Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leaders at JI’s provincial headquarters on Tuesday, approaching the latter for an all parties conference.
On Monday, ANP announced intentions to hold the conference on August 9 to gather political forces and find a solution to growing power outages across the province.
ANP was represented by provincial president Senator Afrasyab Khattak while JI’s provincial amir Professor Mohammad Ibrahim Khan represented his party
Talking to reporters following the meeting, Khattak maintained the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) had failed to control the power crisis and should be abolished. He said that instead of Wapda distributing power, the authority should be handed over to the provinces. He said that they will send suggestions agreed at the conference to the federal government.
“We will also hold a provincial assembly meeting and give the suggestions from the assembly as well,” Khattak said. He maintained that all political parties should come together to solve this problem.
Khattak claimed Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) was generating electricity in excess of its demands.
“Power generation from Tarbela alone is more than K-P’s total energy demand,” Khattak said. He also said that power outages had been centralised, reducing their say even more.
In the meeting between JI and ANP, JI Chief Professor Ibrahim said they would make decision about attending the conference after consulting with all the parties.
However, he assured ANP leaders that JI was ready to cooperate to control the power crisis. Interestingly, Professor Ibrahim also announced that JI would hold province-wide protests against the outages.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has refused to participate in the conference.
“The all parties conference is not the solution to the power crisis in the province,” PML-N central senior Vice-President Ameer Muqam said on Tuesday. He said the ANP government had all the resources and support at their privileges but they failed to conjure a durable solution.
Muqam predicted that the all parties conference would not achieve its aim of finding a tangible solution to growing power outages in the province.
Fareed Tufan, a PML-N provincial leader, said: “Both the federal and provincial governments did not take any remedial measures to overcome the power crisis over the past four-and-a-half years. They did not even provide alternate solutions to the energy crisis.”
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also refused to participate in the all parties conference. They also said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and ANP leaders were responsible for the power outages and energy crisis in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.