Employees of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) have threatened to go on strike if the rioters who ransacked their offices were not brought to task.
They have demanded registration of criminal cases against all those who ransacked the Wapda Sub Divisional Office Havelian and thrashed officers during a protest three days back.
On the call of the Aiwan-e-Tijarat, local traders had observed a partial shutter-down strike and staged a protest over loadshedding. Headed by former MPA and Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Khurshid Azam Khan, the protesters were joined by the citizens who blocked the Karakoram Highway for over four hours and ransacked the offices of Wapda Sub Division Havelian. The mob attacked the Wapda officials who went to negotiate with them. The officials had to seek refuge in the office of a transport company.
In reaction to the attack on the offices, the leaders of Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union Hazara circle met with Jamil Tanoli, the divisional leader of the union. The meeting discussed the situation of the ongoing protests over loadshedding and the vulnerabilities of Wapda staff to the attacks.
The speakers condemned the growing incidents of ransacking of Wapda offices and attacks on the officers by protesters. They underscored that loadshedding, whether scheduled or unscheduled, was being carried out by the central distribution system and the local officials had nothing to do with it. However, the local staff and offices were being targeted by the charged mobs.
The meeting decided that no Wapda officer would go to the protesters for negotiations and talks, if needed, will be held with them at Wapda offices or police stations. They also warned that Wapda employees will retaliate if they were attacked or if their offices were ransacked in the future.
Furthermore, they demanded registration of FIR against those involved in attacking the office of Wapda Havelian and thrashing of employees three days back. Otherwise, the participants threatened that Wapda employees will stage a protest and suspend routine work.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.
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