Opposition parties in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) justified their absence in Thursday’s Awami National Party (ANP) convened Energy Conference by terming it an ‘astounding failure’.
At the outcome of the conference, ANP along with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) and National Party decided to send a delegation to the federal government in order to convey that K-P was generating power beyond its needs and hence should not be subjected to the current degree of power outages.
The conference also explored alternatives to enhance the existing power generation capacity using gas reserves and fast-flowing water in canals and streams.
Senior vice president of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) K-P chapter Amir Muqam called the conference a joke. He said he failed to understand the logic behind ANP’s demands from the government.
“Both PPP and ANP are in the same boat... who are they making these demands to,” he questioned. He argued that the K-P government had failed to win the province its rights.
“There is no weight in the Energy Conference... (ANP and PPP) are not sincere to the masses,” he expressed. Holding ANP and PPP equally responsible for the power crisis, Muqam said the outages were a self-manufactured issue. He added that the government had no solution to it.
Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) spokesperson Jalil Jan, said, “Conveying demands will not do anything, they (ANP) have to come up with practical steps, something which the current government is incapable of.”
He maintained his party saw nothing that might mitigate the people’s problems in the Energy Conference.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) spokesperson Israrullah Advocate echoed Jalil Jan, saying that they would have attended the meeting had there been any new suggestions that would make a sound solution for the energy shortage.
He said there were media reports that the K-P government did not oppose to the suggestion of carrying out equitable power outages for all provinces of the country in the Council of Common Interest. K-P government’s opposition to equitable power outages is contradictory, he maintained.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Shah Farman said ANP did nothing tangible to address the power crisis seriously.
“ANP leadership has always kept its own interest above that of the people they rule,” he added and said that both the all parties conference and the Energy Conference were attempts to hoodwink people.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2012.