Despite the government’s clear orders that no load-shedding will take place during Sehri, Iftar and Taraweeh timings, people in Swat consumed their first pre-dawn meal in darkness.
On July 6, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed Minister of Water and Electricity Khwaja Asif no load-shedding will take place for two hours during Sehri, one hour during Iftar and two hours during Taraweeh in Ramazan.
Accustomed to such tall claims and promises by the government, people now appear to be indifferent to power outages. “It is not strange that we observed our first Sehri without electricity. The previous government had also claimed there will be no load-shedding during those timings, but the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) did not bother to obey the government’s order. Same is the case with this government,” Iqbal Hayat, a local, told The Express Tribune.
“We do not believe in the government’s fake promises. They only deceive people, so we stayed realistic and arranged alternatives in case of load-shedding in those timings,” said Zubair Khan, a resident of Amankot.
But not everyone seems to have accepted the unannounced power cuts. “Where are the special instructions of the PM? He said relief would be given to the people in Ramazan. This government is no different than the previous one, at least no load-shedding was carried out [earlier] during Sehri time and people could eat with ease,” said an agitated social activist, Naheed, a resident of Mingora.
On Wednesday evening, a power outage during Taraweeh in Swat lasted for one hour. Residents have demanded the government to stand by its promise and ensure no power cuts are observed during the mentioned timings.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2013.