Visibly disturbed by the ongoing energy crisis in the country and shaken by demonstrations in several parts of the country against power outages, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday conceded that he could not “give any time frame to eliminate the menace of load-shedding”.
“We have been confined within the compartment of the energy crisis only, but the country is facing equally big challenges such as terrorism, drone attacks and maintaining national sovereignty,” the prime minister told reporters.
“When I was in power in 1990 and 1997, the situation was entirely different. There was no concept of suicide attacks, bomb blasts, drone attacks, insecurity of national institutions,” he recalled.
The prime minister said that the worsening security situation was a result of unchecked activities of terrorists in Karachi, Quetta, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fata. He said that this demanded the immediate attention of his government, but his government’s entire energies were being consumed by the electricity crisis.
“During electioneering, I never gave any time-frame for overcoming this issue and I still cannot give any time frame, I can only say that we are sincere in eradicating the menace of load-shedding,” Nawaz added.
Talking about the ills of the energy system, the premier said that the entire power distribution and supply system was “redundant and incapable of supplying uninterrupted electricity to the whole country”.
“Incidents of power system breakdowns, blasts in power transformers, huge line losses, unchecked stealing of power and gas are all impediments in the smooth flow of energy in the country,” he added.
Referring to his recent China visit, Nawaz sounded a note of optimism and said that Chinese investors would soon come to Pakistan and partner us for large investments in solar, hydel, gas, coal, and other sources to augment power production in the country.
Calling power thieves “black sheep,” the premier said that the crackdown against such elements would continue as he called upon all provincial governments and federal agencies to make coordinated efforts for eliminating incidents of gas and power theft.
Earlier, the prime minister inspected an industrial unit, Orient Textile Mill, on Faisalabad-Jhang Road where a special anti theft squad had detected stealing of 588 MMCF worth Rs270 million per annum. The prime minister appreciated DCO Faisalabad for detecting massive gas theft.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ