CHARSADDA / MIRANSHAH: Hundreds of commuters remained stranded in traffic for over three hours on Monday as disgruntled residents of Rajar, Charsadda blocked the Tangi-Peshawar Road in protest against prolonged power and gas outages.
Nearly 300 protesters led by Qaumi Watan Party MPA Sultan Muhammad Khan blocked the road near Rajar by burning tyres and pelting stones at vehicles heading to Peshawar.
They chanted slogans against the Water and Power Development Authority and natural gas supply companies for not providing them basic facilities.
Addressing the demonstrators, MPA Khan said under the leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf the people were passing through the worst of times with increasing lawlessness and the price hike. “While the coalition partners protest against Nato supply lines during the day, the trucks continue to pass through at night,” he claimed. “The provincial government is intentionally trying to cut off gas and electricity supply to Charsadda as the people of the district did not elect them.”
He added if the issue is not resolved within four days then the protesters would march to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly building in Peshawar and protest for their rights.
Charsadda Assistant Commissioner Taimur Khan and police officials arrived at the site and assured the MPA the issue would be resolved. Following this, the protesters scattered peacefully after blocking traffic for over three hours.
Meanwhile, hundreds of tribesmen from Mir Ali tehsil of North Waziristan Agency protested against the disconnection of power supply to the agency by tribesmen of Frontier Region (FR) Bannu.
Led by elder Adeeb Gul Wazir, the protesters gathered in Mir Ali Bazaar and lashed out at the political administration because of lack of electricity since the past three days.
Wazir while addressing the protesters said Pathak Khel, Momand Khel and Bakka Khel tribesmen of FR Bannu disrupted power supply to North Waziristan Agency on Saturday by disconnecting an 11KV transmission line. He added officials of the North Waziristan and FR Bannu political administration were also involved.
The elder warned that if the supply was not restored they would block Miranshah-Ghulam Khan Highway for traffic to disrupt Pak-Afghan trade and political administration officials of the agency would be responsible for the consequences.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2013.