Members of the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association (Apotoa) staged a demonstration outside the oil terminal of Pakistan State Oil (PSO), demanding the immediate release of all pending payments.
Around 200 members of the Apotoa gathered outside the PSO oil terminal at Keamari on Friday and shouted slogans against the PSO management. They threatened to continue their protest outside the PSO head office on Monday if their payments are not released by the company till then. “We will immolate ourselves outside the PSO head office if our payments are not released by Monday and hundreds of drivers and oil tanker owners will stage a sit-in in front of the PSO head office for an indefinite period,” said Apotoa spokesperson Israr Ahmed Shinwari.
According to Shinwari, the PSO has failed to pay the dues to its contractor, Mengal Brother Transport (MBT). The private contractor supplies fuel to PSO and Nato forces in Afghanistan. MBT has, in turn, failed to pay the oil tankers owners, which supply fuel from the PSO terminals to Nato forces in Afghanistan and also to various locations within the country. “Hundreds of drivers and oil tanker owners are suffering along with their families because of the dispute between the MBT and PSO,” said Shinwari.
“These oil tankers feed our families. We cannot eat and our children cannot attend school if the contractors don’t pay us on time,” said Nazar Mohammad, an oil tanker owner. “The contractor said that PSO has not paid them, which is why they have no money to pay the transporters,” he said, adding that both the PSO and the contractor should fix their issues among themselves and release the dues immediately.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2014.
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