Power cuts: Hundreds rally against load shedding, Karachi deaths

Sarwar says load shedding has exposed govt’s incompetence

Women workers from several opposition parties protest against load shedding in front of Lahore Press Club. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/EXPRESS

MULTAN/ LAHORE: Hundreds of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Jamaat-i-Islami and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers took out a rally on Friday against unannounced electricity load shedding across the country.

PTI Punjab organiser Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, PPP Punjab president Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, Deputy Opposition Leader Sibtain Khan, JI general secretary Liaqat Baloch, PTI Lahore organiser Shafqat Mehmood, PAT president Rahiq Abbasi and PTI chairman Imran khan’s political advisers Abdul Aleem Khan and Ejaz Ahmad Chaudhry led the rally to Lahore Press Club.

They carried placards and banners inscribed with slogans like Bijli Do, Go Nawaz Go and Where is power from Nandipur?

“The load shedding has exposed the government’s incompetence,” Sarwar told the protesters. He said the rulers had no right to continue in power because they had failed to provide the basic necessities.

Sarwar called upon opposition parties to work together to steer the country out of crises. He said PTI chairman Imran Khan had been trying to secure citizens’ rights. He said certain leaders of the ruling party had promised, during the 2013 election campaign, to change their names if they failed to overcome load shedding with months.

He said it was unfortunate that hundreds of people had died from heat strokes. He blamed the governments for the deaths saying that it had failed to control power outages and shortage of water in Karachi.

“Instead of providing solutions, the federal and Sindh governments have resorted to lame excuses,” he said. Sarwar said criminal cases should be registered against government leaders over the deaths in Karachi.

Rasheed said the governments had failed to deliver. He said those in power today used to stage ‘shows’ at Minar-i-Pakistan in mock protests against load shedding.

Liaqat Baloch said the government had failed to address the problems faced by people. “People are fed up with its tall claims.”

Manzoor Wattoo said the government’s apathy regarding the energy crisis was shameful and inhuman. “Two years into power the government has failed to provide relief to people,” he said.

He demanded that the minister for water and power resign over his failure to improve the situation.

Rahiq Abbassi said an FIR should be registered against government leaders over deaths in Karachi.

PML-Q leader Zaheeruddin Khan said that instead of constructing only roads and bridges, the government should take steps to generate electricity.

Multan demonstration

“The federal government and the Sindh government are ignoring the sufferings of the people and pointing fingers at each other over the deaths caused by a heat wave in Karachi,” said PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi while addressing a protest demonstration in Multan.

Scores of PTI activists gathered in front of Multan Press Club and chanted slogans against the government.

“Addressing the energy crisis should be a priority of the government,” he said. “Instead, billions of rupees has been earmarked for metro bus projects and road repairs.” He said the people of Sindh were being governed by “extortionists”.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2015.



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