PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Ali Amin Gandapur severely criticised the federal government for the hour-long electricity load shedding in the province after protest erupted in major cities on the third day of Eidul Azha amid heatwave.

Speaking at a news conference in Dera Ismail Khan on Wednesday, CM Gandapur after handing the schedule for 12-hour load shedding to the grid station officials accused Wapda officials of mistreating KP people.

The chief minister came down hard on the ruling PML-N, warning that if the issue of the unbridled power outages persisted he would be forced to take steps to halt electricity supply.

He expressed frustration over the federal government’s failure to fulfill its duties and called for the support of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in addressing these challenges.

Centre, KP agree to resolve electricity issues

Gandapur accused the federal government of stealing the mandate and neglecting its responsibilities, particularly in addressing the province’s electricity and financial issues.

The chief minister said that PTI is governing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and despite repeated attempts, including a phone call after the deadline, the federal minister did not respond to the province’s urgent requests on the issue of unannounced load shedding in the province.

The KP CM accused Pepco of mistreating Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and urged residents of Dera Ismail Khan to avoid damaging Pepco’s assets.

Gandapur mentioned that he had informed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, stressing the need for provincial funds as the Centre owed Rs 1,600 billion to KP, adding PM Shehbaz Sharif has sought the province’s support over the talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loan package.

These people have assumed power through illegitimate means. I understand how they came into office and how to remove them, Gandapur added.

The CM said, “Firstly, I want the money of the province to be paid to it and if it is not paid we will inform the IMF that they are getting money in our name but not paying to us,” he maintained.

Gandapur said, “It is my warning to the prime minister that you are forcing us to push your government out of power. I know, how to expel you out of power. You could not bear it. No one could prevent us from taking our due rights,” he declared.

The KP CM said it is the responsibility of the federal government to end the power load shedding.

“We will shut down the national grid if an uninterrupted power supply is not assured to us,” he warned.

“The assembly members should go to their respective grid stations personally and restore the power supply in the areas where a load shedding of 12 hours is being implemented,” he added.

Gandapur mentioned that local Wapda officials were cooperating with the provincial government to the best of their capacity, but it was the federal government that had further reduced power supply to the province.

“There will be another round of talks with the federation to discuss power load shedding. The provincial government is fully cooperating with Wapda on the issue of line losses,” Gandapur said.

Governor Faisal Karim Kundi also commented on the issue, stating that the federal government was not meeting its commitments regarding power supply to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Protests erupted on the third day of Eidul Azha against rampant electricity load shedding in major cities and towns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with the PTI announcing plans to protest in the National Assembly and on the streets against the discriminatory electricity supply to the province.

Enraged citizens staged demonstrations in Peshawar, Nowshera and Mardan, where the Grand Trunk Road was blocked, triggering severe traffic jams.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Asad Qaiser joined a protest against power load shedding in Swabi. He criticised the federal government and announced plans to protest in the National Assembly and on the streets against the discriminatory electricity supply to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In Karak, women protesters demonstrated against unannounced power cuts, blocking Shagai Road to traffic.

In a related development, MPA Fazal Elahi stormed the Rehman Baba Grid Station, restoring power to 10 feeders. A video of this unconventional approach to power restoration went viral on social media.

In response, the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) decided to take action against MPA Fazal Elahi, his assistant Jameel and 45 others for disrupting the power distribution company’s operations.

The SDO for the Rasheed Garhi Subdivision wrote a complaint to the Rehman Baba police station, seeking the registration of an FIR against MPA Fazal Elahi and his companions, citing losses totalling Rs 2.64 million incurred by Pesco due to the incident.

Later in the day, a case was registered at the Rehman Baba police station for forcibly restoring electricity from the grid station.

According to police officials, MPA Fazal Elahi has not been named in the FIR, but his assistant Jameel and others have been included.

On the complaint from Pesco, five sections have been added to the FIR which details that approximately 30,000 units were consumed to restore electricity to different areas, costing approximately Rs 1.32 million. Further investigation is in progress.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Usman Jun 20, 2024 09:21am
He like imran khan can only take populist measures like selling cows and cars of PM House.how much electricity has KPK added in last 8 years.zero.
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M. Zahid Iftikhar Jun 20, 2024 10:43am
PTI is a never ending clown circus of mirth & tragedy, from Buzdar to Gandapur. CM of party elected by electricity thieves is concerned about protecting theft & will complaint to IMF - LOL...
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ANK Jun 20, 2024 10:52am
Masters and their Touts at center are getting the due what they deserve. People of now well aware of the bizarre method of governance by Punjabi Establishment & protest are just an icing on the cake.
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ANK Jun 20, 2024 10:53am
The way corrupt regimes from 92 to 2014 did the absurd IPPs based agreement led the nation to a circular debt to the tune of 3000 billion, a classic case of selling your motherland for fee bucks
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Love Your Country Jun 20, 2024 01:13pm
@ANK, shame on those who try to create hatred on ethnic lines for political aims. This evil mindset must be defeated
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Love Your Country Jun 20, 2024 01:15pm
Only good for washing dirty laundry in a public place
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