ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari held another meeting on Friday to monitor the energy crisis and called back Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who is with the Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, to control violent protests in different parts of the country against power shortage.
“President Zardari convened a meeting of relevant federal ministers and officials and monitored the situation,” said President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar.
He said the president ordered for immediately ending unscheduled loadshedding, especially after the finance ministry had released Rs32 billion for making payments to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Pakistan State Oil.
Mr Babar said the president had directed Water and Power Minister Naveed Qamar and Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain, federal secretaries of water and power, finance and petroleum ministries and heads of Pakistan Electric Power Company and Sui Northern and Sui Southern Gas companies to remain in Islamabad for a week to keep reviewing the power supply situation.
“The President asked them to keep him abreast of the situation on a daily basis,” the spokesman said.
Mr Zardari asked Mr Qamar to take part in TV programmes to counter opposition’s criticism and inform the people about the efforts being made to overcome the crisis.
Sources said that Mr Malik would return to the country on Friday night.
The spokesman said the return of Mr Malik had nothing to do with the violent protests against loadshedding.
“The minister was to return to the country on May 13 but he is coming earlier but not because of law and order situation in the country,” the spokesman said.