Dawn News

Zardari shows his wand to PML-Q

LAHORE, May 11: The PPP has assured the PML-Q that it will control loadshedding within three days besides taking effective measures to implement Shujaat Hussain’s proposal in this regard.

“President Zardari has given assurance to PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat that in three days unannounced loadshedding will be ended and the federal government will take all provinces on board to give a serious thought to his (Shujaat) formula,” PML-Q Senator Kamil Ali Agha told Dawn on Friday.

“If the situation does not improve within three days, we will call a meeting of the party leadership and discuss the option of parting ways with the government,” he said, adding it was very difficult to face the public in the current energy crisis.

“Our party men believe that it will be very difficult for it to go into next elections if the energy situation persists. The PPP must show seriousness in ending loadshedding,” the PML-Q leader said.

“We are entitled to have three ministries -- two vacated by Amir Muqam and Raza Hiraj and one in Balochistan but we never demanded these slots from the PPP. Now we are forced to say goodbye to the coalition if the Gilani-led government fails to end energy crisis,” he said.

Another PML-Q leader said: “We have to contest 2013 general election along with the PPP but how we will face the people if the present energy crisis persists for another six months or so.” He said the loadshedding had a bad impact on the coalition government and there was a need to deal with it without further delay.

Chaudhry Shujaat has suggested that the federal government should deduct Rs50 billion being allocated to the provinces under the NFC share for three months and spend the same on power plants to overcome the crisis.

Shujaat has blamed Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for opposing his formula, saying it shows that the Sharifs are not sincere with the people of their province. “Instead of welcoming my suggestion to end loadshedding, the Sharifs are opposing it to gain political mileage,” he said.

The ongoing energy crisis has not only perturbed the PML-Q leadership but also many in the rank of the PPP, especially in Punjab. “We have asked the party leadership to overcome the energy crisis well before the 2013 election otherwise the PPP will be a loser,” a PPP MPA said, requesting anonymity.

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