Opposition calls for day of mourning over heatwave deaths

Published June 23, 2015
Leader of Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah says that the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) government has failed to fulfill its promises to provide electricity to the people during the holy month of Ramazan. — DawnNews screengrab
Leader of Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah says that the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) government has failed to fulfill its promises to provide electricity to the people during the holy month of Ramazan. — DawnNews screengrab

ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties in the National Assembly on Tuesday announced to observe Friday as a day of mourning over the 400 deaths caused by the devastating heatwave in Karachi and other parts of Sindh.

The decision came after a meeting was held by opposition parliamentary leaders at the Parliament House today.

Leader of Opposition in NA, Syed Khursheed Shah, said that the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) government had failed to fulfill its promises to provide electricity to the people during the holy month of Ramazan.

Addressing the Parliament, Shah said that the government was responsible for the deaths in Karachi due to the unavailability of electricity in the country's financial capital.

He went on to say that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should take responsibility for the recent deaths in Karachi.

Speaking in the House, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that all opposition parties were on the same page when it came to the issue of load-shedding in the country.

"Is this the level of seriousness of the government that the Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif is absent from the proceedings of the National Assembly?" he questioned.

The devastating heatwave that has entered its fourth day led to over 400 deaths in the southwestern province of Sindh.

Know more: Karachi heatwave death toll crosses 400

Saturday was the hottest day of this year’s summer in Karachi, during which the mercury had shot up to 45 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature of 48 degree Celsius was recorded in three districts of Sindh — Jacobabad, Larkana and Sukkur — on Saturday, which slid down to 41 on Sunday.

Speaking to Dawn.com, Farooq Dar, a meteorologist at the Met Department, said Tuesday (today) that the extreme weather conditions in Karachi would persist, and the temperature is expected to remain between 40 degree Celsius to 43 degree Celsius.

He also said that rainfall is expected in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur later in the evening.

We have no control over Karachi Electric: Khawaja Asif

Addressing the Parliament, Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif said, “we have absolutely no control over Karachi Electric.”

Talking about the issue of power outages in Karachi, he said the federal government has nothing to do with the administration of KE.

He also underscored that the federal government only has a 26 per cent share in the KE, and only two members represent the government on the KE board.

The minister said the government was providing 650 megawatts (MW) of electricity to KE to mitigate the miseries of people in Karachi although it was not legally bound as the agreement with the company had already expired.

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