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Big crowds of motorists witnessed at filling stations since morning. —Farwa Naqvi
Big crowds of motorists witnessed at filling stations since morning. —Farwa Naqvi

The second session of talks between government authorities and All Pakistan Oil Tankers Association (APOTA) on Wednesday reportedly proved successful after the APOTA members were assured that their demand for an increase in freight fares will be considered, DawnNews reported.

The oil tankers’ operators announced to end their three-day long strike during a press conference following their meeting with the government authorities.

Long queues of motorists were witnessed at filling stations across the country following a severe shortage of petrol as the ongoing strike by APOTA entered its third day.

Meanwhile, Karachiites taking strong exception to the plea adopted by the oil tanker operators attributed the situation to rampant disrespect for the rule of law and inability of the administration to ensure alternative options for the smooth supply of petroleum goods across the country.

The APOTA has been on strike since July 24, for an indefinite period, in protest over a number of issues pertaining to the issuance of traffic fines by the Motorway police, strict regulations relating to the fitness of their vehicles and differences over transportation fare with the oil marketing companies.

The oil tankers’ operators had said that they would continue their strike until their demands were met by the government and refused to follow safety standards introduced in 2009.

Big crowds of motorists and motorcyclists were witnessed at filling stations, especially at the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) outlets, where fuel is supplied by the PSO's own tankers.

Due to the shortage of furel, transport on roads is less than normal and people are facing difficulties in reaching their offices, DawnNews reported.

After consultations with the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), the government on Tuesday did offer a major relaxation to oil transporters in terms of an extended schedule for compliance with safety standards for transportation of oil products — but to no avail.

On the other hand, Ogra suspected the oil marketing companies for orchestrating the strike through oil tankers owners and pledged not to compromise on safety standards.

The Ministry of Petro­leum and Natural Resources had convened the meeting of representatives of the APOTA, All Pakistan Carr­iage Contractors Associa­tion (APCCA) and oil marketing companies (OMCs) to convince the oil tanker owners to call off the strike.

Meanwhile, the supply of petrol is continuing as usual at the pumps of the PSO, said the PSO spokesman, adding that PSO had satisfactory stock of petroleum products.