QUETTA: Some opposition and government leaders have warned of suspending gas supply from Sui gas field to rest of the country if the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) does not fully restore gas pressure in Quetta and other areas of the province.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Leader of the Opposition in Balochistan Assembly Malik Sikandar Khan, chief minister’s aide Abdul Khaliq Hazara, BNP-Mengal MPA Mir Akhtar Hussain Langove and Mobeen Khilji of the PTI criticised the SSGC and the Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) for unannounced loadshedding and low pressure of gas in severe cold weather.

“Islamabad is meting out step-motherly treatment to Balochistan as despite repeated demands, the federal government is not paying any heed to our problems,” Malik Sikandar said, adding that people of Quetta and other areas were facing difficulties in the harsh weather that was lashing Balochistan these days.

“There is no [proper supply of] gas and electricity in the provincial capital Quetta and other areas of Balochistan since cold wave started,” the opposition leader said.

Demand full restoration of gas pressure in Quetta and other areas of province

“If this treatment continues and [proper] gas supply is not restored then we would have no other option but to stop gas supply to entire country from Sui,” he said, adding that on Jan 19 people would protest across Balochistan if the issues of gas and power supply were not resolved.

He said that despite promise by the Qesco chief no change had been witnessed in power supply and the situation had deprived the people even of water supply.

Referring the low gas pressure in Quetta, the opposition and cabinet members asked the SSGC to close their offices in Balochistan if it could not restore proper gas supply.

Advisor to the CM on Sports and Culture Khaliq Hazara said when Federal Minister for Energy Umar Ayub and Jahangir Tareen recently came to Quetta, gas pressure was normal for three days but since they returned problem of low pressure resurfaced.

Public Accounts Committee Chairman Akhtar Hussain Langove said opposition and government members had set aside their political difference and launched joint efforts to ensure proper supply of gas and electricity to masses.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2020