'Inefficient and incompetent': PPP stages anti-govt protests in various cities over gas crisis

Published December 17, 2021
PPP workers stage a demonstration in Karachi on Friday. — DawnNewsTV
PPP workers stage a demonstration in Karachi on Friday. — DawnNewsTV
PPP workers stage a demonstration in Karachi on Friday. — DawnNewsTV
PPP workers stage a demonstration in Karachi on Friday. — DawnNewsTV

The PPP staged demonstrations in different cities on Friday, lambasting the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-led government over the ongoing gas crisis and growing inflation.

Protests against the gas shortages were held in Jamshoro, Quetta, multiple areas of Karachi, Loralai, Badin, Kasur, Sukkur, Rawalpindi, Pasrur, Khushab, Shaheed Benazirabad and other cities, according to the PPP's official Twitter.

Since the onset of winter, the country has been facing a shortage of gas and domestic and industrial consumers have had to deal with the suspension of the commodity's supply.

Addressing a demonstration in Karachi's East district, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani said PPP workers were staging protests against the gas crisis in different cities of the country simultaneously on the directives of the party's chairperson, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Criticising the government over the suspension of gas supply to domestic consumers and industries, particularly in Karachi, he said the PTI administration was "inefficient and incompetent".

"This inefficient federal government that has been imposed on us ... spoke about 'Naya Pakistan' and used to claim that people would be coming to Pakistan to look for jobs in the future," he said, adding that instead of this vision becoming a reality, "people are searching for gas here."

"Today, there is no gas in Karachi and the price of electricity has increased."

Ghani recalled that the PTI had promised to provide five million houses to the people.

"Tell me, has anyone been given a single house in Karachi [by the government]?" he asked the participants. "Instead, they have demolished houses. People here have not been given any houses but deprived of shelter."

Ghani alleged that the PTI government had destroyed the country's economy and soon, "the government will not even have enough money to pay salaries to government employees in Islamabad."

"This is the misfortune of the poor in this country," he remarked.

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said the premier had once said that a rise of even a rupee in the value of the dollar signified that the rulers of the country were corrupt.

"He was right in saying so," Ghani added, pointing out that the rupee had continued to slide against the dollar in recent months.

The provincial minister also criticised the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which is an ally of the PTI in the Centre, for "remaining silent" over the gas crisis, rise in electricity rates and petroleum products prices and growing inflation.

"They don't say a word ... because they fear that [if they raise their voice,] they would have to part ways with the PTI and would stop receiving funds in the name of development projects," Ghani said.

Gas suspension

Earlier this month, the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) had decided to suspend gas supply to all non-export general industries from December 11 till further orders in adherence to the energy ministry’s gas load management plan.

The decision was taken to make gas available to the domestic and commercial sectors during the current winter season that has seen a major demand-supply gap due to an extraordinary spike in fulfilling water and space heating needs in upper Sindh and Balochistan that is already experiencing chilly weather.

Earlier, the utility had also suspended the gas supply to the CNG sector and all Captive Power Plants of non-export industrial units until February 15 and further orders, respectively.

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