PM orders immediate end to prolonged outages

Published April 25, 2022
LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is briefed during a visit to the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute on Sunday.—APP
LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is briefed during a visit to the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute on Sunday.—APP

ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: Amid prolonged outages in various parts of the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday directed the relevant authorities to reduce power glitches immediately and held the previous government responsible for the energy crisis.

“Neither fuel was purchased by the former government nor power units were repaired,” said the premier.

The premier said Imran’s government had shut the power units that the PML-N government had set up for low-cost electricity generation. “Instead, the previous government had utilised those low power generation units which supplied expensive power and due to this injustice, the nation had to pay a heavy price in the shape of Rs100 billion every month.”

Mr Sharif said the PTI government had not purchased Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) when an LNG consignment cost Rs6 billion, but now it has gone up to Rs20 billion. “The nation had to pay more than Rs500 billion this year due to such injustice done by Imran Khan’s government,” he added.

Shehbaz seeks briefing within 48 hours on PKLI revival

Expressing his resolve to provide relief to the public, he said that neither he would sit idle nor let anyone rest till the resolution of the issue.

The PM said all possible efforts should be made to save citizens from the discomfort created by the criminal negligence of the former government and directed the authorities concerned to make temporary arrangements till the provision of oil and gas.

“Nawaz Sharif’s government had generated the surplus power, but Imran’s government failed to add a new single unit,” he added.

PKLI revival ordered

During his visit to Pakistan Liver Transplant Institute (PKLI) in Lahore, PM Sharif said it was quite disturbing to know that 14 of the 20 kidney transplant units at PKLI had been lying out of order while merely 17 per cent poor patients were offered treatment services as 83pc others had to pay partially or completely from their pocket.

Speaking to media persons, the prime minister said he had asked the chief secretary of Punjab to review steps for PKLI’s revival and discuss it with him within the next 48 hours.

He said the state-of-the-art institute was established with the joint efforts of the previous Punjab government, officials and philanthropists at a total cost of Rs20 billion, but the PTI government destroyed the PML-N’s flagship project just as it had done with other state institutions. “This state-of-the-art facility was established and inaugurated in 2018 for the poor people of Pakistan,” he said, recalling that several liver transplants were conducted at the facility free of cost until the mid of 2018.

Billions of rupees being spent on liver transplant treatment in India and China was saved with the establishment of the facility in Lahore, the prime minister said, adding that it benefited the less privileged patients from across the country. “It is the responsibility of the state to provide quality treatment to poor patients free of cost,” he asserted. However, he bemoaned, “I had even faced inquiries and languished in NAB torture cells twice” though the National Accountability Bureau could not prove charges of even 20 paisas corruption.

He said this facility was planned to curb illegal organ trade and operations being carried out at private places without considering standard protocols.

“The PKLI was to be promoted as John Hopkins of Pakistan,” the PM added.

He also thanked Dr Faisal Dar for running the institution despite the challenges that the PKLI had faced for past couple of years.

Sialkot crop fire

Meanwhile, PM Sharif directed the Punjab government to provide financial assistance to Sialkot farmers whose wheat crops had been destroyed by fire caused by a harvest machine fault.

Standing wheat crop over 77-acre area in the Bijot sector was burnt on April 23 when the fire broke out and spread quickly as soon as flames engulfed an 80-litre diesel reserve tank.

The fire brigade managed to control the fire and stop further damage to the standing crops.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2022

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