KARACHI: Severe loadshedding being carried out by the K-Electric for the past more than one week despite low demand due to prevailing cool and cloudy weather in the metropolis forced key political parties to condemn the power utility’s “inhuman business strategy” and questioned its performance.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, one of the important partners in the coalition government at the Centre, expressed serious concerns over the KE for keeping its vested interests at the cost of other people.
“It seems the KE has only put its business interests supreme regardless of people’s sufferings,” said the MQM-P in a recent statement.
“Karachi was known for its lights and life andit is fast descending into darkness and disaster. The hours-long loadshedding in the city has made people’s lives miserable, and put them under severe mental and physical stress,” it added.
PTI, Muttahida, PSP and JI voice concern over utility’s indifferent attitude towards Karachiites
The party demanded that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif take notice of the excessive loadshedding and rein in the KE.
Also on Sunday, senior MQM-P leader Wasim Akhtar warned that his party would free to set its future course of action if coalition parties — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party — would not fulfil the written agreements that signed with the MQM-P.
Speaking at a press conference, he said that his party would never support those who ridicule the country’s judiciary and armed forces.
PTI slams federal govt, KE
The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, which got the largest electoral mandate from Karachi in the 2018 general elections, said that a “blame game” was being played between the government and the utility company with a tacit understanding.
PTI’s parliamentary party leader in the Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman said in a statement that the federal government blamed the K-Electric and the company counter-blamed Islamabad for power shortages, loadshedding, losses, etc.
“Both are deliberately making people fool as in reality they protect each others’ interests. The government on one hand claims that it has not received dues from KE for the past one year. Then why did it not cancel the licence of the company? It won’t...because they both are operating in connivance with each others.”
He said that Finance Minister Miftah Ismail did not hold a single meeting with KE over the issue of prolonged loadshedding, while “Karachiites are forced to live in hell for the last one week”.
JI demands forensic audit
City chief of Jamaat-i-Islami Hafiz Naeemur Rehman called his party’s struggle against the KE and said that it had turned into a massive public movement amid its fast deteriorating performance and recent stories of corruption by its former head Arif Naqvi of Abraaj Group.
He demanded that the government order a forensic audit of the financial accounts of the power utility.
“You would find every single political party condemning the KE under public pressure,” he said and added: “But you won’t find a single leader questioning Arif Naqvi and his Abraaj Group because all political parties and their leaders are beneficiaries of his dirty game in Pakistan.”
“I wonder how the ruling parties are celebrating the verdict of the Election Commission of Pakistan against a certain party, but they aren’t ready to move against the biggest mafia founded by Arif Naqvi. But enough is enough. The people of Karachi have now learnt to raise their voice under the leadership of the Jamaat-i-Islami,” he said.
He condemned the KE for increasing loadshedding in the metropolis.
PSP demands more licences
The Pak Sarzameen Party also condemned the KE for carrying out unannounced and “announced” loadshedding in the metropolis.
PSP chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal said that the monopoly of the KE over generating and distributing electricity in Karachi must be ended.
He demanded that the government give more licences to power companies to end the monopoly of the KE.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2022