KHYBER: Negotiations between the Khyber district administration and protesting tribesmen remained unsuccessful on the third day of the demonstrations being staged by the latter against the new schedule announced by the Tribal Area Electric Supply Company (Tesco) to carry out 22-hour load shedding in the region.

Members of the negotiating teams in Landi Kotal and Jamrud told Dawn that the administration officials had offered four hours of electricity supply as against the tribesmen’s demand for six hours of power supply daily.

The protesters in Jamrud said that they had deferred their plan of uprooting the huge power pylons recently installed for the supply of electricity to Pakistan under the Central Asia-South Asia power project after the district administration offered to negotiate with the protesters.

The negotiations, however, failed to achieve any positive result as the tribesmen refused to accept anything less than six hours of electricity to domestic consumers.

Meanwhile, trade supplies to Afghanistan remained suspended on the third consecutive day as the protesting tribesmen, both in Jamrud and Landi Kotal, kept the main road blocked for heavy traffic. Light vehicles, however, were allowed to ply the road for facilitating local residents.

A group of young protesters in Jamrud tried to enter the grid station after the failure of talks between the officials of the district administration and leaders of the protesters. Their entry was thwarted by the police deputed at the grid station.

Also in the day, rival groups among the protesters in Jamrud quarrelled with each other and exchanged hot words when supporters of one of the groups started making a noise during the speech of an elder of the rival group. The situation was later defused by some “neutral” persons.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2023

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