KP CM threatens Pesco takeover if new loadshedding schedule not announced tonight

Published May 15, 2024
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur speaks in a video message on Wednesday. — PTI YouTube
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur speaks in a video message on Wednesday. — PTI YouTube

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur on Wednesday threatened to take over the entire system of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) if the federal government did not solve the “brutal” electricity woes in the province and issue a new loadshedding schedule by tonight.

Protestors have blocked different parts of KP due to the “excessive and unannounced” extended load shedding — up to 20 hours — in the province.

KP Governor Faisal Karim Kundi said on Sunday that he held a meeting with the Pesco chief and asked him to resolve the issue. He had promised that the duration of loadshedding would be minimised in phases up to zero level.

In a video message today, CM Gandapur said that he was sending a “clear message” to the federal government and Energy Minister Awais Leghari regarding loadshedding in the province.

“If there’s no relief by five to six hours in areas with 22-hour loadshedding and a new schedule is not announced by tonight … and if there is no reduction in loadshedding then I am sending a clear message that tomorrow I will go to the Pesco chief’s office and will myself draw up the schedule there,” adding that if the Pesco chief remained in KP then he would “work as per my schedule”.

CM Gandapur said the talks between him and the federal government were ongoing and he had asked it to sit together and solve the issue. However, he added: “If someone is talking to you respectfully then you think of it as their weakness. We are not weak”

He said that the federal government should clear the province’s dues.

“I am producing cheap electricity and I am buying it at a higher rate,” CM Gandapur said.

“If you think you won’t give [KP’s] right and [I] don’t know how to take it then I will tell you how I will take my right,” the chief minister warned.

He said his words were not a “warning but my timeline”.

“The schedule should be changed by tonight. If loadshedding is not fixed by tomorrow then I will go to the Pesco office and take over the grid and the system and give it to my government,” Gandapur reiterated.

“The button would then be in my hand,” he said, alleging that the federal government was unfair to his province. “On what basis are you doing this,” he asked.

Gandapur said that he would not let the federal government “rest peacefully” if it attempted to usurp KP’s rights.

“This is a timeline, not giving you a warning, I am giving you a timeline. I am coming tomorrow to Pesco chief’s office then I will make my own loadshedding schedule myself by my government and I will take all the systems and I will run it myself,” he reiterated a second time.

Meanwhile, the energy minister downplayed CM Gandapur’s warnings, saying that the chief minister had himself contacted a few days ago and reassured of his help and cooperation.

Speaking on Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’, Leghari said he hoped that the KP CM would perform his duty in helping curb electricity theft.

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