ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Faisal Karim Kundi met Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Rana Sanaullah on Friday to convey that the provincial government was challenging the writ of the state by forcibly entering grid stations and restoring power supply to many areas.

According to a statement issued by the PM Office, PM Shehbaz said the federal government would provide utmost assistance and resources for the welfare of the people of KP.

A row between the Centre and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on loadshedding, which had ostensibly been settled last month, was resurrected on Wednesday after KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur issued another ultimatum, telling the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to reduce outages on all grids to 12 hours a day.

Pesco is among those distribution companies whose power losses are as high as 60 per cent and last month, Energy Minister Awais Leghari had explained that those feeders where losses were between 20 and 80 per cent would face 15-16 hours of outages. Against this backdrop, an agreement was reached at the end of May, with both sides agreeing to address the issue ‘soon’.

Then, KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur apparently reneged on the deal when he led a group of protesters and entered a grid station in Dera Ismail Khan on Wednesday, issuing his own loadshedding schedule.

A statement posted on the KP government’s X account said no area would suffer power outages for more than 12 hours.

In a separate meeting with Governor Kundi, Minister Rana Sanaullah discussed matters related to KP province.

The minister said the federal government would provide full support to the KP provincial government, adding that all issues can be resolved amicably through dialogue and mutual consultation.

He said staging protest was a fundamental and constitutional right of every citizen, but no political agenda could be allowed to be pursued under its cover. “The writ of state will not be allowed to diminish anywhere in the country,” he added.

He said anarchy and chaos would prevail if crime of challenging state writ goes unpunished. “Action should be taken against those who are trying to stand against the state,” he adedd.

Gandapur meets Imran

Meanwhile, sources said that KP CM Gandapur also called on his party founder Imran Khan at the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi on Friday. According to sources, the meeting started at about 3:15pm and lasted for more than one hour. In the meeting, Mr Gandapur informed Mr Khan about his meeting with the federal government regarding massive loadshedding in the KP.

In the meeting, Mr Gandapur discussed with Mr Khan the national political situation and the KP government’s political strategy, the sources said.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2024

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