KP backs anti-load shedding protests
01 August, 2012
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday expressed support for anti-load shedding protests in the province and called on the federal government not to carry out unscheduled load shedding in the province.
"Under the constitution, the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have greater right over electricity as it is produced in the province," provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told a news conference a day after the ruling Awami National Party (ANP) called an all-parties conference for August 9 to discuss the energy crisis.
Hussain said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been experiencing unscheduled load shedding despite the fact that it was producing around 4,000MW electricity.
Was it a sin that the province was producing electricity? he asked the federal government, adding, "The constitution says that the people of the areas where resources are produced have priority over their use."
On Monday, ANP provincial president Senator Afrasiab Khattak announced an all-parties conference for August 9 to reach a consensus over the issue. However, the move was not welcomed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which declined the invitation.
The information minister further said that bureaucracy was "conspiring" against the 18th Amendment, which guaranteed provincial autonomy. He said the people had no choice but to come out on roads. "They are justified," he said while defending the protesters who even damaged state property in their angry protests against hours-long load shedding in different areas, including the provincial capital, Peshawar.
The minister appealed to the protesters to stay peaceful, saying the damage to government and public property was in fact a national damage. "Please stay calm while protesting against load shedding," he said.