The Workers’ Party Pakistan (WPP) has criticised the government and its planning ‘experts’ in the wake of unprecedented loadshedding across the country and warned that all responsibility for the ongoing protests and riots rests entirely with those who have been elected to power by Pakistan’s long-suffering working people.
The WPP has also demanded that a clear and coherent power policy be formulated in full public view so that a sustainable, long-term solution is initiated with immediate effect.
WPP President Abid Hasan Minto and Information Secretary Aasim Sajjad have said that the present government continues to claim that its own policy failures are simply legacies of the Musharraf dictatorship but in the almost five years since the February 2008 general election the government has made no meaningful attempt to address both the growing shortfall in electricity generation capacity or the circular debt problem.
The WPP leaders said that when a sitting government exhibits such a lack of initiative it is clear that it must be held to account to uphold democratic principles.
The WPP leaders have said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) continues to claim that it is the biggest symbol of democratic struggle in Pakistan and responds to every criticism of its policy failures by crying out conspiracy but its refusal to take up the real issues that affect working Pakistanis is the biggest conspiracy against democracy.
The WPP said that the PPP continues to raise slogans of ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makan’ but is unwilling to challenge the dictates of the international financial institutions (IFIs). They said that the power crisis can be traced to the World Bank’s imposed policy of 1995 when production and distribution of electricity was separated and the independent power producers (IPPs) empowered to produce power.
The leaders said that if democracy is for the people and not an eyewash then the PPP and other mainstream parties must make policies — in the power sector especially — that serve the people of Pakistan rather than the donor community.
The WPP has said that the government’s lack of concern with the power sector also reflects its lack of concern with the struggling industries such as textiles which rely on the uninterrupted supply of electricity to continue to produce at optimum levels. With both ordinary consumers and the industrial sector subject to such suffocating indifference the government alone will bear the consequences of the growing unrest spreading across Punjab’s small towns.