PESHAWAR: Provincial Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Monday rejected the notion that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was ahead of all the provinces in power theft and said the province was producing more electricity more than the other provinces.
He was responding to the statement of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) chief executive Brigadier (R) Tariq Sadozai in which he claimed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was atop in electricity theft cases in the country.
“It is inappropriate for the Pesco chief to issue such a statement at a time when the province was suffering from the worst loadshedding,” he said. “We don’t want to mention names, but everybody is well aware who is stealing electricity the most,” he stressed.
Mian Iftikhar was of the opinion that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was producing more electricity than any other province, but its people were being subjected to severe power outages. He said the industry in the province had come to a halt due to electricity and gas outages.
“The industry in Punjab and Sindh had not been affected by the electricity suspension. The electricity consumption in the entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is far less than any single city of Punjab, or for that matter Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad,” he pointed out.
The minister also expressed concern over the inflated bills, arguing that the consumers were paying the electricity bills, but the excessive bills had made life miserable for the people.
He said the province had always been subjected to excesses as far as electricity was concerned. “The province is neither provided due share of the electricity that it has been producing, nor it is given its right under the head of hydel net profit,” he added.
People across the province have resorted to violent protests against power outages during Ramazan, particularly during Sehr and Iftar. This wave of protests prompted the ANP leadership to rethink its strategies regarding supply of electricity to the people.
A few days ago, provincial president of the ruling Awami National Party (ANP) Afrasiab Khattak warned the federal government to rid the people of the unjust power outages or else they would take an extreme step. He didn’t specify what that could mean.
The entire provincial leadership of the ANP and ministers of the KP government rushed to Peshawar Press Club led by Afrasiab Khattak to address a hurriedly called press conference on the issue.
Federal Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Bilour addressed a separate press conference on the same issue and warned of staging protests if the province wasn’t given its share from the national grid.