Monday May 27, 2024

CM Gandapur issues 'stern warning' to Centre over prolonged loadshedding in KP

PTI-backed CM warns of taking over Pesco chief office if loadshedding not ended today

By Web Desk
May 15, 2024
Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ali Amin Gandapur addresses the KP Assembly on March 2, 2024. — Facebook/Ali Amin Khan Gandapur
Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ali Amin Gandapur addresses the KP Assembly on March 2, 2024. — Facebook/Ali Amin Khan Gandapur

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur has come down hard on the federal government over the issue of power outages in the province, threatening to take control of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) if the loadshedding issue is not resolved today (Thursday).

Expressing outrage over prolonged power outages in the province, CM Gandapur on Wednesday gave a stern message to the federal government to address the issue at the earliest. He said that unannounced loadshedding must be stopped across KP, asking the stakeholders to sit together to find a solution.

He gave a deadline to the federal government to resolve the power outages issue by tonight and also demanded the power authorities change the loadshedding schedule, otherwise, he would take control of the Pesco chief’s office.

“It is my timeline but not a warning as I will formulate a schedule by myself. If Pesco chief wants to stay in the province, then the officer follow my schedule,” said the chief minister.

He claimed that KP was forced to purchase expensive electricity despite generating power at lower cost. Gandapur further warned that he will get the due right of the KP people at any cost.

Responding to Gandapur’s statement, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif criticised the harsh tone used by the KP chief minister. He said that the provincial government should clear the bills of “stolen electricity”.

Asif said that the KP CM has seemingly defended the power theft in the province. He offered the federal government’s assistance to all provinces if they were willing to distribute financial losses caused by the power theft.

This is not a first time that the PTI-backed CM threatened the federal government led by its chief political rival — the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).

Earlier this month, the outspoken chief minister threatened to march towards Islamabad if the "Centre does not clear" his province’s dues soon.

Irked by the National Finance Commission (NFC) award-related matters, the provincial chief executive added that when he would take to the street, all the people of the province would be behind him.

“Clear the dues of my province as soon as possible, otherwise no body will even thank you,” he told the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government in Islamabad.

“I will ask the federal government not to take me easy.” The chief minister urged the federal government to redress the grievances of his province.