close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
 
November 27, 2020

Energy damage

Editorial

 
November 27, 2020

In a press conference, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister Nadeem Babar attempted to answer some of the questions on energy purchase raised by Geo's Shahzeb Khanzada in his show – all the while denying he was referring to the show at all. What the presser led to, though, were even more unanswered questions – leading us to wonder why the prime minister and the people of Pakistan are being provided misinformation on so many issues and why the national exchequer lost an amount of $122 million, an amount that could have come in rather handy at this time.

These are queries to which we still need replies. Babar held on to the previous claims he had made, insisting that LNG for the winter could not be purchased in summer in 2020. Whereas this had been possible in 2019, it is hard to understand why the same process could not be repeated this year. The question of K-Electric and SNGPL not putting in requests for gas in time was also brought up. In the show, Khanzada was able to produce letters which indicated, in fact proved, that the requests for requisition of gas had indeed been made, and had this gas been purchased in the summer, at the time that the requests were made for winter, a huge amount could have been saved. In return, we have not seen any documents that show that SNGPL or K-Electric had failed in putting in requests. What we have seen is the unfortunately consistent habit of blaming and accusing the messenger – or the previous government. In fact, the previous PML-N government had indeed done the country good by making a long-term contract on gas purchase, which stood the nation in good stead given the information available at the time. During the same period, Bangladesh and India had purchased gas at higher rates. All this indicates just where we are going in terms of governance today and on the sitting government's ability (or lack of) to answer questions the people need to know. We must understand as citizens how our government is acting and what it is doing.

Simply attempting to lay blame at the doors of others does not help the nation or its people. It also does nothing to harm the media despite the many pointed barbs made at the country's journalists who diligently do their job of reporting the news. The need is for the government to pull itself together and make the system of purchases more efficient. Given that it has failed to do so at least for 2020, the errors must be admitted and the problem put before the prime minister before he is faced by new problems raised by this failure to buy gas at lower rates when it was available, especially given that we could be facing a much deeper and longer gas crisis in the future.