QUETTA: Opposition members staged a protest demonstration inside the Balochistan Assembly against unannounced and prolonged load shedding on Thursday evening. Opposition lawmakers left their seats and gathered in the middle of the house to vent their anger. “We are tired of WAPDA and QESCO”, Asghar Tareen, a lawmaker from the Jamiat ul Ulema e Islam (JUI) said.
The lawmakers also chanted full-throated slogans against the WAPDA and QESCO and demanded immediate restoration of power supply to all districts of Balochistan. “WAPDA has destroyed the agriculture sector of Balochistan”, Malak Naseer Shahwani the Parliamentary leader of the Balochistan Assembly said. Most of Balochistan’s population is dependent on agriculture and according to statistics around 75 percent of the population’s income is from this sector.
The rural areas of Balochistan are facing unannounced and prolonged load-shedding. This has severely affected the agriculture sector in the province. “We want an uninterrupted power supply for the agriculture sector”, Mr. Asghar Tareen stated. “This is not our first protest but the incumbent government has continuously ignored us”, Mr. Naseer Shahwani told me. Members from the treasury and opposition benches lashed out at the WAPDA and QESCO for their failure to provide power supply to rural areas of Balochistan.
However, QESCO has claimed that the population of rural areas is not paying millions of dues against them. Engineer Karim Jamali, the QESCO Chief said that billions of rupees were outstanding against the growers’ community and domestic consumers. He however said that most of the dues were against agriculture consumers.
“First provide power supply and then speak about the outstanding”, Malik Naseer Shahwani said. Chairman of panel Qadir Nail in his ruling directed the QESCO to make sure the provision of the power supply to rural areas of Balochistan. The house also discussed other issues relating to Balochistan.