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MPC slams Centre over Balochistan gas crisis


SALEEM SHAHID

QUETTA: The icy Siberian winds that have gripped Balochistan’s capital and northern parts of the province since Friday is forcing people to stay indoors while they also face the problem of low gas pressure depriving them of much-needed warmth.

This was the main theme of the Multi-Party Conference held on Sunday in Ziarat in which leaders such as Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal and Nasarullah Zerey of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Ghulam Nabi Marri of Balochistan National Party-Mengal, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal’s Dilawar Khan Kakar and Awami National Party’s Abdul Bari Kakar censured the federal government for the gas crisis in their province.

“Since 1952, Balochistan has been supplying gas to the country yet here the people are facing gas shortages making it difficult them to live in freezing temperature,” they said.


The conference also criticised the policies of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) in Balochistan alleging the company was overbilling the people of Balochistan while they were either deprived of natural gas or being bothered by low-gas pressure.

Icy Siberian winds have caused the mercury to drop below freezing point in several towns

“The federal government and SSGC should review their policies otherwise people will have no choice but to protest,” said Mr Zerey and Mr Marri.

They also warned that they too would join the people in the protests if the matter was not looked into and resolved promptly.

Gas shortage

Taking notice of gas shortage in the province, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has directed the SSGC to solve the problem as people are facing hardship due to harsh weather.

Speakers at the MPC also reacted strongly over the issue and threatened to stage a protest against the SSGC.

Icy Siberian winds have caused the mercury to drop below freezing point in Quetta, Ziarat, Kalat, Pishin, Khanozai, Qila Abdullah and other areas.

Hanna Lake on the outskirts of Quetta in Urak valley froze as temperature fell minus 7 in the area. In Kalat, the minimum temperature was recorded at minus 8 on Saturday, while in Ziarat it dropped to minus 9.

The icy Siberian winds, which started lashing Quetta and other parts of northern Balochistan on Friday morning, continued on Saturday forcing the people of stay inside their homes.

The people staged a demonstration in front of the SSGC office and at Alamo Chowk. They burnt tyres and blocked main roads by putting boulders and barricades.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2019

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