Opposition members in both the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly protested against excessive load shedding on Tuesday.
During a meeting held at the Parliament House by National Assembly’s opposition leaders, it was decided that Friday will be set as a mourning day to mourn the deaths caused by excessive heat and loads shedding in various parts of the country. More than 600 people have died so far, with 475 dying in Karachi alone due to heat and load-shedding. Khursheed Shah, leader of the opposition, said the government has completely failed to provide electricity during the month of Ramadan, and the prime minister should take responsibility of the deaths. Opposition members also raised the issue of the absence of Water and Power minister, Khawaja Asif, from the National Assembly proceeding, questioning his seriousness in solving the crisis.
Khawaja Asif had earlier briefed the parliament regarding load shedding in Karachi, saying that the federal government has no control over Karachi Electric. He said the government owns only 26% of share of Karachi Electric and isn’t involved in administration. He also said that the government was providing 650 megawatts of electricity to Karachi Electric to help minimize load-shedding.
During debate on education and police sector grants in the Punjab Assembly, opposition walked out in protest against the load-shedding. A resolution had been submitted against load shedding, but it was over looked because Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister, wasn’t present. When he arrived, the Assembly had progressed on to other issues, ignoring the load shedding issue. This prompted the opposition members to protest and walk out. Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, opposition leader, said the government spent Rs 52 billion on building Nandipur power plant, yet load shedding hasn’t been reduced.