22 Dec 2017/Friday   

There is no respite for Pakistanis from the various problems the country is going through since couple of months, be it Panama Gate, US financial sanctions, Faizabad Dharna, Absconding ministers, Crimes against Women, Rapes in Madrassahs & Terror incidents. Now to top it all is the annual Gas Load Shedding which has forced the public to launch a protest against the insensitive Govt and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL).    

The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has been observing 12 to 16 hours gas load-shedding in several areas of Rawalpindi city and cantonment. The angry residents of affected localities raised hue and cry against the gas load-shedding and strongly criticised the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) for mismanagement of resources. They accused the officials concerned for ensuring uninterrupted gas supply to houses of high officials and to posh areas, at the expense of middle class and poor areas, where people were not even able to make breakfast due to unavailability of gas. Most residential areas of Rawalpindi are suffering due to unannounced gas load-shedding in the morning and evening. Gas pressure in most localities of Rawalpindi and adjoining rural areas was almost zero which irked citizens all day long. Similar thing is happening in other parts of the country too.

It is worth mentioning here that majority of ‘naanbais’ (bakery shops) in affected localities have stopped their business due to absence of natural gas while some of ‘naanbais’ have increased ‘roti’ and ‘naan’ prices. The angry protesters said that they were suffering from gas load-shedding but the government had only been making hollow promises to them and had failed to address the important issue yet. It seems that SNGPL is favouring LPG dealers to sale the commodity in absence of natural gas. The protesters belonging to lower middle class families complained that they were unable to purchase (LPG) to prepare food since the prices of both LPG and fuel wood was beyond their reach.

This nexus between LPG dealers and SNGPL has been going on for some time and shedding is by design to help LPG dealers to fill up their coffers by sailing LPG at an exorbitant price.   

Yet another example of how the divide between rich and poor is further being increased to foment radicalisation.