Power riots in Pakistan

Daredevil

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Recently there has been a lot of load-shedding in Pakistan which is eventually leading to businesses being shut-down on after the other. The poer-cuts in some cases reached unto 20hrs a day in certain cities and villages and 12hrs pwer-cuts is the norm across all the cities and its even worse in villages. This made people come onto the roads for rioting to protest the power-cuts. In this thread we gather all news and views about the power-cuts in Pakistan and ensuing violence as a result.

Violent protests against loadshedding enter second day


Asim Yasin
Tuesday, October 04, 2011


ISLAMABAD: While people took to the streets in large numbers once again on Monday and staged violent demonstrations against prolonged loadshedding in various cities of Punjab, the opposition benches lodged a vociferous protest in the National Assembly, accusing the government of being incompetent and insensitive to the people's grievances.

PML-N's Khawaja Asif said the "government of thugs" had discredited democracy and the people had lost all hope in the system since there was a premium on corruption and no discount for honesty. He said those who did not pay electricity bills should get no electricity.

The PML-N also staged a token walkout from the National Assembly to register its protest but surprisingly no other party joined it.

Minister for water and power Syed Naveed Qamar hinted that the power situation would beover within 24 to 36 hours since the prime minister had directed the finance minister for the immediate release of Rs11 billion to ensure fuel supply to power plants. Responding to the opposition onslaught he said two nuclear power plant units were closed for annual maintenance and one of them would become operational on Tuesday to supply 300MW. Ultimately 600MW would be added to the system, he said.

As the National Assembly proceedings started, MQM parliamentary leader Dr Farooq Sattar protested over the worst ever spell of loadshedding, recent hike in petroleum prices, inadequate relief for flood-hit people in Sindh and the government's inability to control dengue fever in Punjab. Dr Sattar demanded that the rules of business be suspended to initiate debate on these important issues. Khawaja Asif supported the demand.

Chief whip and minister for religious affairs Syed Khursheed Shah agreed to have a debate on the issue and moved the motion to suspend the rules and normal business of the House till Friday.

Kicking off the debate Khawaja Asif said the energy crisis had worsened during the PPP's rule and the power shortfall had reached 7,000MW. He said the government had failed to accord priority to the problem.

The people, he said, had started losing faith in democracy and Parliament, as their grievances were not being addressed. He said there should be no loadshedding in regions where people were paying bills regularly while power supply to defaulters should be cut off.

Khawaja Asif said the government said it did not have Rs100 billion to end loadshedding but spent billion of rupees on foreign visits. He said corruption was rampant and everybody knew who made money in NICL deals. The government, he said, had given Rs1000 billion in subsidy to state-owned enterprises to meet their losses while Rs900 billion were lost in tax evasion. He said he filed a petition in the Supreme Court because of which the SC recovered Rs5 billion from rental power projects while Rs17 billion was yet to be recovered.

MQM parliamentary leader Dr Farooq Sattar warned that the people were running out of patience and were now protesting on the Motorway and GT road. "The recent increase in petroleum prices has broken their backs. Karachi contributes 40 to 60 percent of the country's GDP and is facing up to 14 hours of loadshedding," he added.

Syed Naveed Qamar said the situation would start improving from Tuesday, as Hubco and Kapco would start generating additional 2000MW. He counted the non-provision of fuel and gas shortages as the two reasons for electricity shortfall and said Parliament should guide the government about whether gas should be provided to fertiliser units or power plants.

"If we do not supply gas to fertiliser companies then commodities will have to be imported and the government will have to provide subsidy on imported fertiliser. The same problems will be faced if gas is not supplied to the power sector," he added.

On the issue of commissioning of the Nandipu power project and the Cheechoo Ki Malian power plant, he said the government had resolved the issue and the company had started moving its machinery from Karachi and would start generating power from next year. Other power plants, now in different stages of completion, will also start production next year, he said.

Other correspondents, Agencies add: People took to the streets in large numbers on the second day of protests and staged violent demonstrations against prolonged loadshedding in various cities of Punjab.

Pepco offices were set on fire and vehicles and public and private properties were damaged in some cities by enraged protesters while the police used teargas and baton-charge to disperse them. Several protesters were injured in police firing.

Meanwhile an Anti-Terrorism Court judge, Tahir Pervaiz, on Monday sent around 200 accused on judicial remand on charges of damaging government property during protests against electricity outages in Lahore on Sunday. On Monday, police produced all the accused before the court and sought physical remand to carry out investigations. The court sent all the accused to jail on judicial remand.
The police registered cases against arrested protesters under section 436, 427, 148, 149, 506 and 156 of the Pakistan Penal Code and put them behind bars.

Violent protests erupted in Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Lahore, Multan, Layyah and other cities and towns of the province. Protesters blocked the Motorway at Lilla Interchange, due to which a long line of vehicles was seen on the motorway. Protests started about 11am and ended at 4pm.

In Faisalabad all markets remained closed due to the traders' strike. In Gujranwala, protestors said they had electricity for only four hours a day and complained that economic activities had been adversely affected by the non-availability of power.

Protesters staged a demonstration on GT Road, passed through city roads and gathered outside the Gepco office on Alam Chowk. They kept the traffic blocked for several hours while the police resorted to baton-charge and teargas shelling to disperse them.

The protesters chanted slogans against the government and broke the windowpanes of banks, schools and other buildings. Protesters and police played hide-and-seek on Alam Chowk where they set a tractor-trolley and a pick-up ablaze. They also ransacked the Alam Chowk police post, set free the detainees, burnt vehicles and took away official arms and ammunition.

Gepco offices were also destroyed and a grid station was ransacked in the Cantt Circle area. Two protesters were injured in police firing.

In Sialkot, prolonged loadshedding continued, resulting in protest demonstrations and sit-ins across the city on Monday in which annoyed citizens, members of socio-political organisations, civil society and traders took part. The protest rallies, demonstrations and sit-ins were held at Chowk Allama Iqbal, Railway Road, Lahai Bazaar, Circular Road, Kashmir Road, Nekapura, Defence Road, Sublime Chowk, Mujahid Road, Paris Road, Adda Pasrurian, Shahabpura Road, Hajipura, Rangpura Road, Pasrur Road and in other parts of the city.

The demonstrators burnt tyres on a number of city roads and blocked traffic while chanting slogans against the rulers and high-ups of Pepco. The demonstrators were also carrying placards and banners inscribed with anti-government slogans and appeals to the citizens not to pay electricity bills.

Violent protesters stormed Pepco offices at Zafarwal Road, Pasrur Road, Akbarabad Chowk and Sublime Chowk and partially damaged the buildings, grid stations, vehicles and attacked the officials.

In Gujrat, up to 20-22 hours long loadshedding forced people to come out of their houses to resort to violent protest demonstrations on Monday. They blocked GT Road by burning tyres.

Traffic was also blocked at Shaheen Chowk Haryawala Chowk and Aadowal in Gujrat. The GT Road near Gujrat remained blocked from 10am to 1:30pm and the travelers had to face great inconvenience. Protesters also set fire to the Gepco Complex Gujrat and burnt several billboards and damaged Gepco and police vehicles. SHO Civil Lines Gujrat Malik Nazir Ahmed, three policemen and seven students were reportedly hurt during a clash. However, no protest was held in Lalamusa.

In Multan, people expressed their anger and took to the streets against unannounced loadshedding. Scores of people, most of them carrying batons in their hands, staged demonstrations.

In Rawalpindi, hundreds of protesters reached Peshawar Road and burnt tyres. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded, with few people able to make it to their workplaces or schools. Over 2,000 agitators have been booked and nearly 70 arrested by the police.

Twelve to 20 hours loadshedding has forced people to take to the streets. Several hours of loadshedding is being observed in Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur and other cities of southern Punjab. The people also took to the streets in Gujrat, Toba Tek Singh, Okara, Pind Dadan Khan, Borewala, Sahiwal, Pak Pattan, and Shaikhupura.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA at least 14 hours of loadshedding is observed, leading to water shortage in several areas. An angry mob blocked the Karakoram highway in Abbotabad and demonstrations were held in Gul Bela area of Peshawar.

Power supply has been totally suspended to Landikotal for the last four days, which has created shortage of water in the area. In this connection a protest rally was held here in the Bacha Khan sqaure, the main bazaar of Landi kotal on Monday.

Hundreds of angry protestors, related to different segments of society, were seem holding banners and black flags and chanting full-throated slogans against the complete suspension of electricity to the area. Demonstrations were also staged in a number of localities in Karachi and in different towns of interior Sindh.

Meanwhile, PML-N parliamentarians have decided to protest outside the Presidency against load shedding. According to sources, the decision was taken during a meeting of the PML-N Central Working Committee (CWC). The meeting also decided that PML-N MNAs would voice their concerns on national issues during the National Assembly session. PML-N President Nawaz Sharif has directed party members to support street protests against loadshedding.

The protests against the unannounced loadshedding continued on Monday in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) activists staged a demonstration outside the Peshawar Press Club against the unannounced power outages and corruption in the country.

Led by PTI District Organiser Zafarullah Khattak, the protesters chanted slogans against the government, while carrying banners and placards. They demanded immediate end to the loadshedding and corruption.

Speaking on the occasion, Zafarullah Khattak said that hours-long loadshedding had made life miserable for citizens, while business activities have adversely been affected.

He said the government did not take interest in solving the loadshedding problem, recalling that their province was producing much electricity as compared to other provinces but still the masses were forced to live without electricity.

Charsadda: The traders and students staged joint protest against 20-hour long loadshedding in Charsadda district on Monday.

Addressing protesters, who were chanting anti-government slogans, president of the Muttahida Shopkeepers Association Hamkeemullah said due to power outages, business and daily routine of life had been severely disturbed.

He said many of the businessmen had closed their factories, shops and mills, as there was no power even to fetch potable water for household water tanks through electric pumps.

He added that in the hospital and at private clinics, the patients were suffering as there was no electricity to run electronic machines used in the treatment of patients.

The shopkeepers body chief said despite the fact that only the poor masses were paying the bills for power consumption yet they were deprived of the electricity while the rich stealing facility were using it uninterrupted in their palaces.

He added that the students and the traders would launch massive protest in Charsadda district if the cruel loadshedding hours were not reduced.

Landikotal: Members of the civil society and business community also staged a rally in Landikotal bazaar to protest massive loadshedding in the area.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Bacha Khan Chowk and chanted slogans against the authorities, while holding banners and black flags.

Addressing the rally, Landikotal Labour Union President Shah Mohammad Shinwari said that it was not just a matter of loadshedding, but in every field the tribal people had been meted out unfair treatment. They said that earlier they faced 18 to 20 hours power cuts, but now the area had been plunged into darkness for the last six days.

Shah Mohammad Shinwari warned the Tesco and Landikotal gridstation officials that if the electricity was not restored within three days, the tribesmen would have no choice but to besiege the Landikotal gridstation.

PTI leader Abdurrazaq, while addressing the rally, said that for the last several years, electricity problem had affected the education, health and business sectors of the tribal population. He warned that if the electricity was not supplied to them till the deadline, the tribesmen would suspend Nato supply to Afghanistan.
 

Daredevil

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Analysis: Power sector woes - living from tanker to tanker

By Khurram Husain
Published: October 5, 2011

KARACHI: Pakistan is living from tanker to tanker. Every month, something like six to nine cargoes of furnace oil dock at the Keamari oil terminals in Karachi and their cargo is ferried to power plants upcountry almost immediately.

Each tankers cargo is consumed within days by the hungry power plants that have sprung up across Punjab as power sector reforms stalled in the late 1990s. Every day, these power plants consume more than one billion rupees worth of furnace oil
.

If this precarious supply line breaks, the power plants shut down within days since none of the players in this game can afford to maintain stocks, and the country's power generation falls steeply.

The riots engulfing cities across Punjab are a sly reminder that countries living from tanker to tanker might want to refrain from threats to cut off other people's supply lines, because Pakistan's energy supply line is now operating in the danger zone and even the slightest disruption can send shockwaves through our society.

The silver lining is this: the crisis has spurred a hectic round of activity in Islamabad. Everybody, it seems, has woken up to the power sector's woes. From the President and Prime Minister, to senior private sector players, Islamabad has been abuzz with meetings and proposals for radical restructuring.

The results need to show within days. As of this month, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has defaulted on its payments to refineries, and has letter of credit (LC) payments in excess of Rs80 billion to pay. HUBCO is comprehensively shut, weighed down under a fuel bill of over Rs65 billion, and KAPCO's output is slowed to a trickle of less than 150 MW. Between them, these plants contribute up to 2,600 MW to the national grid.

A total of 3,500 MW of generating capacity has been shut down due to inability to pay their fuel bills. A 'normal' shortfall of 3,500 MW for this time of year has therefore ballooned to 7,000 MW, the largest it has ever been.

The crisis has been sparked by the refusal of Pakistan's creditors to continue financing power sector losses in the absence of serious and fundamental reform decisions, and the refusal of the finance ministry to play along as well.

Firefighting will not help the situation any more. If fundamental reforms are not undertaken in earnest, and decisions taken before the weekend, the collapse can spread to the financial sector as well which is caught up in the net of the circular debt as an unwilling accomplice.

That means it doesn't end here. Riots in the streets can be matched by default on domestic and international obligations. PSO has been avoiding default on its Letters of Credit on oil imports by getting the banks to convert these LC's into loans.

Once the reverberations reach the financial sector, this will turn into an economic meltdown in addition to a social upheaval.

The decisions that are required are no secret. We are suffering from our growing dependence on imported furnace oil for power generation, a dependence that is boosted by our dwindling gas reserves. Additionally, our power plants are choked with inefficiencies, our distribution system plagued by leakages and losses and recovery issues.

Last night PSO received 10 billion rupees payment from HUBCO, KAPCO and WAPDA, barely enough to pay for 10 days worth of supplies. On Monday night the Petroleum Minister gave a 'directive' to PSO to continue supplying subsidised furnace oil to KESC. The directive did not say how the government intends to pay for the differential, nor did it clarify how last year's price differential claims, that are still pending, will be cleared.

This action does not inspire confidence. What is needed is a set of fundamental and strategic decisions that hand over operative control of the power supply chain to independent bodies staffed by private sector professionals. Ad hoc decisions, constant firefighting, and government by directive is the approach that got us into this situation, and it must be abandoned immediately if this crisis is going to be contained.
 

LurkerBaba

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I about actually going to post this in the Jokes Thread

Taliban blow their fuse: Electricity first, Shariah later

PESHAWAR:

Even the Taliban have joined the chorus as the rest of the country riots over load-shedding, voicing their frustrations over the constant blackouts. In an interesting twist to the ongoing electricity crisis plaguing Pakistan, a little-known militant commander in North Waziristan has warned Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) officials to either mend their ways, or face the music.
He insisted that their homes would be targeted if electricity was not restored in North Waziristan within 48 hours and warned that suicide bombings would not be ruled out.
:shocked:
 

Daredevil

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Pakistan is living from tanker to tanker. Every month, something like six to nine cargoes of furnace oil dock at the Keamari oil terminals in Karachi and their cargo is ferried to power plants upcountry almost immediately.

Each tankers cargo is consumed within days by the hungry power plants that have sprung up across Punjab as power sector reforms stalled in the late 1990s. Every day, these power plants consume more than one billion rupees worth of furnace oil.

If this precarious supply line breaks, the power plants shut down within days since none of the players in this game can afford to maintain stocks, and the country's power generation falls steeply.
Now we know where to hit in the event of war. I even shudder to think that Pakistan will be ready for a war in such precarious situation where they cannot even maintain a steady supply of oil due to lack of money. Hit karachi and naval blockade of karachi will suffice to make Pakistan to come to its knees.
 

Daredevil

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Power crisis triggers riots across Pakistan

Riots erupted in different towns and cities all over Pakistan as people came out on the streets to protest against widespread power cuts, for periods as long as 18 hours in a day.

In Lahore, young men attacked vehicles and in two instances stopped trains from proceeding to their destinations, as police tried to control the rising violence. The opposition Pakistan

Muslim League said it supported the protestors while the Prime Minister called for an emergency energy conference to deal with the situation.

"We are with the protestors. We will stage a long march to Islamabad to protest against the power cuts which are crippling the economy," said opposition leader Mian Nawaz Sharif, as he told party members in Islamabad on Monday.

Sharif said that President Zardari "was not fit to rule" and should "be removed from power."

On Sunday, Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif had alleged that the centre was "discriminating against Punjab" and that the people of the province were being punished.

The Punjab province, which is seeing an dengue epidemic in Lahore and adjoining areas in which over 140 people have died in the past two months, says that frequent power cuts mean that people are suffering and dying unnecessarily.

"The machines are not working. The operation theaters are closed," said Shahbaz Sharif.

At the emergency energy summit held in Islamabad on Monday, Prime Minister Gilani ordered that billions of rupees owed to private power companies be paid immediately so that they in turn could pay the money owed to petroleum companies. A government spokesman also said that the matter was being "politicized at a very critical time for the country."

It is estimated the power shortfall in the country exceeds 7,000 megawatts. Vehicular traffic between Lahore and Islamabad remained blocked as protestors blocked the main GT Road.

Industrial activity in Faisalabad, the country's largest industrial city, was also suspended in protest against the power cuts.

The main road between Karachi and Hyderabad were also affected.

It is feared that more violence will be witnessed in the country in the coming days.

HindustanTimes-Print
 

agentperry

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just see the steps their govt introduces in the name of power reforms.-

all shops to shutter down by 8pm.
2 days off for industries. means no production in weekend,
office ac to be switched on after 11 am.
spending like never before on gasification of thar coal. whose investment cant be recovered even after they are used for whole lifecycle.
stress on hyper expensive solar and wind energy powerplant.( pak have no solar pv industry and wind energy is on the mercy of inefficient govt agency. they put up wind turbines but when journo went to the site after 6 months all the blades were missing.)

but surprisingly they havent laid focus on cfl promotion, no stress on solar water heater. no stress on solar street lighting and not at all on curbing electricity stealing.(and i know the reason. becoz india have these policies so martially superior pakis cant use them or apply them)

they really dont require India, they are on self destruct mode.
 

Ray

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Sometimes I really feel sorry for Pakistan!

What a shamble!

What great hope they had when they had their 'own' country.

And what their 'own' country, carved to save themselves from Hindu domination, has become a country that they have to save themselves from themselves!
 

nitesh

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I have question, does electricity complies to sharia? I guess not, there should be a fatwa against the rioters for not adhering to Islam. Let another round of killing commence
 

Blackwater

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Sometimes I really feel sorry for Pakistan!

What a shamble!

What great hope they had when they had their 'own' country.

And what their 'own' country, carved to save themselves from Hindu domination, has become a country that they have to save themselves from themselves!

bhard me jaye pakistan aur uske log
 

Yusuf

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Now we know where to hit in the event of war. I even shudder to think that Pakistan will be ready for a war in such precarious situation where they cannot even maintain a steady supply of oil due to lack of money. Hit karachi and naval blockade of karachi will suffice to make Pakistan to come to its knees.
Saar, that's the role of IN. stop fuel supply by blockade. But then when they are willing to live on grass, they can live in the dark in an event of a war with India.
 

Pintu

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Saar, that's the role of IN. stop fuel supply by blockade. But then when they are willing to live on grass, they can live in the dark in an event of a war with India.
Y/B, even terror strike in those dock yards & terminals can give the militants the fullest control.

Regards
 

ace009

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Such situations were not much better in India in the 1980s - remember our "dark decade" - those of you who were born then that is.

However, it is doubly scary for Pakistan since Pakistan has vast political unrest, Islamic fundamentalists waiting to get into power AND a nuclear armed military.

Why should India be concerned? Because when things start getting really chaotic, some jackass politician can come to power and decalre that "India is the root of all problems in Pakistan" - and start a war with India, which will end in nuclear exchange. It would be a typical example of one desperate group of people dragging their neighbors down to their own level, after failing to "keep up with the Joneses."

On the other hand, if Pakistan self-implodes and is divided into 3-4 nations (Sindh, Baluchistan, Punjab and NWFP), maybe the threat to India will be much reduced and we can get PoK back in our folds.

One can hope! :D
 

heartrocker22

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GOP should make an announcement -

"Please remain calm. We don't need electricity. We already have nukes!"
:lol::lol::lol::lol:

this ppl are frustrated coz they are missing their daily dose of star plus coz of load shedding.......

Jinnah would be proud soul and his having fun with his 70 virgins for creating pakistan:frusty:
 

Tshering22

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Sometimes I really feel sorry for Pakistan!

What a shamble!

What great hope they had when they had their 'own' country.

And what their 'own' country, carved to save themselves from Hindu domination, has become a country that they have to save themselves from themselves!

You're saying it all wrong Ray sir. It is "Evil Hindoo zionists in saffron robes and their Nazi loving Buddhist sidekicks". I've not been able to shake that statement off since the day I was told that on our friendly next door forum. :rofl:
 

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