‘Nation wants electricity more than democracy’

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Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has said in the present circumstances, the people were demanding basic amenities, including uninterrupted power supply instead of democracy. Talking to the media outside the protest camp at Minar-e-Pakistan on Saturday, Shahbaz Sharif said people have nothing to do with the so-called democracy and that they needed food, shelter and clothes for themselves and their families.
Criticising the federal government over its incompetence to tackle the prevailing energy crisis he said the time had come to get rid of the inefficient and corrupt rulers to solve the problems being faced by the country.
Sharif said it was the right of the people to protest against power outages, adding that he will not rest until ‘Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves’ were ousted.
He stated that the nation does not care whoever is in power or what the government’s processes were; instead what they really wanted was the resolution of the problems they faced.
The CM said the people mandated the sitting leadership to represent them in the parliament and not to appraise them about the regional and global crises.
The chief minister added that the sitting government had looted the national exchequer with ‘both hands’ during the last four and half years, as no projects were initiated while keeping the interest of the masses in mind.
The development programmes launched by the political leaders were aimed at facilitating the people they favoured and for protecting their vote bank, he added.
He said that the energy crisis had led to closure of many industries in Faisalabad and other cities while the people were struggling to make ends meet.
The CM also presided over a meeting to review the law and order situation in the province. Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, National and Provincial Assembly members, chief secretary, Inspector General Police, Home Secretary, Additional IG Special Branch, Lahore CCPO and other officers also attended the meeting.
IGP Haji Habib-ur-Rehman informed the meeting about the law and order situation in the province whereas Energy Secretary Jahanzeb Khan talked about the load shedding and the electricity short fall.
Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz claimed that the resolution of the ongoing crises, including poverty, unemployment and inflation was not possible without getting rid of the corrupt government which was the root cause of all the problems confronting the national sovereignty and the interests of the people.
While justifying the province-wide protests against the prolonged power outages, he said he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the protestors to address their woes. He urged the people to unite for a joint effort to get their demands fulfilled instead of acting like silent spectators.
He appealed to the masses to protest against load shedding but not to damage national and public property.
He directed the IGP Home secretary to send special teams to Faisalabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Vehari, Kasur and other cities and take special measures for the protection of public properties.
The chief minister said Punjab is being discriminated against over the electricity load shedding and that the protests will continue across the province until a uniform schedule of power outages is enforced throughout the country. Sharif said he can leave the government but cannot live with gas pilferers.
The chief minister said his government was using all the resources available to resolve the water crisis that has hit the agriculture sector and to facilitate the farmers.