–Firdous says govt will ensure gas supply to domestic consumers even at the cost of CNG stations
–Says protests against Modi’s extremist policies have destroyed India’s reputation as a secular state
SIALKOT: As the gas supply in different parts of the country remains either suspended or is low pressured, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Sunday said that on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the authorities concerned have been directed to ensure supply of gas to domestic consumers even at the cost of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations.
Addressing a press conference, the SAPM said that there were rumours circulating regarding a hike in gas prices. “The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) is merely a regulator, which forwards its input to the government while keeping in view the needs and problems of the people,” she said.
She also said that the premier is aware of the public’s issues and knows that the citizens cannot afford costly gas. “We cannot act on the recommendations put forth by OGRA. We must come up with a realistic strategy so that no additional burden is placed on the people,” she added.
“Winter has gripped the country and there is an increase in gas consumption. Keeping this in mind, there has been a 12 per cent increase in gas pressure while the overall usage has increased by almost 2.5 per cent compared to the corresponding period of last year,” she further said.
It is worth mentioning here that despite the long shutdown of CNG stations, people in localities of Sindh and Punjab as well as other parts of the country are experiencing either suspended gas supply or a total shutdown, depriving the people of an essential household commodity. Moreover, the shutdown of the CNG stations in different parts of the country has further aggravated the plight of the commuters who use public transport on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) has denied the existence of gas load shedding while also advertising against illegal use of compressors and pumps.
Speaking about the worsening situation in India in light of the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Firdous said that the two-nation theory of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had won and now Indian were thinking about the proponents of the theory.
She said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried to impose the new citizenship law on people, prompting the people to get out on the streets against the extremist government.
She said that Mod’s Hindutava has miserably failed in India and his extremist policies have ruined India’s reputation as a secular state. “India is facing internal conflicts and confrontation and to divert attention from these issues, the Indian Army is targeting the civilian population in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) through cross-border shelling,” she said, adding that the Pakistan Army has given a befitting response to Indian aggression.
Speaking about the opposition, she said that those who plundered the country were now posing as people’s representatives.
Referring to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s speech, she said that the party only seems remember Benazir Bhutto, whose death anniversary falls on December 27, during elections to win the public’s favour.
“Those who were brought in to politics on recommendations have the audacity to call the prime minister ‘selected’,” she said, responding to Bilawal’s frequent use of the word.
She also said that the opposition continues to denounce democracy during PM Imran’s tenure as it is not the type of democracy they want. “The prime minister is not in favour of the type of democracy where you worry about the wellbeing of your own children and not that of the nation’s children. Your own conduct is undemocratic. You should bring democracy to your own province,” she added.
The SAPM also had something to say to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz, who has moved the court for removal of her name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
“During elections you used to tout the slogan ‘vote ko izzat do’ [give respect to the vote]. You claimed that you would stand by the people during their hardships. So why are you all fleeing one by one?” she asked.
“Imran Khan is the saviour this country needs. He will enable the nation to stand on its own two feet,” she added.
Speaking about the ongoing political situation, she said that harmony among institutions is the need of the hour.