All of a sudden, Pakistan’s most populous province is under wide-scale crisis. There is a huge energy crisis out there in Punjab. Industries, factories and production units are out of operations and there is no production as there is no power. Domestic users are without gas, electricity, water and fuel. Load-shedding is everywhere and the people are loosing their temper big and ugly time.
Though the situation regarding energy is dismal throughout country, but strangly enough all of a sudden it seems that the Punjab has been choked by the unavailability of the energy and the life has come to a standstill. The citizens here loosing their jobs, business and everything and the streets of Punjab have burst into fierce protest against continued load shedding of electricity and gas. Chaos is everywhere, especially in the industrial cities like Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat and Rawalpindi.
People have come out on the roads. The angry demonstrators are torching tyres, pelting stones on the police vehicles, rampaging Wapda offices and torching everything in sight. As usual the police is resorting to baton charge, which let loose a reign of terror in the town. According to the media reports, in Faisalabad, large crowds of vexed citizens at different vintage points of the town angrily demonstrating do not seem to be getting under control by the contingents of police, who appeared outnumbered by the people making a beeline for demonstration.
In the protest, there is no political party invovled. No ethnic, relgiious or political outfit has given any call for the protests. These are common folks comprising of men, women, children who are ill at ease with their lives which has become a living hell and many of them are talking about suicide. Numerous trade and businessmen organizations besides the labour unions have also joined in the people’s protests, which suddenly has intensified and overtaken the whole province sending the routine life paralyzed.
As the system of power, gas, petrol and water is primarily controlled by the federal government and there is no sense of urgency from the Islamabas, people are talking about that this is being done on purpose from the PPP, to make the situation more worse in Punjab and then to overthrow the PML(N)’s Punjab government on the pretext that Punjab government has remained unable to resolve the miseries of the people. It is being said that governor Punjab Salman Taseer is the mastermind of all this rumpus and he is working on direct orders from Asif Ali Zardari.
Governor is all set to oust the Shahbaz Sharif from the chief minsitry and then form a coalition government with PML(Q), and Mushahid Hussain Syed from PML(Q) has also met with Zardari in Islamabad to finalize the details. Governor Taseer’s visit to the Chaudhrys after coming back from Larkana is being seen in this context.
The truth is that the masses are not that foolish and naive. They are sensing what is going on. Throughout Pakistan, if one person is doing anything for the people, he is Shahbaz Sharif of Punjab. If there is government anywhere in Pakistan, then it is in Punjab and the PML(N) has done a commendable job if not ideal despite of the intervention of Salman Taseer & co. It would not merely be unfortunate for the Pakistan, if PPP does any misadventure in that regard, it would be catastrophic for the system, and if PPP gets naughty in Punjab, it will get punished in Islamabad.