People have every right to protest for their rights, says CM Sindh

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KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said people have every right to protest against shortages of drinking water and power, and invited all political parties to stage a sit-in outside the Prime Minister House in Islamabad.

He was referring to people who were planning to hold a sit-in outside the Chief Minister House.

During a press conference in his chamber at the Sindh Assembly here on Thursday, Mr Shah alleged that the ruling PML-N had unleashed a policy of ‘crushing’ Sindh and its people by reducing water, power and transfers of funds.

“This is a political agenda which is affecting not only our day-to-day life but our agro-industrial economy as well,” he said.

He said he had written two letters to the prime minister and talked to him on telephone at least six times to draw his attention towards the SSGC and K-Electric dispute.

“The PM told me that he will speak to both entities (SSGC and KE). Instead, he deputed Miftah Ismail to settle the dispute,” Mr Shah said and added that when he called Mr Ismail on his mobile phone it was playing a message that he was out of the country.

Giving details of the dispute, the CM said the SSGC claimed that the KE had to pay outstanding dues of Rs29 billion, therefore, it had reduced gas supply from 276mmcfd to 90mmcfd to the KE.

“As a result, four gas-based power plants of KE have stopped generating electricity. But when the SSGC claim was audited, it was found that the principal amount was Rs13bn while the rest were late payment charges and interest,” he added.

The chief minister said the KE was ready to clear the old amount in instalments with full current payment of gas. The court has also directed the SSGC to supply 276mmcfd gas to KE.

“The federal government has 73 per cent share in SSGC and 24pc in KE. This is your [federal government’s] dispute. Why are you penalising Karachi?” the chief minister questioned.