LAHORE - Alleging the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif of supervising the power riots, Governor Sardar Latif Khosa has drawn the CM’s attention to the unrest in the province.
In a letter written under the subject of “Governance crisis in Punjab”, the governor suggested corrective measures to be taken by the CM to set the things right. “The Province of the Punjab is presently in the grip of maladministration and bad governance of the worst order ever, and more poignantly, at the hands of those who never get tired of flaunting good governance claims”, the opening paragraph said.
He wrote that the rebellious agitation, currently causing death and destruction at the roads and streets of the province, was attributable to the federal government’s inability to provide requisite electricity to the people. “However, the hidden agenda at work behind this turbulence is not difficult to decipher even for an ordinary mind. The entire scenario only represents a childish effort on the part of the provincial government to shift the blame of its own inefficiency to the federal government”, the letter said.
Drawing the CM’s attention to Article 157 of the Constitution, the governor said that the 18th Amendment and the subsequent decisions of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) categorically authorize the provinces to construct power houses and grid stations and lay transmission lines for use within the province. “However, the fact remains that the Punjab Government has not produced even a single unit of energy despite lapse of two years after the grant of the aforesaid authorization. Rather, it has employed all its energies previously to vilify and now to nullify the federal authority.” Holding the Punjab govt responsible for the loadshedding, the governor accused it of adamantly refusing to pay the huge arrears of its chronic default to the power distribution companies operating in the province under the federal control. ”At present, these companies jointly owe an amount of Rs10b from the Punjab govt. The payment of these defaulted dues could have considerably improved the circular debt situation in the country, but it is a pity that the Punjab Chief Minister cannot fulfill this moral obligation because he has pumped all financial resources of the province into a massive beautification campaign solely limited to the areas housing his family’s palaces, although it is an other fact that most of these so-called development projects fall in the category of futile and insensible engineering.”
Khosa believed that the bloody attacks targeting the residences and belongings of those hailing from the other side of the political divide were being carried out under the direct supervision and patronage of the ruling party’s outraged leadership.
“According to the reports received so far, federal installations and properties including Wapda offices, Railways trains/tracks and other machinery/equipments have suffered losses to the tune of billions of rupees in the wake of ransacking, looting and arson at the hands of the rioters at different places in the province,” the letter said.