ISLAMABAD - Showing his surprise over prolonged loadshedding in the country, Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Thursday said as to why masses were facing such excessive power outgas even after the payment of Rs500 billion to IPPs by the federal government.A statement issued by the PTI Central Secretariat said that PTI chief took notice of the prolonged loadshedding timed to coincide with the rising temperatures as summer arrives across the country.Condemning the unjust power outages, Imran Khan said that it of course has targeted the poor and middle classes of the country as elite and rulers have generators to tide them over in the oppressive heat. "The poor labourers or agricultural workers and their families will be subject to more torture as they are made to pay the price for the rulers' blunders and corruption," he added. Imran Khan said it was unforgivable to find that loadshedding has reached new heights with rural areas suffering around 18 hours of power outages and urban areas around 12 hours. He demanded to know from the government why people have to face such increased loadshedding when the government paid Rs500 billion to the IPPs to end circular debt by borrowing money and printing notes?He also asked why people are being subjected to increased loadshedding and also doubling of electricity bills - especially since the raise in electricity tariff was done in the name of ending loadshedding?He condemned the targeting of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa with raise in power tariffs. The chairman PTI sought an explanation as to why line losses remained at the same level as they were under the PPP government? He also wondered why bill recovery is even lower now than it was under the PPP regime?The chairman PTI said that apart from the human torture inflicted by loadshedding on the poor and middle classes in the blistering heat of summer, industry and agriculture are also heading towards destruction from which recovery may not be possible. "For those who keep their wealth and assets outside the country, this destruction is of little concern but for the rest of the nation this systematic destruction of both the industrial and agricultural sectors of the country is unacceptable," he added.PTI’S PUNJAB-WIDE PROTESTS TODAYStaff Reporter from Lahore adds: The PTI will hold Punjab-wide protests and rallies today against the major blackouts in the name of load management. PTI Punjab president Ijaz Chaudhry, following the directions by party chairman Imran Khan, asked all the district organisations to hold protests and rallies against the ongoing blackouts in the name of load management, outside the press clubs of their respective districts. He will also lead a protest rally in the provincial capital. Chairing a party meeting, he said that 16-hour power loadshedding was being carried out in major cities while 18-hour in villages in Punjab. Ijaz remarked that the state minister staged a drama of disconnecting power connections of the government properties to fool the masses; however the ruling elite are the real defaulter and not the common man. He said that the circular debt has increased to Rs300 billion while the electricity theft to Rs 250 billion. He claimed that Punjab tops in cases of electricity theft, and the thieves were directly or indirectly connected with the ruling party.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 02-May-2014 here.