KARACHI - The Karachi chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) marked Friday as black day to condemn the continuous loadshedding by the K-Electric during the holy month of Ramazan.

The call for the protest against the private power company was given by JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman to denounce the prolonged power loadshedding, illegal overcharging and other acts of the K-Electric.

On Friday, demonstrations were staged outside various mosques after Friday prayers. The JI Karachi chief and other party leaders and workers hoisted black flags outside the K-Electric head office. Similarly, district chapters of the JI hoisted black flags at various key points of the city to register their protest against the private power company. Demonstrations were also staged under the supervision of JI leaders Zafar Jan, Younus Barai, Abdul Razaq Khan, Abdul Rasheed and Abdul Jameel to condemn K-Electric’s “illegal acts”.

Addressing the workers outside the KE head office, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that his party would take its campaign against the KE to a logical end. He said that his party had been protesting for the last several months against “the nexus among KE, NEPRA and the government”.

On the one hand, he said, the KE had inflicted misery on consumers by issuing them excessive bills, increasing tariff, resorting to long hours of loadshedding and banning installation of multiple meters at multi-storey buildings, while on the other the private power company was forcing the consumers to bear with excessive power outages in the holy month of Ramazan, especially during Sehr and Iftar.

He said that Ramazan is the month of blessings, but the KE is creating problems for the people in this month. He criticised the KE and NEPRA for their “anti-people policies”. He said that rulers had announced that there would be no loadshedding during Iftar and Sehr. Instead, he said, the KE was not only carrying out loadshedding during Sehr and Iftar, but it had also increased the duration of loadshedding.

He said the KE had been mocking the rulers through its actions. He demanded that the authorities ensure reimbursement of Rs200 billion allegedly extorted by the KE from power consumers. He said the company had looted over Rs200 billion from Karachiites and offered them only loadshedding. He alleged that the KE was doing loadshedding, but not running its power plants to their full capacity.

Naeem demanded that the government declare an emergency at KE and do forensic audit of company’s accounts. He said the Pakistan Army should be involved in the matter under Article 245 of the Constitution. He said that entire Karachi was demanding nationalisation of the KE. If the rulers neglected the rage of the people, they would hold them accountable for KE’s misdeeds, he concluded.