Rawalpindi - “What do you do when the sun goes down? If you or your children want to read a book, you need to switch on light. But for the residents of Malik Colony, which lacks access to electricity, darkness is a bitter reality.”

Muhammad Jamil (49), a retired army officer and resident of Malik Colony, expressed these views while talking to The Nation here on Saturday. He said that like him there were many other residents who had been living without electricity in the area even in this modern age.

Malik Colony comprising 50 houses lies in the area of National Assembly (NA) constituency 52, from where Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan bagged a comprehensive win in general elections 2013. Similarly, Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal, another top leader of PML-N, also fought election from the same constituency (PP-6) and was elected as MPA with a huge margin. Unfortunately, both the leaders have badly failed in providing their voters the basic need of life, electricity.

Muhammad Jamil said that the owners of 35 to 40 houses located in the area had tendered more than 600 applications during the last six years before different quarters including Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Chaudhry Muhammad Afzal, Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal and WAPDA high-ups, requesting them to provide them with the facility of electricity but nobody paid heed towards their lingering problem.

“When night falls, we and our families feel as if we are living in a jungle,” he said, adding that due to absence of electricity, the criminals often looted people and barged into their houses and ran away with valuables, cash and mobile phones.

Muhammad Aslam, a government employee, was of view that they were facing hardships without electricity in their houses. “I use mobile light often to see my office files at home. I am a poor man with meagre salary and cannot buy a generator to produce electricity,” he said.

Azam Ali, Muhammad Anwar, Ishfaq Khan, Zahra Jabeen and Shumaila Bibi, all students of colleges and universities, are also facing difficulties while preparing their lessons in darkness. They said that without light, life was full of troubles as they could not study during night in darkness. They came down hard on politicians saying, “Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal made promises of providing electricity to Malik Colony during electioneering. And now when both have won and are enjoying power, they have forgotten their voters and even promises too.” The students demanded of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the issue and remove darkness from the lives of residents of Malik Colony by ordering WAPDA high-ups to install poles and transformers in the area so that the residents could get facility of electricity.

Despite repeated attempts, Federal Minister on Interior and MNA from NA-52 Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Khan could not be contacted for his comments whereas the cellphone of MPA Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal, when phoned by this scribe, was received by one Babar Abbas, the personal secretary of MPA, who told this scribe, “Sarfraz is busy in a meeting in Lahore and cannot talk to you.”