The government move to raise oil prices has not just pleased the IMF, as it is meant to. It has had the consequence of both people coming out on the streets to protest power outages, as well as yielding obscene profits to oil companies. While consumers come out into the street to protest loadshedding, there is a report in this newspaper of the oil companies making $965 million profit in the first nine months of the fiscal, thus heading towards the first billion-dollar year ever in Pakistan. Apparently, these profits bear no direct relationship with loadshedding, until it is remembered that much of Pakistans power generation is thermal, which is fired by oil imported through the oil companies. This is comfortably profitable, and the burden is borne by the ordinary consumer. It having been ensured that there would not be gas available to fire the thermal units, there is no option but oil, thus giving the oil companies extraordinary profits. The protesters were not really protesting the price of electricity, but its availability. With the coming of summer, with the heat only being made livable by the operation of electricity-powered cooling devices, the loadshedding forced on the citizen is unpleasant enough to drive him into the streets in protest. The heat has not really reached its peak, and we are only at the beginning of May. The distribution companies should thus be ready for even more protests. If somehow the supply problem was fixed, people would then turn their attention to the bills they are receiving, and which provide the oil companies their profits. The government should note that the turmoil was created in the Arab world just over such basic issues. If it does not solve the problem this summer, it should ensure that no one profits by the peoples suffering, if it does not want to be swept away.