MULTAN

The workers of Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) observed strike for the second consecutive day as a protest against the proposed privatisation of distribution companies (Discos) here on Wednesday.

They staged demonstrations in different parts of Multan and adjoining areas. The protesters demanded the government should reverse its decision about privatising the distribution companies (Discos) because the move could render thousands of workers jobless. Meanwhile, hundreds of workers assembled outside Multan Press Club to lodge protest against the government decision to privatise or hand over the Discos to private buyers. The leaders slammed the government’s plans to privatise profit-earning institutions following what he said pressure from the United States, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

SMUGGLING BID FOILED: The Customs Authorities have foiled a bid to smuggle  Auto mobiles worth Rs20 million into the country and busted an inter-provincial gang of car smugglers after an encounter near Taunsa Barrage  and arrested four smugglers  who were later identified as Ismat-ullah Khan ,Muhammad Arif ,Abdul Majeed of Lora Lai(Balochistan) and Allah Ditta of Muzaffargarh. Briefing the mediamen Collector Customs Multan Sarfraz Ahmed Waraich said that the customs staff blocked the road near Taunsa Barrage Toll-Plaza and as the smugglers saw the road blocked they took a turn  to flee but staff of rangers deployed at the Taunsa Headwork foiled their attempt and caught them after a slight resistance. However two smugglers in third car managed to escape. Faizan Badar Assistant Collector led the customs team while Additional Collector Ghulam Mustafa was monitoring the operation.Customs inspectors Zia Bhatti, Arshad Mateen ,Constables Muhammad Jamil, Ghulam Abbas, Shabbir ,Jamil and Munawar Hassan took part in the mission.The Collector told that Customs Anti Smuggling Squad  has seized smuggle goods worth Rs.36 million during two weeks and registered 21 cases of smuggling.He said that we have seized nine vehicles worth Rs.7 million, 56,000 litres of Furnace oil,Two truck loaded with Iranian Ceramic tiles, 15,000 yards of cloth, motor oil,tyres and electronic goods.The arrested smugglers  are  being interrogated to acquire the details of market buyers of these vehicles and the travelling data of the accused.The Court has granted their physical remand for a week.