ISLAMABAD - All Pakistan CNG Station Owners Association observed strike on Tuesday in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, and from Attock to Jehlum, which created numerous problems for the motorists. The CNG association is protesting against the governments decision to close gas refilling stations for two days a week under its Gas Load Management Programme 2009-10. The association has turned down the governments plan and announced to observe systematic strike in various cities of Punjab including the Federal Capital. All CNG refilling stations in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and from Attock to Jehlum remained closed till mid-night on Tuesday. In Lahore and Sargodha, CNG stations will remain closed tomorrow (November 12), whereas in Multan and Bahawalpur strike will be observed on November 13. Talking to TheNation, Ghayas Abdullah Paracha, President All Pakistan Compressed Natural Gas Association, said that all CNG stations from Attock to Jehulm remained closed to protest governments decision. We apologise to the people as they suffered due to the closure of CNG stations but we have no other option than to observe strike, he said, adding that no official of the government had so far contacted them in this regard. He said, We are demanding of the government to take its decision back mibefore November 15, otherwise CNG dealers would observe indefinite strike in federal capital, Punjab and NWFP. The government, he said, did not take them in to confidence before announcing two-day CNG stations holyday in a week, as it would destroy our business and masses would suffer a lot. He urged the government to take its decision back and prepaare CNG policy for next years On Tuesday, due to closure of gas stations people of Rawalpindi and Islamabad suffered a lot, as majority of vehicles run on the environment friendly fuel. Moreover, fares of the public transports also went up as all the vehicles were forced to run on diesel and petrol instead of CNG. Muhammad Bilal, a resident of the capital city, told TheNation that the governments decision was not in favour of people, as they could not afford petrol and diesel. People are already facing problems in getting sugar and now CNG shortage will add to their miseries, he added. Most of the people were of the view that government should take its decision back as two holydays for CNG stations would create problems for the people, who were already under inflationary pressure. Meanwhile, in Rawalpindi also CNG filling stations observed strike on Tuesday leaving hundreds of thousands of vehicle owners in a state of panic. However, management of four CNG pumps, three of them owned by Caltex and one by Shell, continued sale of CNG at Tarnol, Chaklala Scheme III and Benazir Bhutto Road (Murree Road). Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on these pumps for getting CNG creating problems in smooth flow of traffic The public transport including suzukis, rickshaws, hiace, mini buses and taxis remained off the roads owing to which commuters had to face problems. Attendance in schools, colleges and universities remained thin, as students could not get transport to reach their educational institutions. Muhammad Raffique, a taxi driver, said the governments decision had added to the miseries of the people, who were already hit by atta and sugar shortage. The office-bearers of All Pakistan CNG Association and high-ups of the government should sit together to reach a deal to settle the issue so that the public could be saved from tension, said Aslam Khan, a government employee. Meanwhile, addressing a press conference at Faizabad, All Pakistan CNG Association President Ghayas Abdullah Paracha termed the strike successful. He said the purpose of observing strike was to realise the government that its wrong decision would affect masses, especially public transporters. He demanded of the government to immediately withdraw its decision besides reviewing proposed increase in CNG prices in 2010, otherwise the association would continue its protest campaign.