CNG dealers in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad area went on strike Tuesday as the first phase of a protest against the Cabinet's decision to close down the pumps for two days a week to ensure that household and industrial needs are met this winter. Apart from the inconvenience caused to motorists in the twin cities, commuters also suffered, and attendance at offices was thin, because public transport, which runs on CNG, also was forced off the roads. The strike is to be repeated in Lahore and Sargodha today, followed by Multan and Bahawalpur on Saturday. The CNG dealers are demanding that the government hold talks with their Association. The government has been threatened with an indefinite strike from November 15 in the Punjab and the NWFP, if it does not take back its decision. To an extent, the crisis is not of the government's creation. It did not originate the current policy of switching vehicles, especially formerly diesel-powered public transport, to CNG, which was done to reduce pollution, not for any other reason, and which had created smog over large cities in winters. While they had bent over backwards to persuade drivers to change over, the energy crisis hit, and led to loadshedding, both of gas and electricity, hitting both the domestic consumer and industry. The present government can claim that it did nothing more than act in continuity, and that the present measure is not avoidable. However, the government, if it devoted more attention to governance, would have solved the problem of winter gas loadshedding, which has resulted in the present problem. At least it would have shown greater sensitivity to the problems of consumers, by not having two consecutive days of loadshedding, but of staggering them. There are a host of other measures which could have been adopted, such as staggering the hours of gas loadshedding for transport, and placing them in the wee hours, so that ordinary travelers were not affected. The strike in the twin cities was avoidable, and certainly for the rest of the country. However, for that, the government must care.