Karachi  -   Sindh Transport Minister Owais Qadir Shah on Thursday issued 24-hour deadline to the federal government for resumption of gas supply to CNG stations and industries in the province.

At a press conference, Owais Qadir said the government will face dire consequences if they did not take steps for gas resumption. There will be Dama Dam Mast Qalandar against the federal government if the gas supply was not restored. He said the provincial government will throw its weight behind the industrialists and transporters in its protest against the federal government.

CM’s Adviser on Information Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Minister for Energy Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh and PPP senior leader Nisar Ahmed Khuhro were also present at the joint press conference.

Separately, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, in a statement issued from his office, demanded immediate restoration of the gas supply and said that under Article 158, people of Sindh had the first right over the gas as the province was producing 70 percent of the energy in Pakistan. Shah said that gas crisis had prompted a severe crisis as not only domestic consumers were bearing the brunt but the industries, power projects, CNG stations had also been closed due to non-supply of gas. He said electricity generation had also been adversely affected due to the unavailability of gas.

Advisor to Chief Minister on Information Murtaza Wahab said it was an admission of failure when Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was unaware of the crisis. The minister said that federal government showing a discriminatory attitude towards Sindh.

Wahab warned that the crisis could create law and order issue in the province, adding that CNG stations’ closure could increase unemployment.

The Sindh government ministers criticised the federal government over gas shortage in the province, saying that people of Sindh were being subjected to discrimination. They urged Prime Minister Khan not to force people of the province to take to the streets for their demands.

They said PTI prior to coming into power had made tall claims to dispense of justice and uphold rule of law. However, when they were in power, they were committing flagrant violations of Article 158 of the Constitution.

They said the people of Sindh were first deprived of water and now being deprived of gas as well. They said that two things were crystal clear that either PTI regime was incompetent or it was wittingly deviating from the Constitution. They further said that government of Sindh had already taken up the matter with the federal government and was also in constant touch with the stake holders and people to express solidarity with them.

Imtiaz Ahmad Shaikh said that they had conveyed Sindh stance to federal government and added that they would record their protest at every forum. He said that despite promises made by federal government, the gas supply had been reduced and demanded of the prime minister to take immediate notice of the situation and issue directions for restoration of gas supplies. He said that Sindh had no representation in Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and Sindh had not been taken into confidence on power agreements.

Qadir Shah said that owing to closure of CNG stations, flow of public transport had badly been affected in Karachi and vehicles vanished from roads. He maintained that 100,000 people were unable to attend their duties.

Murtaza Wahab said the government believed in respecting the constitution of Pakistan and every article mentioned in the constitution was important to them. He added that people of Pakistan could not be served until implementation on every article in letter and spirit.