SIALKOT

In place of fuel-starved vehicles, Tongas or horse-carts are being used in weddings due to week-long non-availability of petrol and diesel while petrol is given to new couples as wedding gifts.

As the petrol paucity could not halt the weddings, the grooms reached the wedding places on decorated Tongas by removing all the hurdles. In Sialkot, the Baraat of Muhammad Ehsan went to the outskirts of Pasrur on horse-carts. The family said that the wedding guests including groom had to go to the wedding spot in horse-carts due to non-availability of petrol. "We could not expect petrol crisis while fixing the date of wedding," they said. Meanwhile, the bride's cousins gave two bottles of patrol to the groom as wedding gift.

Also Cantt-based Aamir Sheikh's Baraat left for Gujranwala on Tongas due to non-availability of petrol for the wedding vehicles.

His family said that they found Tonga as the best solution to the critical situation caused by the petrol paucity. "Thus, we managed Tongas from the rural areas of Sialkot districts for the wedding," they said.

Meanwhile, a large number of the people including women and children remained stranded at the bus stops due to non-availability of the public service transport followed by petrol paucity in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils. Women were also found cursing the government for remaining unable to solve the matter.

Cashing in on the situation, the three-wheelers auto rickshaws overcharged the passengers. The rickshaw drivers said that they got petrol on inflated rates thus they were overcharging the passengers.

The public transport remained very thin on all the main roads. Reportedly, the people suffered great ordeal due to paucity of petrol.

Earlier, the filling stations remained closed in Sialkot district as their owners claimed that the government was not supplying them with petrol and diesel. They displayed that petrol is not available.

VISIT: PPP leader and former federal minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan visited the Indian shelling hit villages in Bajwat and Chaprar sectors along the Working Boundary here on Monday.

She expressed solidarity with the local people and strongly condemned the Indian aggression. She termed the shelling on Sialkot bordering villages as an ample proof of violation of the international laws, ceasefire and targeting of the civilian population.