LAHORE   -   Hundreds of electricity/Wapda workers held a large protest rally before Lahore Press Club Friday, marching in a large procession from Bakhtiar Labour Hall Lahore under the aegis of All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union CBA.

They were carrying the national and Kashmir flags and chanting slogans against privatisation of national profitable public utilities of electricity including LESCO, IESCO and Guddu Power Station on the behest of IMF. Veteran trade union leader Khurshid Ahmad, general secretary of the union, reminded the Prime Minister that he had committed to establish Madina State and Nia Pakistan before elections, adding that he had said that national public utilities alike electricity would not be privatized. The bitter and failed experience of privatization of Karachi Electric Supply Company had not only miserably failed but also the company had been failing to pay the lawful electricity dues of Wapda and water and gas worth of billion of rupees and other public utilities. He highlighted that the cost of electricity had risen far higher by privatization of thermal generation by IPP in comparison with the cost of generation of Wapda and GENCO termal generation companies. He demanded to the Prime Minister to intervene and order not to privatize national profitable public utilities of Lahore and Islamabad Electric Supply Companies and Guddu’s 747 meggawatts power station in the wider public interest.

The rally was also addressed by Rana Abdul Shakoor, Osama Tariq, Malik Zahoor, Shams ud Din Solangi (Guddu Power Station), Nosher Khan (Wapda) and other representatives of the union. By a resolution, the house demanded to the Prime Minister to review the proposed privatization of public utilities and listen to the views of the working class instead acting unilaterally otherwise, the workers would be compelled to launch countrywide protest.