ISLAMABAD:  In an apparent move to defend the government, federal minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif said that the deaths occurred owing to severe heat in Karachi had no connection with electricity loadshedding.

Speaking at the National Assembly, the minister claimed that no load-shedding was being carried out anywhere in the country during Seher and Iftar on the directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said the death in Karachi occurred due to harsh wave of heat, and not load-shedding.

Federal government is not responsible if there is water shortage in Karachi. We are ready for accountability but it’s not appropriate to blame us for each and every thing. Will you hold the federal government responsible for deaths in Tharparkar?” the minister said.

On Opposition’s demand, Khawaja Asif presented facts and figures in the house stating that Sindh has to pay Rs.55 billion arrears to the federal government. He said the federal government was providing 650 MW power to K-Electrics, “but it’s selling out low-priced electricity to masses on expensive rates.”

Responding to Khawaja Asif’s statement, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah lashed out at the government for its failure to curb load-shedding in Karachi. He advised the government to takeover K-Electric.

“Come forward to takeover K-Electrics, we will support you,” Shah said, claiming that the heat wave has left nearly 1200 people dead in Karachi.

Lawmakers of PTI and MQM also addressed the house and criticized the government over power crisis.