ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's energy crisis, with power outages on top of it, accentuating beyond the government's control despite interventions by President Asif Ali Zardari, has now started igniting political unrest eventually to endanger the longevity of the PPP-rule. Contrary to the claims of Water and Power Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and that of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) people across the country are faced with increasingly unannounced load shedding. Consequently, the masses are forced to come out on the streets to protest against the outages and general price hike. According to well-placed sources, the President's instructions that he issued while chairing a recent high-level meeting on energy crisis, for immediate release of funds to the independent power producers (IPPs) hardly worked since the Finance Ministry is out of funds to finance even day to day expenses. The Finance Ministry owes on behalf of the WAPDA nothing less than Rs 60 billion to the IPPs, most of which have stopped generation due to lack of working capital having huge receivables stuck up with the government. Therefore, the sources were of the view that the power crisis fast swelling to be monstrous primarily for the country's energy security flexing muscles to dampen the political stability rendering the regime, already scuffling with the war on terror, faced with more difficulties. The sources believed that the roots of the current crisis of electricity could be traced back to an ambitious rural electrification programme of the former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf. The sources told The Nation that the former President was informed by the then responsible authorities as well technocrats that expanding of the electricity distribution network without prior enhancing of the generation capacity would be suicidal. However, the quick publicity hungry former President least bothered about the advice and estimates of electricity demand and supply gap rising to the level of a crisis. Therefore, the provision of electricity connections to thousands of villages as per the desires of the former President not only put more pressure on the demand side but also exhausted billions of rupees earmarked by then for the development of the power sector. Now, the sources observed, the PPP government would not be able to resolve the issue of electricity shortages on an urgent basis except for promoting energy conservation. Secondly, the arrangement of funds to pay receivables of IPPs could partially ease down the ever increasing demand pressure by resumption of power generation plants closed down due to lack of working capital.