Better sense seems to have prevailed on both sides – federal government and All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) – as a result of which a likely unfortunate situation has been averted. Aptma had earlier chalked out a plan to protest a decision of Secretary Water and Power who made history by switching off Punjab’s entire industry despite the fact that overall domestic needs dropped to just 7,800MW against 13,000MW during the peak hours. Sensing the sensitivity of the situation Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar intervened and assured Aptma that power supply would be restored by Monday. It is, indeed, callous to suspend gas and electricity supply to a vital sector risking losses of billions and rendering millions workers jobless.

Aptma does not mince words accusing the federal government of being biased against Punjab and making faulty policies. It is appreciable, though, that Mr Ahmed Mukhtar invited a representative delegation of Aptma to Islamabad for a joint approach to resolve the crisis. It may be recalled that Punjab Chief Minister has long been demanding equal treatment to his province in the utilization of national resources. Now that general elections are around the corner, the federal government must act wisely and discourage such elements who are out to create misunderstanding among the federating units.