FAISALABAD/SIALKOT/KASUR/QUETTA - Prolonged gas and electricity load shedding compelled people across the country to come out onto the streets in protest on Monday, with demonstrations held in Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sargodha, Kasur, Quetta and Gujar Khan.
Hundreds of exporters in Sialkot accompanied by traders, industrial workers, women and children protested against power outages, which they said had crippled the renowned export industry of the city. An infuriated crowd in Sialkot also attacked and ransacked a Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) office during the protest. In Faisalabad, people pelted a vehicle of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) with stones.
A large number of people in Sargodha marched on the roads chanting slogans against low gas pressure in their area. In Kasur, thousands of people took to the streets after a daylong unannounced load shedding. Eight people were injured and many vehicles were damaged in the third such protest in Kasur this week. Protesters shouted slogans against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Sheikh Waseem Akhter and MPA Naeem Safdar Ansari led the protests. In Quetta, protesters blocked Saryab Road and Airport Road with burning tyres causing a traffic jam that lasted hours. They shouted slogans against the administration of gas companies. Meanwhile in Gujar Khan, protesters said they were facing the worst gas load shedding ever, which had coincided with very cold weather. They said they were not even receiving gas for domestic use.