Pakhtunkhwa minister threatens to disconnect power supply from Tarbela

ISLAMABAD – Reacting over the comments of Federal Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Muhammad Asif that supplies will be terminated if consumers will not pay their electricity and water bills, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mushtaq Ghani has threatened to disconnect power supply from Tarbela dam.

Talking to a private TV channel, the provincial minister said that the Pakhtunkhwa province would not be paying electricity and gas bills along with federal taxes and if utilities were disconnected to the province, power supply from Tarbela to Punjab would be stopped.

Tarbela Dam – the largest earth-filled dam in the world and second largest by structural volume – is located in Haripur district of Hazara Division in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The dam forms the Tarbela reservoir with a surface area of approximately 250 square kilometre. Completed in 1974, the dam was designed to store water from the Indus river for irrigation, flood control, and the generation of hydroelectric power.

Ghani said that the provincial taxes would be collected as per routine but the public would not be paying any federal taxes along with electricity and gas bills. He said that the civil disobedience movement was against the federal government and not the government managing the province.

To a question, the provincial minister said that if the centre dared to disconnect power supply to Pakhtunkhwa, the province would have the right to stop supply from Tarbela which falls within the provincial jurisdiction. He said that the civil disobedience would be practiced countrywide except in Pakhtunkhwa.

The minister said that the provincial government has never been implicated in any case of corruption which was why civil obedience would not be practiced in the province. Ghani said this was a peaceful way to change the government and “we want to register our protest without causing any bloodshed.”

The minister said that the PTI government was not ignorant of its responsibilities, adding it was aware of the situation in the province. “We are dealing with both – governance of the province as well as our protest – effectively,” he said.

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