Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar dismisses the uproar over inflated electricity bills as a “non-issue” amidst nationwide protests, deeming it a political ploy wielded by certain parties as an electoral weapon.
Kakar contends that this matter, which has ignited widespread public outrage, is being cynically exploited by political entities as a pivotal element of their election campaigns. He observes, “It is not a very serious issue, but political parties are in election mode and using it as a social cause.”
The interim Prime Minister acknowledges the strategic calculus behind such political posturing, expressing empathy, stating, “I realize their position. If I were to contest the election, I would have followed the same as well.”
Intriguingly, Kakar avers that the security forces are conscientiously fulfilling their obligations by not availing themselves of a single unit of complimentary electricity, diligently settling their bills from the allocated budget. However, he notes that employees of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) are availing themselves of free electricity units, and he emphasizes the need to rationalize their usage, particularly among higher-ranking officers who are currently benefiting from substantial amounts of gratis electricity.
As the nation grapples with surging electricity costs, protests have burgeoned, spreading from Karachi to Khyber. Some demonstrations have escalated into acts of civil unrest, with citizens expressing their vehement displeasure. Karachi residents, served by K-Electric as their sole electricity provider, have been particularly vocal about bills that surpass their earnings, igniting their frustration.
The fervor of public dissent has engulfed other cities such as Peshawar, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Narowal, Attock, Sargodha, and Haripur, all clamoring against the escalating tariff rates. Traders have resorted to symbolic acts of protest, including burning their power bills, symbolizing their indignation at what they perceive as “injustice.”
In the midst of this nationwide fervor, Pakistan grapples with the multifaceted challenge of soaring electricity prices, a political quagmire, and a populace that demands resolute action to alleviate their economic burdens.
This imbroglio underscores the intersection of politics and public sentiment, with the discourse around electricity bills serving as a crucible for political maneuvering in the run-up to elections.