“Crisis” is one word which has become part of ordinary Pakistani’s vocabulary like nothing else. 1st we have sugar crisis, then wheat followed by electricity and to add more fuel to the fire now we are going through the worst gas shortage in our history. In Punjab this crisis has hurt the most with every person suffering its consequences. Thousands of daily waged workers have become job less in industrial areas like Faisalabad, in homes women folk is suffering to feed their children, passengers wait for hours as the public transport has no CNG while those having personal transport wait for hours in order to obtain much required CNG refilling.
Our innocent executives like their predecessor have a bucket full of excuses in order to justify this mismanagement. For price hike and declining economy they have the common tag line of “market mechanism” and ”global slow down” to justify this phenomena. In case of electricity and gas load shedding they can find no good reason but to curse increasing demand. The reality which they never accept is the fact that this shortfall is depriving our state from billions of rupees by not availing this opportunity of earning revenue, instead of wasting time on IMF imposed RGST and much more. Some conspiracy theories have floated for quite sometime blaming this shortfall as a dirty mean to maximize their benefits. Like in electricity crisis they have managed to pull out the much debated Rental Power Projects while in case of gas shortage they are earning billions from taxes imposed on petroleum products and LPG. In short this recklessness can only be justified by only one reason, which is that our plans on day to day basis rather than planning in years as done in the developed countries.
Since Grade-1 we have learned from our text books that Pakistan is self sufficient and blessed with vast untapped resources of natural gas. The argument remained correct for much of our history, but mismanagement and personnel greed has landed us in this situation. Its on record that still many wells are not operational in Balochistan and other parts of the country. Even if we ignore it, there is no account of unexplored reserves awaiting discovery. Like in many other cases, soon we will hear that most of them have been leased to some smoky foreign party in suspicious circumstances. To make it short, common man in Pakistan will keep on suffering while those in corridors of power will keep behaving like “imperialists from history”.
Shakespeare has been proven wrong in his assessment of worldly matters by the capable leadership of Pakistan. He had the opinion that “this world is a stage and we are mere actors playing our part”. In Pakistan its nearly the opposite. Every executive and their respective machinery enter the system with a new drama which they plan to execute in their 5 year term. The 180 million citizens of Pakistan are like extras playing characters of helpless masses being ruled, exploited and fooled by the Czars. The pipeline projects like IPI, TAPI and the Qatar gas pipeline projects are still a far cry. Some recent initiatives have been taken but it will take years for them to become practical. The CNG sector has been intentionally destroyed by the government due to ignorance. Having been started as an indigenous, environmental friendly and economical fuel source, it seems that these 3 attributes have not gone down well with the ruling class. In less than a decade the prices have been increased nearly 500% which today stand at approximately 57rs per kg. Due to the above mentioned attributes, the common man turned to CNG and today it runs nearly 75% of the transport. Having said this its worth mentioning that traditional transport system also converted from diesel to CNG in a very short time but it seems this pleasure of affordable energy is something harmful for IMF and our respected government.
The shortage is due to the mismanagement and there is no second argument about it( but it remains unclear if there is shortage in the 1st place or its artificial). Even in this condition, the government policy of 2 consecutive days of load shedding is a crime. Its clear that 1 refilling can last for 1 day in normal circumstances and on the 2nd day every one has to turn to petrol in order to please our honorable executives. They could have done a better job by having load shedding on every alternate day but after ensuring that the gas supply remains up to the mark and available on the proposed day. But my apologies for mentioning something under the domain of “public welfare” as it’s a sin mentioned in the drama we 180 million inhabitants have been hired to act in.
May Allah give our executives a heart which cares for those who are suffering every day and night!