Awais Leghari seeks Mohsin Naqvi's help to deal with KP grid station incidents

KP government has stopped the police from taking action against lawmakers for leading protests

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Federal Energy Minister Awais Leghari (left) and Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi in a meeting with KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur on May 27, 2024. — APP
  • "Responsible people" leading protests in grid station, letter reads.
  • Leghari asks Naqvi that LEAs provide tight security on grids stations.
  • KP CM had declared fixing duration of load-shedding to 12 hours.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Energy Minister Awais Leghari on Wednesday sought Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi’s help to tackle gatecrash incidents at different grid stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, triggered in the wake of protests against power cuts in various cities and districts across the province.

In a letter to Mohsin Naqvi, the energy minister wrote that responsible people are leading these protests referring to lawmakers’ involvement in these raids.

Such incidents are happening in Mardan, Charsadda, Tank, Bannu and Peshawar due to power outages, the minister wrote in his letter, mentioning a report by the chief executive officer of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO).

"Provincial assembly members and others gave illegal orders to grid station staff regarding power restoration," the letter read, adding that this situation poses a threat to the safety of grid stations and personnel.

Leghari sought the interior ministry’s help after KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur forcefully entered a grid station in Dera Ismail Khan and forcibly restored the power supply, declaring his "very own" load-shedding plan.

The chief minister raided the facility after an electricity load-shedding dispute in the province reached a critical point.

"No area will face load-shedding beyond 12 hours. Assembly members should visit grid stations in their respective areas to ensure compliance with the load-shedding schedule," CM Gandapur said, and warned the federal government over the matter.

The energy minister, on the other hand, insisted that a lot of losses and power theft occur on these feeders where power has been restored forcibly.

Leghari, in his letter, stated that the police are not registering cases against those responsible.

"This is encouraging the people of other districts to take the law into their hands," he wrote, requesting that the interior minister direct law enforcement agencies to provide tight security on grids.

"Unrelated persons should be prevented from entering grids. PESCO authority to file cases against those who trespass in grid stations," Leghari's letter read.

The trend of forcibly entering power grid stations in KP began after Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Fazal Elahi, a member of the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), strong-armed his way into the Rehman Baba grid station in Peshawar on Tuesday and restored power in his area after protests erupted due to load-shedding.

In May, too, enraged citizens in the KP capital city had restored electricity by storming into the Hazar Khawani grid station, after incessant load-shedding led to protests in the midst of scorching weather.

It is important to note that Gandapur had held a series of meetings last month with Naqvi and Leghari on the issue and they agreed to solve the matter amicably through negotiations.