ISLAMABAD: Coalition partner of the ruling party in the National Assembly JUI-F on Tuesday criticised the government for its failure to end gas load shedding in its three and a half year tenure.
Presenting a motion, JUI-F MNA Naeema Kishwar Khan said still the country was confronting gas loadshedding. She demanded the government take immediate measures to overcome gas shortages. Supporting the JUI-F, the ruling party’s Tahira Aurangzeb informed the house that gas load shedding was one of the leading causes behind the rising number of divorces in the country. She went on to say that due to gas load shedding quarrels erupted in a large number of houses because housewives were unable to prepare food. It also came to light that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline was still held up due to international sanctions on Tehran.
Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told the House that the IP project was still confronting international sanctions. Any progress on the project was not possible unless sanctions were completely lifted on Tehran. The minister said government’s steps to stop gas shedding during the winter seasons could not give any indication of an immediate end to the gas shortage. The government made hectic efforts to move forward on the IP project but it was not possible till the complete lifting of international sanctions.
However, he assured the house that hectic efforts were underway to overcome gas shortages in the country, claiming that the gas load shedding would end gradually in the coming two to three years. The government had accelerated the efforts of domestic exploration of oil and gas to meet the energy shortage in the country. There was a 40 percent increase in the domestic consumers of gas in winter in Punjab. The minister also claimed that there was a 33 percent increase in exploration and the success ratio was 54 percent. He stated that 90 new discoveries of gas had been made in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The Minister took credit for the import of LNG, saying it was a big achievement of the government to meet the ever-increasing energy demand.