Despite the directive of Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif to Ministry of Water and Power and power distribution companies to ensure that there is no load shedding during Sehr and Iftar timings many parts of the country were plunged into darkness during the very first Sehr of Ramadan. As people toiled for hours without power violent protests erupted in many places. The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the worst hit as many parts of the province were deprived of power for more than twenty hours.
There were massive protests in districts Peshawar, Charsasda, Mardan, Swabi, Kohat, Dera Ismail Khan, Karak and Dir. Violent mob torched a grid station in Charsadda, other Government offices were also set on fire. There were also reports of clashes between power deprived protestors and police. The situation was not much different in Punjab as different areas in Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Kasur, Sheikhupira and Sahiwal plunged into darkness right after midnight, people hoped and prayed for power to return but were left disappointed as power didn’t return until after the Fajr prayers in most areas. The fate of citizens of Karachi was also the same and people were forced to carry out the preparations for the first Sehr in candle light.
The unprecedented load shedding was despite the assurances of Federal Minister of Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif who had assured that there will be uninterrupted power supply during Sehr and Aftar throughout Ramadan. However all the promises and assurances proved to be mere talk as millions suffered across the country without power on the very first day of Ramadan. It is hoped that the Government will work on the severe incompetence at show today and make good on its promise of providing relief to the citizens during the Sehr and Aftar duration at least. The Government failed to keep its repeated promise of relief in load shedding during Ramadan.