The local chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami Landikotal, or JI, held a protest demonstration on Sunday against load shedding in Landikotal, just south of Peshawar, wanting to close Landikotal bazaar in the next phase if the load shedding monster were not contained immediately. The protesters were holding banners with slogans against load shedding, WAPDA/ TESCO and administration and were chanting slogans against the government and officials here.
JI held the protest demonstration in Landikotal bazaar which was led by its FATA leaders Zarnoor Afridi and Hasan Shinwari. Afridi deplored that both the government and the political administration were not interested to resolve the longstanding problems of the unfair and excessive load shedding in Landikotal and other trial areas. “There is a scarcity of potable water in Landikotal, which is a fundamental right of the tribal people,” he said, urging the government forthwith to construct the Barani dams (small rain dams) in all the tribal areas including Landikotal to cope with the excessive load shedding and lack of water.
The ANP-led provincial government has failed to control load shedding in the province to give relief to the people even in the holy month of Ramadan, Afridi criticized, adding that the MNA from Landikotal was missing since his election to come forward to solving the peoples’ problems.
Afridi regretted that the government was involved in high scale corruption. That was why the rulers had no time for the solution of the problems that had disrupted the daily life of the people. He disclosed that the MNA from Landikotal was creating hurdles in the installation of the solar system to run the tube wells, which is condemnable. Nuclear and coal energy can be utilized for overcoming the load shedding problem in the country, Zarnoor said.
JI Khyber Agency vice president Hasan Shinwari in his speech charged that Landikotal grid officials were involved in corruption after the saw the wide spread corruption and cruelty on the checkposts in Khyber Agency. Royalty of Warsak dam is our right, but neither that royalty nor light is provided from the Warsak dam, Shinwari lamented, saying the tribesmen will have to come out to roads to protest in order to get their basic rights otherwise the government is not serious to listen to their genuine complains.
The price hike in Landikotal bazaar and the shortage of ice has disturbed the people, but the authorities are silent to take action to control the prices of various commodities, Hasan Shinwari regretted. He said that load shedding had caused water shortage problem, which has irked the masses.
JI Khyber general secretary Murad Hussain Afridi said that on the one hand the load shedding had disturbed the people, while on the other hand the Khasadar officials and their personnel have increased bribes and corruption on the illegal and self-made check points such as Changai and Ziarai, which must be noticed. They came hard on the political administration for not taking interest to solve the basic problems of the people at Landikotal.
Later, the protesters dispersed peacefully.