PESHAWAR: Even the Taliban have joined the chorus as the rest of the country riots over load-shedding, voicing their frustrations over the constant blackouts. In an interesting twist to the ongoing electricity crisis plaguing Pakistan, a little-known militant commander in North Waziristan has warned Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) officials to either mend their ways, or face the music.
By Manzoor Ali
Published: October 5, 2011
Abdul Khaliq Haqqani, a former member of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group’s shura, phoned local reporters and threatened to bring the Tribal Areas Electric Supply Company (TESCO) Chief and Executive Engineer to North Waziristan in order to be ‘punished’. He insisted that their homes would be targeted if electricity was not restored in North Waziristan within 48 hours and warned that suicide bombings would not be ruled out.
The militant leader’s furious tirade at least partially echoes the complaints of disgruntled citizens around the country — on the one hand, military operations have taken a huge toll on the tribal areas, while on the other hand, TESCO was ‘ruining people’s lives on the pretext of electricity bills’, he said.
Haqqani’s fury was not limited to the authorities and threatened local reporters by saying that if his statements were not published, their newspapers would not be ‘allowed access’ in North Waziristan.
In addition, he demanded that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chapters of Mohmand and Darra Adamkhel should help his own militant outfit in capturing the TESCO chief.
Currently, North Waziristan and Bannu district are facing 21 hours of load-shedding a day.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2011.