Protest against proposed Wapda privatisation

Rawalpindi: A large number of employees of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) on Wednesday staged a protest demonstration against the proposed privatisation of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).

Protesters held placards and raised slogans against the government. They blocked traffic for more than one hour on Benazir Bhutto Road. Protesters also took out a rally from Liaquat Bagh to Mareer Chowk.

Addressing the rally, Pakistan Wapda Hydroelectric Labour Union Chairman Mian Rehman Ghani said that Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) was providing best services to its consumers and also getting profit then why the government want to privatise it. He said around 140,000 employees are working in Wapda in different parts of the country and around 30,000 to 35,000 employees are working in Iesco. The privatisation of this department would affect these employees and would create problems for them. We would not allow anyone to create problems for more than 140,000 families, he added.

Mian Rehman Ghani said that they would cut the electricity of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and would stage protest in front of Parliament House, if the government would take any action to privatise the department.

Pakistan Wapda Hydroelectric Labour Union Regional Vice Chairman Raja Khalil said that the government was trying to privatise this department during the tenure of Raja Pervez Ashraf, but they forced the government to take their decision. Now they are once again trying to privatise our department and this time too we would not let them to do so, he added.

Raja Khalil has said privatisation of Wapda would the economic murder of around 140,000 families and they would not allow anyone to do so.

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