ISLAMABAD   -  All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association (APOTA) on Friday said that around 100 tankers loaded with Iranian oil were entering Pakistan daily and proposed that if it was legalised, it would generate revenue for the country.

All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association (APOTA) also strongly objected to the decision of banning the dilapidated tankers before the deadline of September 2019 and demanded of the government to resolve the issue in 10 days and warned that in case their demand is not met they would observe countrywide strike.

“If the issues pertaining to the oil tankers were not resolved in 10 days, our oil tankers would stop supplying oil in entire Pakistan and this ‘Tabdeeli government (government of change)’ and its ministers would be responsible for it,” chairman of APOTA, Mir Muhammad Yousaf Shahwani said while addressing a press conference here.

The association, while criticising the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum’s recent order to PSO for implementing the OGRA’s standards regulations for tankers on Oct 9, said that the cutoff date was September 2019 for upgrading oil tankers.

Yousaf Shahwani said that on the directives of the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) on 9 October 2018 issued a circular no 183, under which this state-owned OMC has stopped calibrating our oil tankers and has asked us to calibrate it from the third party. Normally, OMCs calibrate tankers for a year. But, despite the PSO’s already calibrated tankers, which still has time to complete a year time, have been stopped from supplying the oil.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Senate standing committee on petroleum had directed the PSO “to strictly follow the queue system except in the case of lorries which are in dilapidated condition and that there should not be 2nd queue. The committee also asked to ban all the lorries which are in dilapidated condition by giving comprehensive reasons for this in writing.

Chairman APOTA alleged that “A senator has bought OGRA, and on his recommendation this circular has been issued. He himself is this oil transportation business.”

Replying a query, Shahwant said that the name of the Senator is Alhaj Taj Muhammad Afridi and added that he was behind this all practice. Shahwani further said that the senator has brought his tankers which have stickers of having 350 horsepower, while in reality these are not of that power.

Yousaf Shahwani further said that every day around 100 tankers of the Iranian oil are moving to Pakistan. He proposed that if it was legalized, it would give revenue to the country. Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is also in cold storage due to the pressure of the United States.

Legal advisor for APOTA Advocate Naeem Haider said that for the last two years, NHA has blocked us from passing our tankers through Kohat tunnel. Our tankers are being called security risk, despite the fact that no such accident of terrorism has occurred due to the oil tankers.

He further said that there are 32,000 tankers working with the 47 OMCs, of which 8500 oil tankers are attached with the PSO. Shahwani said that like previous two governments of the PPP and PML-N, the PTI government was also not paying attention to our issues.