State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Thursday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan was protecting power thieves.

Talking to a private TV channel, Abid Sher Ali said he was being criticised by the PTI chief since he was launching an operation against power thieves.

Abid Sher said the government had given subsidy to the tune of Rs242 billion on electricity but still this ‘kunda’ culture was in practice. He lamented that the government had to increase electricity tariffs due to power thefts.

The state minister said several coal, hydel power and other projects were launched to minimize electricity shortfall. Abid Sher said that posting abuses on Facebook and Twitter was culture of Imran Khan, not Nawaz Sharif.

He said that PTI chief Imran Khan should hold his KPK ministers accountable for power theft. He said that the KPK would not be provided electricity if it did not pay the dues. He said the power thieves would also face the same consequences in Punjab.

The state minister said that dams were property of Pakistan not a personal property of anyone. He said that loadshedding was not a Pak-India war but a public issue. Abid Sher blamed that KPK Minister Shah Farman was forcing people of his constituency to refuse paying their electricity bills.

He said that people of KPK were our brothers but Imran Khan and PTI had launched a campaign against him, adding that the PML-N government would continue working without any discrimination.

The minister urged the PTI chief to behave in a civilized way. He blamed KPK minister Shah Farman was a big power thief while the provincial government was facing 98 percent losses.

Abid said that the ransom was demanded of the federal government after kidnappings of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) employees.

The minister said the KPK government was defaulter of electricity charges worth Rs30 to Rs40 billion. He said only 10 percent consumers pay electricity bills in KPK.

Abid Sher advised Imran Khan to build new dams if he wanted to provide free electricity to people of KPK.