The consumption of gas along with its production has always remained a bone of contention between the four provinces. A recent report has confirmed that the consumption of gas in the province of Punjab is 1400 percent more than what it actually produces. This means that the balance for other provinces is being disturbed by the distribution to the province of Punjab. According to the report, the rest of the provinces are getting 27 to 37 parents less than what they are producing. For instance, Balochistan is consuming 37 percent less gas than what it is actually producing. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Sindh are both consuming 27 percent less than what they produce.

This is against the injunctions of the Constitution of Pakistan, according to which, each province has the right to consume the gas that it produces. It is only in the cases of a surplus that the province is allowed to share that supply. This means that the usage in the province of Punjab is problematic to say the least, and perhaps even illegal. This is a cause for concern, especially because a right of the other provinces is being usurped and people of other provinces have to make do without basic necessities such as gas.

It is only because of such discrimination that masses feel marginalised and alienated by the system. And this trend has given rise to the narrative that all policies cater to the province of Punjab. The condition in Balochistan is alarming because the people there only get a supply of gas for two hours in the day. The last government also promised the province of KP to provide the province 100 mmcfd of gas, this commitment has not been fulfilled yet. It would be suitable to give this 100mmcfd of gas to KP’s consumers as the project has not been started so far.

Winters are especially a difficult time for people, especially in the North. Regulatory measures should be taken which ensure the distribution of resources as per the constitution and only allow sharing in cases of a surplus. The development which the province of Punjab has witnessed should be extended to the other three provinces - gas is a basic necessity and if its availability is reduced to two hours a day, people are bound to get agitated and mistrust will be developed for the government.