ISLAMABAD - Khwaja Muhammad Asif, the Minister for Water and Power, stood strong in National Assembly to explain that the power cuts had no role in claiming lives of over 1,000 people in Karachi thus silencing the opposition PPP and MQM by either using the card of BBC story or reminding the failure of the previous regime in tackling the energy crisis.

The minister on Thursday took the floor to explain to the house that the federal government should not be blamed for the tragic casualties due to the punishing heat in Karachi.

There was a reason why the minister looked so confident while speaking on floor of the house without fearing the onslaught of opposition benches keeping in view the gravity of the situation.

Unlike yesterday when opposition members showered the minister with criticism for his failure to put an end to power cuts, Khwaja Asif on Thursday was more equipped to silence his critics particularly the MQM, thanks to BBC.

And the minister wasted no time to remind the BBC’s story to an MQM lawmaker who interrupted the minister for a while saying the federal government had promised to resolve energy crisis within months.

“Our brothers in MQM should be more worried about the BBC story than pointing fingers at us,” the minister was quick to silence the opposition lawmaker using the BBC chip.

Asif who was convinced that the opposition would not interrupt him in his speech, prolonged his speech requesting Javed Murtaza Abbasi, the deputy speaker, to give him enough time to explain why the energy crisis is not responsible for killing over 1,000 people in Karachi.

“I am not minister for generating winds to keep people cool. I am minister for water and power. The people died on streets and not inside houses due to loadshedding,” the minister said jokingly though it looks bizarre to laugh at a time when mortuaries in Karachi are left with no space to accommodate more dead bodies before burial. Then a lawmaker from PPP MNA Shazia Marri dared to interrupt the minister during his speech. But the confident minister silenced her successfully reminding that an MNA in PPP regime had parked an oil tanker at his residence.

“The oil tanker was supposed to fuel to Thermal Power Station in Muzaffar Garh. But it went missing. Then we recovered it recently from the residence of a lawmaker. How can you blame us for the mess alone? You are part of it,” the minister said triggering ruling party members to hit their desks.

Nobody in the house then mentioned the colossal death toll at Karachi as Khwaja Asif claimed that the domestic power consumers were leading in electricity thefts saying a plan is ready to install check meters at each house to avert power theft.