KARACHI                -      The Sindh government on Saturday turned down the statement of Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub for holding the provincial govt responsible for gas crisis.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Labor Saeed Ghani said that it was federal government’s responsibility to ensure provision of gas as Sui Southern Gas Company Limited as well as Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited are the federal entities.

The provincial minister said that in accordance with Article 158 of the constitution the province from where the gas was being produced had its right to be provided the same first of all. 

He said that if the people of Sindh would suffer due to unavailability of gas then we would keep questioning the federal government time and again. The minister also rubbished the blame that Pakistan People’s Party supported only its own people through Benazir Income Support Program.

Ghani said that people showed their extreme love and support for Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in his first-ever public meeting in Liaquat Bagh. The provincial minister said that it was one of the huge public meetings ever witnessed in historical Liaquat Bagh. He said that not only thousands of workers and supporters of Pakistan People’s Party, but also people from all walks of life came to show their love and affection for their beloved leaders, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Separately, Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh refuted federal power minister’s remarks blaming that non-cooperation from Sindh province was causing gas shortage in the country especially the Sindh province.

He said that the federal authorities were only to be blamed for this mismanagement as all provinces were suffering from the issue created due to the federal authorities’ incompetence.

“It happened because we have no voice at Ogra and SSGC platforms,” he said adding that and further denied that the federal government contacted Sindh for the right of way.

He said that federal minister for power by speaking lie can never escape from the blame. He said provincial government when approached allowed right of way from gas fields in Badin after holding a special cabinet meeting.

The federal government created gas shortage in the province, a clear violation of Article 158 of the constitution. The province was being punished due to the monopoly of Ogra. The Sindh government was ready to cooperate but due to injustices of federal government hopelessness was prevailing in the province, he added.

Sindh’s Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu also rejected Omar Ayub’s statement.

“A province cannot be blamed for the gas crisis,” Ismail Rahu said and termed the statement of the federal minister factually wrong.

Sindh is producing large amount of the country’s gas production and even then the province is being blamed for the crisis. He made it clear that the provincial government had not halted or created hinders in laying gas pipelines in the province.

Earlier on Friday, Minister for Power Omar Ayub had held Sindh govt responsible for the gas shortage in the province over the past several days.