Mandate theft’ and KP power issues are two different matters: CM Gandapur

— We have come up with a solution that will be announced today: Awais Leghari

ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and members of the federal cabinet, including Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, held a joint press conference in Islamabad on Monday with Gandapur announcing that he had found a solution to the province’s power issues and was willing to cooperate with the center.

Gandapur’s KP administration and Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) have been at odds recently over prolonged loadshedding across the province.

On May 15, Gandapur threatened to take over Pesco’s entire system if the federal government did not address the “brutal” electricity issues and provide a new loadshedding schedule.

The latest incident in the ongoing conflict involved PTI MPA Fazal Elahi leading protesters inside Peshawar’s Rehman Baba Grid Station on Sunday and forcibly activating feeders, prompting Pesco to seek a case against him.

Addressing the joint press conference with Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi and Energy Minister Awais Leghari, Gandapur said that both federal and provincial entities would cooperate to address loadshedding and losses to the energy sector from power theft.

“We have come together to ensure that losses in the system will be addressed and mechanisms will be put in place to prevent them,” he said.

“I am proud to say that we can produce and distribute electricity nationwide. But there are problems with loadshedding that escalate into issues with law and order.”

The chief minister stated that he held multiple discussions with Naqvi and Leghari, adding that plans were now in place to develop a mechanism to prevent losses to the exchequer and ensure that citizens pay their arrears.

“We as a province will do our part, as will our parliamentarians and local government representatives,” he added.

“This will be a community-based project,” Gandapur said, adding that until a mechanism is fully developed, KP will receive relief from the center.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day; this will take time,” CM Gandapur added.

He said that both sides had given presentations and that once complete, the initiative would benefit the people by providing relief while also benefiting the government by reducing financial losses.

He added that his administration planned to introduce solar energy to KP to further benefit the public.

“We will soon be loadshedding-free,” the chief minister vowed.

Meanwhile, Leghari labeled the occasion as a “joyful day,” saying that critics will have to accept that despite partisanship and political agendas, the federal government and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf have “recognized the damages done to this country” and come together for a solution.

“We all came to the table to discuss this issue (loadshedding), and I am grateful to the interior minister for his role,” Leghari added. “We shared plans and discussed the problems we are facing.

“We have come up with a solution that we will announce sometime tomorrow (Tuesday), once we have finalized the details,” Leghari said. Once everything is set, the model in KP will be replicated in other provinces as well.”

The energy minister echoed the KP chief minister’s comments, saying that the initiative will be “community-based,” involving MNAs and MPAs.

“This is not just about ending power theft; it’s also about ending loadshedding,” he said, adding that the PTI, PML-N, and other governing parties have come together to revive the country’s economy.

Fielding questions from reporters, Gandapur said that he separated the “position from the institution” and noted that he was “seated next to the interior minister, not Mohsin Naqvi.”

“Though the PML-N stole our mandate, we have to work together for the good of the country,” he said. “Imran Khan has always said we (the PTI) have no quarrel with any institution. We may have problems with individuals, but never institutions.”

“There are political parties, and there are initiatives. We must not conflate the two,” the chief minister maintained.

Responding to a question, Interior Minister Naqvi acknowledged there was a “great shortage” of electricity in KP. “We have managed to solve that very intelligently. This is something that needs to be appreciated.”

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