Large-scale protests erupted across Pakistan on Friday as traders’ associations and the general public voiced their frustration over skyrocketing electricity bills and heavy taxes. The demonstrations, which gained momentum in cities like Karachi and Islamabad, highlighted the widespread discontent with the financial burden faced by the population.

In Karachi, a significant protest gathered steam with the backing of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party. The focal point of the protest was a call for a reduction in the surging electricity prices and the additional taxes added to power bills.

Rawalpindi saw its own protest against added electricity charges, with citizens chanting slogans against the Islamabad Electric Supply Company. Protesters in various cities also directed their chants against the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) while symbolically burning electricity bills.


The backdrop of these protests is the recent approval by the federal cabinet to increase the national average tariff. This move led to an increase of up to Rs7.5 per unit in the national uniform electricity tariff starting July 1, 2023. This pushed the total cost of electricity, including extra charges and taxes, beyond Rs55 per unit for certain categories of consumers.

520 police officers deployed to secure IESCO and WAPDA offices

The growing protests have also raised concerns about the safety of power company employees, prompting calls for enhanced security measures. In Rawalpindi, over 500 police personnel have been deployed to address potential public unrest.

Here is a letter from IESCO requesting the police to enhance security at electricity offices:

Amidst the escalating situation, the IESCO (Islamabad Electric Supply Company) has taken steps to secure their offices and installations. The Superintendent Engineer of Rawalpindi sent a request to the Central Police Officer (CPO) of Rawalpindi for additional security. According to Express Tribune, this step was taken due to agitated consumer groups visiting IESCO offices and staging protests, putting the safety of IESCO employees at risk during work hours.

Following the request, the Rawalpindi police have taken action by assigning over 500 personnel to enhance security at electricity offices. A police spokesperson has confirmed that 520 officers and personnel are now in charge of keeping IESCO and WAPDA employees safe.

The authorities are closely monitoring the situation, and the police officials are on high alert to ensure everything runs smoothly.