Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Member of National Assembly (MNA) Abdul Shakoor Shad has reportedly demanded Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar’s resignation over the gas crisis in Karachi.

Shad said, “For the rights of Lyari people, I will protest in National Assembly (NA).” Apart from Azhar’s, he has also demanded the resignation of the Managing Director (MD) of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

Another PTI’s MNA Captain (R) Jamil Ahmed Khan has threatened to protest in the House. He has written a letter to the federal minister that people from his constituency (Malir) are not happy because of the gas shortage.

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Prior to this, PTI’s Aftab Siddiqui also wrote a letter to the administration that Azhar’s behavior is discreditable and disclosed that the minister doesn’t even respond to messages. He warned that PTI can lose by-elections in Karachi as they did in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

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On the other hand, Hammad said on Friday that he is aware of the gas crisis in Karachi but refused to accept any responsibility and blamed the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) restraining order.

The provincial court restrained the Ministry and Sui Gas companies from giving any effect to the government’s notification of suspending gas supply to non-export general industries.

In a press conference, Azhar said that for the past several years, the system has faced gas shortage in the winter season, while demand increases 3-5 times.

While addressing the gas crisis in the country, the federal minister admitted that, “The government could not provide the fuel source through expensive imports beyond a limit and that the system has faced depletion of output with a 9 per cent reduction each year.”

Azhar added that imported Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), which Pakistan has increasingly relied on in recent years, has become “extremely expensive”.

“There is a stay on the provision of gas to priority areas. In the next hearing on December 30, we will bring it up,” he stated.

Moreover, the minister assured, “SSGC and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) teams are working day and night to improve gas management despite rising demand and yearly decline in gas reserves.”

SSGC has said that it currently faces shortages of around 250 to 260 million standard cubic feet per day (mmcfd), with demand in winter rising to 1,250 mmcfd.

Due to the immense shortage, residents are forced to buy cylinders for regular chores not only in Karachi but all over Pakistan.