Energy Minister of Pakistan, Hammad Azhar took to Twitter to challenge journalist Shahzeb Khanzada to a debate on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and gas.
Pakistan at present is facing a gas crisis throughout the country. Journalist Shahzab Khanzada, a year ago, had warned that the gas crisis was impending, kept reiterating that the crisis needs immense attention, otherwise the consequences shall be huge.
Khanzada called the minister on his political news programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ five times but each time the minister declined despite promising to appear on the show.
On Friday, Azhar took to Twitter and proposed a challenge.
“I would like to challenge Shahzeb Khanzada to debate LNG and Gas issues with me moderated by a neutral anchor and with Independent experts. Let the ppl [people] see the facts without persistent interrupting, volume controls, teleprompters etc,” tweeted Azhar.
His words, “a neutral anchor” and “let the ppl see the facts without persistent interrupting, volume controls, teleprompters” caught a lot of criticism and sparked reactions from the Twitterati.
Senior Journalist Abbas Nasir wrote, “People are suffering acute gas shortages and this man wants to debate and not accept his abject failures.”
Adil Shahzeb wrote, “Use of [a] teleprompter is a common practice globally for news shows (for OCs/monologues) to ensure accuracy and manage time (read rate).”
Anchorperson Muhammad Junaid wrote, “Like PTI’s Favourite Stephen Sackur of BBC was made to sit in a debate moderated by a Neutral Anchor? There is no gas in thousands and thousands of households FIX THAT FIRST MR MINISTER!”
Journalist Khurram Husain tweeted, “And how will this help plug our winter gas deficit?”
Aimun, a Twitter user wrote, “Why? Are facts displayed on teleprompters not facts?”
A Twitter user wrote, “Rather than apologising for causing huge loss to the exchequer n discomfort to the public, this man wants a debate to address the issue.”
Another Twitter user wrote, “My man’s out here trying to get air time rather than fixing the crisis.”
Another person tweeted, “The big ‘tu mujhe bahar mil [meet me outside]’ energy.”
Last week, the government decided to provide gas to the residential sector only three times a day for cooking purposes throughout December to March to minimise gas shortages in Pakistan.