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Fuel shortage feared in Pakistan as tankers go on strike

Islamabad, July 25, The 'All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association' has announced a country wide strike since Monday for an indefinite period till their demands are fulfilled by the government.

Members of the association and oil tanker drivers stopped operating their vehicles in protest and halted the supply of fuel to all terminals in the country.

All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association Chairperson Akram Durrani said that their demand of a 70 per cent raise in the freight rate has yet to be fulfilled by the authorities.

He said that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and other government departments such as the National Highway Authority, motorway police and provincial traffic police have created hurdles in their smooth operations across the country.

Karachi, with its two sea ports, plays a crucial role in the import and supply of oil to the upcountry.

Commuters slowly started to arrive at fuel stations on Monday evening to stock up on oil for the next few days.

Talking to IRNA, spokesperson of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Imran Ghaznavi said that a meeting has been planned to discuss the situation occurring due to the strike of oil takners association.

He added that owners of takers of All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association are not ready to follow the safety regulations because they want to skip the expenses of safety measures.

He went on to say that demand of a 70 per cent raise in the freight rate is just an excuse to evade from safety standards.

On June 25, an oil tanker skidded on the road and overturned, causing huge amounts of petrol to leak. Hundreds of people from nearby villages rushed to the scene to collect oil. Soon after, a huge fire erupted in the oil tanker killing more than 150 people.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

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