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Pakistan allays panic of petrol and diesel shortage

Panic gripped the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi in Pakistan, as rumors spread about a shortage of petrol and diesel in mid-January. This prompted the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), as the sector’s regulator, to direct the refineries and oil marketing companies (OMCs) to ensure uninterrupted and orderly supply of POL products at all outlets across the country throughout the week.
The rumor sparked following the announcement of a long march by Tahir ul Qadri, the Canadian-Pakistani cleric whose calls for transforming Pakistan into a moderate Islamic state have made him an instant political star, and the government’s decision to close filling stations and markets for security reasons.
Official sources told media that OGRA has deputized inspection teams to randomly selected outlets in the country, especially in the twin cities where motorists were panic- buying. OGRA has requested the public to ignore baseless rumors and avoid panicking.
In a statement issued from the Petroleum Ministry, Asim Hussain, advisor to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources, asserted that there was no petrol
shortage in the federal capital. He said that directives have already been issued for continuous supply of petrol. Moreover, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) authorities have
denied that there was a fuel shortage. They added the people of the twin cities were being provided with uninterrupted round-the-clock fuel supplies even during the course of the long march. (January 12, 2013)