ISLAMABAD: The Oil Tankers’ Association have refused to negotiate with the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Tuesday and suspended operations across the country increasing fears of an oil shortage.
The oil tankers’ owners spoke to media after talks failed with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, and announced an indefinite strike will continue until their demands were not fulfilled.
They complained that the drivers was not responsible for the tragedy at Ahmedpur Sharqia near Bhawalpur, in which over two hundred people were burnt alive, but rather someone set the tanker alight causing the loss of precious lives.
They said that negotiations were held in a conducive environment, when the OGRA chairman intervened and refused to even listen to their point of view, and was therefore responsible for the suspension of oil supplies.
They also alleged that drivers were been harassed and intimidated across the country, and their vehicles were being fined unnecessarily by the motorway authorities.
Yusuf Shahwani, senior vice-chairman of the oil tankers’ association, said that the driver did not set fire the oil tanker which turned over in Ahmedpur Sharqia. He also said that they refused to listen to the OGRA chairman as he has completed his tenure.
A spokesman for OGRA said that they will not allow anyone with play with the lives of innocent people. He said that they were ready for negotiations but the oil tankers’ association, at the behest of certain oil companies, are determined for an indefinite strike.
He called on the oil tankers to improve their safety standards, otherwise strict action will be taken against them. The oil tankers’ owners had on Monday called for an indefinite strike, suspended petroleum and diesel supplies across the nation.