Gas-price increases anger Pakistanis

Jan. 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Transportation slowed Monday across Pakistan because of protests, some violent, over price increases for gas and other petroleum products.

Several natural-gas stations and public transportation venues were closed and violent protest demonstrations were reported in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh, The Nation reported.

There was no information on possible injuries.

Protesters carried banners, placards and clubs and chanted slogans against the federal government, the minister for petroleum and natural resources, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority and Sui Northern Gas Co. Ltd., witnesses said.

The demonstrators blocked roads and highways by burning tires and strewing logs and stones across them.

The Nation said taxi owners and rickshaw drivers took advantage of the situation, overcharging commuters up to 200 percent of the normal fares.

The disruptions affected students and public and private employees who could not reach school or places of employment.

More than 600 CNG stations of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were closed indefinitely, officials said, creating long lines at stations that were open.

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