Privatization of Pakistan’s Energy Sector is a Great Harm, Forbidden by Islam

From 29 October until 8 November 2014, the IMF held extensive discussions with Pakistan’s Finance Minister and State Bank Governor, amongst other senior officials, which focused upon the continued privatization of Pakistan’s energy sector. Thereafter, dutifully and compliantly, the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif personally flew to China and then Germany to ask their companies to invest in Pakistan’s energy sector, to add to the repeated invitations to American companies. Indeed, private ownership of Pakistan’s energy sector is a central part of the colonialist agenda for Pakistan, with the colonialist financial institutions making it as an essential condition for their loans. In its “Pakistan—Program Note” of 7 April 2014 the IMF highlights “privatizing public sector enterprises” when discussing the energy policy. The World Bank’s Director for Pakistan, on 2 May 2014 stressed upon “improving tariff policy” and “opening the market to private participation.” However, far from saving Pakistan’s economy, privatization of Pakistan’s energy sector is weakening it, leading to ever increasing costs of gas and electricity, power shortages and dangerous foreign control.

The IMF, the World Bank and the Raheel-Nawaz regime work together to continuously raise the prices of gas and electricity, in order to guarantee strong profits for the new private owners, even though it causes great hardship for the people. Ahead of its upcoming privatization, the state run Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) on 5 August 2014, posted a record Rs124 billion profit in 2013-14, up 36 per cent over the previous year.

Which shows that the privatization is done in the profitable companies and this is not in the interest of the Muslim Ummah in addition to the violation of the “Hukm Shari'” in which Oil and Gas are public property.

Also the constant raising of oil and gas prices ensures that the people will take on more of the burden of ensuring profits. Privatization has also led to crippling power shortages of several hours every day, because private owners are under-producing when they cannot make good profits. As of 25 June 2013, KESC had a capacity to generate 3,007MW of electricity, including 626MW from two independent power producers, but its maximum generation ranged between 1,200MW and1,400MW, with the demand of Pakistan’s economic center, Karachi, being 2,100MW.

Moreover, when the private owners are foreign, they do not care for strengthening the local economy. Instead, they are bound by their own governments or colonialist institution to ensure that Pakistan does not compete effectively globally. Thus, since February 2013 the Asian Development Bank has ensured that expensive imported coal is used for thermal generation, rather than local coal from Thar, the sixth largest coal reserves in the world. Through decades of privatization of the energy sector, foreign companies are continuously securing great profits, whilst local industry and agriculture falters and collapses, unemployment soars and the backs of the people break with every increasing costs of electricity and gas. As if this were not enough, having deprived Pakistan of huge sources of revenue, the colonialists through their agents greatly increase taxation on the population, further strangling the economy. This is done in order to raise revenues to pay back foreign interest based loans, even though Pakistan has paid back the principle sums of such colonialist loans many times over. It is this colonialist trap, which is designed to prevent Pakistan from ever escaping and rising as a power.

The cure to Pakistan’s economic illness does not lie in privatization, foreign investment or colonialist loans for they are the disease itself. The only cure is the implementation of Islam’s economic system, which alone would generate more than enough revenue to revolutionize the economy. Unlike Capitalism and Communism, Islam has declared that energy is neither a private nor a state property but a public property for all the Muslims. RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

«المسلمون شرکاء فی ثلاث الماء والکلاء والنار»

“Muslims are partners in three things: water, pastures and fire (energy).” [Abu Dawood]

Thus, although the Khilafah state takes charge of managing the public property and state property, it is not permitted for the Khalifah to grant the ownership of the public property to any private party, whether an individual or group, as it is a property for all Muslims. Revenues are for the public, looking after its affairs and securing its interests, and not for the state. This applies to all the abundant wealth of public property, whether energy, such as petroleum, gas, electricity or replenishable minerals, such as copper and steel, or water, such as seas, rivers and dams, or pastures and forests. Indeed, the entire Ummah is known to possess the lion’s share of the world’s energy and mineral resources, but without Islam’s economic system, the Muslims are drowned in poverty and the Ummah carries no weight in world affairs, even when compared to states that possess a small fraction of her material wealth.

O Muslims of Pakistan!

Our dire economic situation will continue to worsen as long as we accept to live under the rule of kufr which grants the colonialists mastery over our affairs. We will suffer regardless of who comes to rule in this system of oppression and deprivation, whether it is PML-N, PPP or PTI. Affliction awaits not only those who rule by Kufr, but also anyone of us who witnesses it and does nothing to change it. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

وَاتَّقُوا فِتْنَةً لاَ تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْكُمْ خَاصَّةً وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

“And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not only those of you who oppress (but it will afflict everyone) and know that Allah is Severe in punishment.”

(Surah al-Anfaal, 25)

Thus it is upon each and every one of us to make our full contribution for the Khilafah project, striving with the brave and aware Shabaab of Hizb ut-Tahrir to restore Islam as a way of life.

O sincere officers within Pakistan’s armed forces!

The people who you have sworn to defend are being crushed by hardship. The country which you have sworn to defend is being laid to waste and denied its actual potential. The Deen which you have testified to uphold lies abandoned, neglected and denied implementation. You cannot turn away and point fingers here and there, for you have the critical role in bringing the success to the Khilafah project. You are the successors of the fighting men of the Ansaar of Madinah (ra), who gave Nussrah to RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم for the establishment of the ruling by Islam, as a state and constitution. Today, the duty to bring change practically is upon you. It is upon you to grant the Nussrah (Material Support) to Hizb ut-Tahrir, under its Ameer, the eminent jurist and statesman, Sheikh Ata Bin Khalil Abu al-Rashtah, so as to establish the Khilafah and restore this Ummah to its rightful place. Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * بِنَصْرِ اللَّـهِ ۚ يَنصُرُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ * وَعْدَ اللَّـهِ ۖ لَا يُخْلِفُ اللَّـهُ وَعْدَهُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“And that day the believers will rejoice in the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful. [It is] the promise of Allah and Allah does not fail in His promise, but most of the people know not.”

(Surah Ar-Rûm 30:4-6)

Hizb ut-Tahrir Wilayah Pakistan

25 Muharram 1436 AH

18 November 2014 CE