All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association (APOTOA) has announced a country-wide strike from October 21 (today), if demands not met. Talking to Daily Times, APOTOA Vice Chairman Mir Shams Shahwani said that the oil tanker owners were facing difficulties due to wrong government policies. “Government should stop destroying tankers industry,” he remarked. Shahwani said that Pakistan State Oil (PSO), on directives of its senate committee, on October 9, issued a circular under which the state-owned MC stopped calibrating their oil tankers. “We have been asked in the notification to calibrate our tankers from a third party,” he lamented. Shahwanisaid that the Ministry of Petroleum, PSO and OMC made a new policy to stop filling old oil tanker from the oil depot. “Such policies affect all stakeholders, be it the tanker owners or the drives. Besides, the oil tanker industry is facing serious financial problems,” he added. The APOTOA vice chairman said that an oil tanker going from Karachi to Peshawar had to pay a financial gratification of Rs 25,000 on average to traffic police, personnel of National Highways Authority (NHA), Motorways Police and other law enforcement agencies (LEAs). “If oil tanker drivers and cleaners refuse to pay the money, they are booked under the Drugs Act by police, highway officials and other authorities,” he shared. “We love Pakistan and we do not wish to inconvenience the public by going on a strike but this government and its institutions including PSO, OGRA and NHA have forced us to go on a strike,” he clarified. “We will go on a strike if our demands are not met .We will stage protest demonstrations before relevant government offices and higher-ups ,” he maintained. Published in Daily Times, October 21st 2018.