Tehran, YJC. -- A Pakistani power company is appealing to its customers' religious consciences in a desperate bid to get them to stop stealing electricity -- a major hurdle in efforts to stem crippling blackouts.
The Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) has taken out front page adverts in three major newspapers in the country's northwest during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, reminding readers that stealing electricity is a sin.
"Do your fasting, pay zakat (charitable donations) and serve your parents, but do these things by the light of legal electricity," the ad says.
"Clerics have ruled that doing good deeds by the light of stolen electricity is against sharia, so let us stop using stolen electricity and beautify our day of judgement."
Across Pakistan, from cities to villages and from slums to posh neighbourhoods, people steal electricity every day, usually by means of a metal hook known as a "kunda" connecting the house directly to power lines in the street, bypassing the meter.