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Electricity cuts in Pakistan sparks outrage

Transcribed by Yumna Moosa

Telecom operators in Pakistan have been threatening to cut off mobile and internet services.

The National Information Technology board has announced that telecom operators in Pakistan have warned about shutting down mobile and internet services due to long hours of power outages nationwide as the interruption has been causing issues and hindrances in operations. Pakistani prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, stated that the country might face increased load-shedding in July. He said the country could not get the required liquified natural gas supply; however, the coalition government is trying to make the deal possible.

External contributor for the Islamabad Center for Strategic and Contemporary Research (CSCR), Zaki Khalid, speaks to Radio Islam about the state of the country’s government as well as its citizens.

Khalid says, “the power situation hasn’t been this bad since the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf.” He also explained that Pakistan needs at least 27 000 MW to sustain its national power load, but the country falls short, only being able to produce 22 000 MW. The lack of capacity has, therefore, forced the government to carry out mandatory load management and power shutdowns.

The contributor further related that backup options have become costly for the affected citizens as the two solutions to the outages have been standard battery-operated systems and diesel generators, with the latter being less accessible because of high diesel costs. This was due to subsidiaries being taken out by the previous government, under Imran Khan, to keep petrol prices low. The current government has been struggling and places blame on the previous administration.

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