Islamabad: The constant power game among the politicians and the military is one side of the story in Pakistan. The other is power shortage, with homes, farms, and factories going without electricity for 21 hours a day, according to a report in Dubai-based publication Asian Lite.
According to Asian Lite, while the politicians quarrel in the National Assembly and before the courts, the power-starved people are protesting on the streets. A two-day power breakdown brought the people to their knees, but not the politicians who are either for or against early elections.
The country’s north suffers the worst. The area despite being water-surplus has run dry on electricity because only a fourth of the power is sourced from the hydel systems. The country’s planners have placed their emphasis on the difficult-to-find and expensive fossils.
Pakistan generates about 60-63 per cent of its electricity from fossil fuels, while around 27 per cent is generated by hydropower. The remaining 10 per cent of power comes from nuclear and solar sources.
Relief is not in sight for the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan. The region is witnessing daily street protests. Residents are seen protesting over inflated power bills and the withdrawal of government subsidies on electricity during the winter when demand for electricity is high. This adds to the food shortage and a growing economic crisis.
Amidst all this, the Islamabad government has said that it doesn’t have any alternate arrangements for power supply.
The worst, however, is that it is not merely a technical issue. Scholar-journalist Amir Hussain, who writes on development issues, blames it on Islamabad’s neglect of the region.
Amid long power outages in Pakistan, Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said the government will investigate back-to-back failures of the national grid and hinted at the possibility of ‘foreign intervention’, Geo News reported.
According to the report, he said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a three-member inquiry committee, which will be headed by Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik. (ANI)