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Pakistan’s Massive Energy Crisis, Needs A Solution

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The entire region is reeling through a heatwave and at a time like this Pakistan’s escalating power crisis is making things worse. The national energy shortfall on Tuesday was a massive 9,000MW, with Karachi, Peshawar, and Multan reportedly the most affected cities. There are street protests and power riots in Karachi with people venting their anger against prolonged cuts in the sweltering weather by staging protests in several areas of the city.

As an editorial in Dawn noted the multiple crises risk “exacerbating the law-and-order situation as people take to the streets in the hardest-hit areas. Moreover, the energy crunch has hit telecom companies hard, with a spill-over effect likely to hamper communications and deliver a blow to businesses dependent on seamless internet connectivity, leading cellular mobile operators have warned. Therefore, the power crisis risks spawning several new crises.”

As Dawn editorial noted, while a lot of the issues are structural, “the state needs to work on ways to save electricity — for instance, by ensuring that markets close early — even as it works out a long-term plan to address shortcomings in the energy sector. With regard to the concerns of the telecom providers, the government needs to liaise with them and see how their issues can be addressed. If communication and digital commerce avenues are compromised, it will only add to people’s woes.”

Author: Ahsan Kureshi