Updated: January 24, 2022 11:21 IS
islamabad [Pakistan], January 24 (ANI): Pakistan’s acute energy crisis has sparked protests in the country. It has become a “national issue” and will be one of the focal points of the “long march” against the Imran Khan-led government, organized from Karachi to Islamabad by opposition parties next month, a news report said.
Pakistan has faced an unprecedented energy crisis. Frequent and prolonged power shortages are creating hardships for ordinary households and hampering industrial production. This has also affected exports, InsideOver said in a report.
He also reported that the unprecedented energy crisis, mismanagement and the lack of a recovery plan are pushing the country towards economic calamity. The uneven and interrupted supply of gas, electricity and petroleum products is causing unrest among the different provincial governments and the federal government in Islamabad.
Many cities in Pakistan are witnessing people’s protests over natural gas shortages and prolonged power cuts. Electricity is not available for several hours throughout Pakistan.
InsideOver highlighted that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, power shortages leave people without power for 18 hours. And whenever there is electricity, the voltage is low, making it difficult for people to get drinking water. This has sparked protests and people, especially women, are blocking roads to vent their anger.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, people also took to the streets in sub-zero temperatures due to prolonged power shortages and black market food supplies. The Gilgit-Baltistan-based Awami Action Committee (AAC) called it a failure of the State of Pakistan to provide basic facilities to the people.
The Sindh government invoked a constitutional article and warned the Islamabad government to take over the gas distribution system if locals are deprived of cooking fuel, which is mainly found in the province’s wells.
“The province that produces more than 2/3 of the country’s total natural gas has been faced with a situation where households have no cooking gas, industries are closing down due to huge shortages and low gas pressure, and CNG stations are closed for months. to come,” Sindh provincial energy minister Imtiaz Shaikh wrote to the Islamabad government, InsideOver reported.
Companies are also being affected. “US$250 million worth of exports were lost in just one month of fuel shortages that closed factories for 15 days,” said Shahid Sattar, chief executive of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association.
The supply shortfall stems from the Ministry of Energy’s inability to organize supply and is hurting the future of Pakistan’s exports and economy, InsideOver reported.
By the summer of 2021, power shortages had reached 6,000 megawatts, causing hour-long load outages across Pakistan.
However, in December 2021, Pakistan increased the power tariffs by an additional Rs 4.74 per unit for extra revenue. Later, the Khan government also raised oil prices.
The main opposition party, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), called it “economic murder.” Now the radical Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) team is also joining the protests in the streets. (AND ME)
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism