Much of Pakistan was without power for several hours. On Monday morning as the government countered energy-saving measures. The outage has sparked panic and raised questions. About the cash-strapped government’s handling of the crisis.
Power was turned off across the country during low-usage periods to conserve energy. Leaving technicians unable to boot up the system at once in the morning, officials said.
On a technical fault in the country’s power generation and distribution system.
Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir told local media on Monday. That engineers were working to restore power across the country. Including in the capital Islamabad, and sought to reassure the nation.
According to the minister, during winters, electricity consumption generally decreases overnight. “As an economic measure, we have shut down our power generation system” on Sunday night, he said.
When engineers tried to restart the systems, a “voltage fluctuation” was observed. Which “forced engineers to shut down the power grid”, Dastgir said.
He stressed that it was not a major crisis and power was being restored in phases. Many places, including hospitals, military and government facilities. And key businesses and institutions, have backup generators turned on.
Karachi, the country’s largest city and economic hub, remained without power on Monday. As did other important cities such as Quetta, Peshawar and Lahore.
Imran Rana, spokesman for Karachi’s Power Supply Company. Said the government’s priority was to “restore power to strategic facilities. Including hospitals, airports and other places.
Pakistan gets at least 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels. Nuclear and solar energy contribute about 10% to the country’s grid.
Pakistan is grappling with one of the country’s worst economic crises in recent years. Amid dwindling foreign exchange reserves. This prompted the government earlier this month to order shopping malls. And markets to close by 8:30 p.m. For energy conservation purposes.
Talks are underway with the International Monetary Fund to soften some of the conditions of Pakistan’s $6 billion bailout. Which the government believes will fuel further inflation. The IMF released the last major installment of $1.1 billion to Islamabad in August.
Since then, talks between the two sides have faltered due to Pakistan’s reluctance to impose new tax measures.