Telecom operators in Pakistan issued a warning that mobile and internet services could be shut down due to nationwide power outages. The power outages often are longer than 12-14 hours and lead to suffering of citizens due to sweltering heat waves.
“Telecom operators in Pakistan have warned about shutting down mobile and internet services due to long hours of power outages nationwide, as the interruption is causing issues and hindrance in their operations,” the Pakistan National Information Technology Board (NIBT) said via a tweet which was later removed.
Upon Googling ‘National Information Technology Board (NITB)’ the results showed the now deleted tweet.
There is no easy respite.
Pakistan prime minister Shehbaz Sharif warned that frequent power outages will only increase in July. Pakistan is not able to acquire required liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply to meet its energy needs.
— BNN 🇵🇰 Newsroom (@BNNPK) July 1, 2022
The coalition government led by Sharif is looking for a deal that will help assuage the crisis.
According to Refinitiv, Pakistan’s monthly fuel oil imports are set to hit a four-year high in June. The country could be forced to buy LNG from the spot market – which will hurt the nation’s finances due to an energy crisis crippling the world – amid a forex crisis.
The European companies who were supposed to send LNG to Pakistan defaulted on their commitments forcing Pakistan to pay close to $100 million to buy a single LNG shipment from the spot market.
Pakistan is depending on power outages across its cities to conserve power while trying to generate more power to meet demands across several cities.
Pakistan also ordered the shutdown of shopping malls and factories in several cities to reduce consumption of power.
Islamabad is looking at Qatar to come to its rescue amid the power crisis. The Pakistan government sent its petroleum minister Musadik Malik who met the Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Qatar Energy chief executive Saad al-Kaabi.
Both confirmed having discussions but Malik said the Sharif-led government is exploring ‘different innovative pricing and supply strategies in their broad-based talks’
Pakistan finance minister Miftah Ismail said talks are on with Qatar for a new five or 10-year LNG supply deal for three monthly cargoes.
Pakistanis are also facing price rise of essential commodities as inflation surged to its highest level this July.