Pakistan may face internet shutdown amid power crisis
Amid the power outages in Pakistan, the telecom operators on Thursday warned to shut down their mobile and internet services.
Taking to Twitter, the National Information Technology Board (NIBT) said, “Telecom operators in Pakistan have warned about shutting down mobile and internet services due to long hours power outages nationwide, as the interruption is causing issues and hindrance in their operations.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif warned the country that they might face increased load shedding in the coming month of July, Geo News reported.
He said that Pakistan could not get the required liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply, however, the coalition government was trying to make the deal possible.
Pakistan’s monthly fuel oil imports are set to hit a four-year high in June, Refinitiv data showed, as the country struggles to buy LNG for power generation amid a heatwave that is driving demand, reported Geo News.
Pakistan is facing an escalation of its power crisis after it failed to agree on a deal for natural gas supply next month. Tenders for July were scrapped due to high price, and low participation as the nation is already taking action to tackle widespread blackouts.
Pakistan’s government is attempting to boost energy conservation, has cut working hours for public servants and ordered shopping malls to factories to shut early in various cities, including Karachi.
Pakistan already has two long-term supply deals with Qatar — the first signed in 2016 for five cargoes a month, and the second in 2021, under which Pakistan currently gets three monthly shipments but the nation is currently under a massive grip of widespread power outages as procurement of the chilled fuel remains unreliable and expensive due to its increased reliance on LNG for electricity generation.
Pakistani Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik, who was in Doha early this week for talks with Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Qatar Energy chief executive Saad al-Kaabi, had confirmed talks but said the government was exploring different “innovative” pricing and supply strategies in broad-based talks.
Pakistan Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the government was also speaking to Qatar about a new five or 10-year LNG supply deal for three monthly cargoes, as well as an additional cargo under an existing deal.
The fast depletion of the foreign exchange reserves was the result of Pakistan’s inflation of twin deficits, and a lack of foreign currency inflows. Inflation in Pakistan entered the double-digit mark in July, the biggest surge in nearly six years. NDTV
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