A day after nationwide outage, government source says power grids have been fully restored across Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Power grids were fully restored across Pakistan on Tuesday morning, Reuters said citing a senior government source. The restoration comes 24 hours after a national breakdown left the country of 220 million people without electricity.
The breakdown began at around 7:30 a.m. (0230 GMT) on Monday, a failure linked to a cost-cutting measure as Pakistan grapples with an economic crisis.
Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Monday evening that power was gradually being restored.
The country’s electrical system is a complex and delicate network, where problems can quickly escalate.
Khan said a frequency shift on the national Grid caused the outage, as the power-generating units were turned on early Monday morning. The units were temporarily shut down on winter nights to save fuel, he had told reporters earlier.
Localized power cuts are common in Pakistan, and hospitals, factories and government institutions are often powered by private generators. But the machines are beyond the means of most citizens and small businesses.
In parts of northern Pakistan, temperatures were expected to drop below zero overnight, with the supply of natural gas – the most common heating method – also unreliable due to load shedding.
The economy is already hampered by runaway inflation, a falling rupee and extremely low foreign exchange reserves, with the power cut putting additional pressure on small businesses.
In the garrison town of Rawalpindi, household goods trader Muhammad Iftikhar Sheikh, 71, said he was unable to demonstrate electronics to customers browsing the premises.
“Customers never buy without testing first,” he said. “We’re all sitting around doing nothing.”
Schools mostly continued either in darkness or using battery-powered lighting.
A trader in the southern port city of Karachi, where temperatures are higher, told AFP he was worried his entire stock of dairy products would spoil without refrigeration.
Printer Khurrum Khan, 39, said orders were piling up due to the power outage.
Power unreliability is “a permanent curse that our governments have failed to overcome”, he said.
Mobile phone services were also interrupted following the outage, the Telecommunications Authority of Pakistan tweeted.
A similar outage in January 2021 affected the whole country, after an outage occurred in southern Pakistan, causing the national transmission system to trip.

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