Tuesday, 24 January 2023 14:56

Pakistan govt to probe ‘foreign intervention’ over power outage, says Power Minister

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 24 (ANI): Amid long power outages in Pakistan, Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said the government will investigate back-to-back failures of the national grid and hinted at the possibility of ‘foreign intervention’, Geo News reported.

Addressing a press conference, 24 hours after Pakistan plunged into darkness, Khan on Tuesday, however, said the "possibility of foreign intervention through the internet is low".

But Geo News quoted him as saying that the matter will be probed as there have been multiple incidents recently.

According to the report, he said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a three-member inquiry committee, which will be headed by Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik.

A power outage took place at around 7:34 am on Monday, leaving many cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Islamabad, without electricity, Geo News reported.

According to a statement from Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy, the national grid’s frequency dropped around 7.34 am, leading to a ‘widespread breakdown’ in the electricity system. Additionally, it stated that Warsak was the starting point for the repair of grid stations.

At the press conference, Khan gave another piece of bad news as he said citizens have to ensure load-shedding for the next 48 hours. He, however, added that the system would be completely restored by Thursday.

He said the National Transmission and Despatch Company’s (NTDC) 1,112 grid stations across Pakistan have been restored.

"The electricity was completely restored today at 5.15 am," he added.

However, locals in Karachi claimed that the supply has not been fully restored in the city and many areas are still offline even after the government claimed the power was up, the report said, adding that electricity was yet to be restored in some parts of the country.

Asked if he would resign as there have been two breakdowns during his tenure, Dastgir said those who didn’t invest in the project in the last four years should be held responsible, reported Geo News.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday regretted the ‘inconvenience’ to the citizens due to the power outage on Monday.

He also ordered an inquiry to determine the reasons for the power failure, as well as fix the responsibility.

"On behalf of my government, I would like to express my sincere regrets for the inconvenience our citizens suffered due to the power outage yesterday. On my orders, an inquiry is underway to determine the reasons for the power failure. Responsibility will be fixed," tweeted Shehbaz Sharif.

The electricity outage lasted for more than 16 hours, especially when temperatures were forecast to fall to around 4 degrees Celsius (39F) in Islamabad and 8 degrees Celsius (46F) in Karachi, according to Geo TV. (ANI)