For the past many months, we, the citizens, have been enduring a six-hour electricity shutdown schedule whose current daily timings are 0100-0200, 0500-0600, 0800-0900, 1300-1400, 1900-2000, 2100-2200.
As if this was not enough to drive our generators and UPSs crazy, the authorities have resorted to un-announced shutdowns at all odd hours on a daily basis. The flow of electrons is disrupted right when one is either watching worrying news on the television or attempting to write a letter to a newspaper editor. That I may be able to finish this letter and mail it in time to you may indeed be considered a miracle.
I called up the local grid station today and found out that such un-announced shutdowns are intimated to the PDC (power despatch centre) by the powers-that-be at Islamabad.
What I wish to point out is that modern television sets and delicate computers were never designed to withstand such disruptive electrical insults. The only persons getting rich these days are the UPS and generator sellers and electronics technicians. Who—if not the power generation and distribution authorities—are responsible for the damage caused to our appliances?
We are experiencing state-sanctioned terrorism of an electrifying nature. Will they ever cut the parliament down to a useful size, stop taking useless official foreign trips, and focus instead on going forth to multiply the watts and the volts?
Please join me in praying—even if you are mildly inclined towards religion—that we produce some electricity before God smites us permanently unconscious with a free thunderbolt from heaven.
Tahir Gul Hasan, October 2008
Please note that this letter was NOT published by any national newspaper. Why? Ask them, not me!
As I write this in 2011, the electricity situation has not improved but has rather worsened, which means we surely are going nowhere fast.