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Protest against increasing power cuts in Pakistan during Ramadan
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- Protesters in the southern port city of Karachi set tires ablaze on Tuesday after power cuts disrupted a traditional pre-dawn meal during the holy month of Ramadan. Technical breakdowns in the past week have boosted the frequency and length of blackouts, sparking anger during the blistering late summer months.
- A transmission line had tripped due to high humidity, K-Electric said on social network Twitter, adding that the load shedding would persist for two to three weeks more. Some protesters then tried to attack and set fire to the office of the main power provider, K-Electric.
- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power four years ago promising to end scheduled blackouts – known as “load shedding” – that have plagued daily life for years, hobbling the economy and deterring foreign investment.
- Sharif called an emergency meeting of a cabinet energy panel on Tuesday to discuss the power outages. In a statement, the prime minister’s office said the meeting focused on “urgent measures” to reduce power cuts during Ramadan, which coincides this year with summer temperatures forecast in some regions at around 40 degrees Celsius (104°F).
- On Monday, two demonstrators were killed in another protest against electricity shortages in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reportedly when police fired to disperse crowds.