Pakistan plagued by economic problems

Current crisis reflects years of underinvestment, partial reforms and bureaucratic infighting.

    Pakistan's president has asked parliament to meet on Friday to elect a new prime minister.

    The dismissal of Yusuf Raza Gilani by the Supreme Court on Tuesday has added to the political instability in Pakistan.

    It is not rare for people to take to the streets to vent their anger at the chronic and prolonged power outages that plague Pakistan, particularly during hot summer months.

    The most recent protests appear different, however, as rarely has Pakistan seen the property destruction and violence that has erupted in several cities across the Punjab and in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. 

    People are furious at the electricity cuts, known as "loadshedding", which can last for up to 20 hours a day in some parts.

    Gilani had taken notice of the current turmoil, but people have had little faith he or his government could improve the situation.

    Since taking office in 2008, the ruling coalition has done little to fix the country’s energy shortfall and many argue the situation is now far worse than before.

    Pakistan has a population of 180 million people, with the vast majority affected by the outages. Living without electricity for prolonged periods not only makes life miserable in areas where temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius, but it cripples business and industry.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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