The U.S. is ready to assist Pakistan in resolving its electricity woes, a top official in the Joe Biden administration has said, hours after the South Asian country faced a nationwide power breakdown due to a "frequency variation" in the national grid.
According to the Ministry of Energy, the system of frequency of the national grid went down at 7.34 a.m. local time on January 23, resulting in the breakdown on Monday, leaving millions of people without electricity, the second such outage in nearly four months.
“Of course, (we) have seen what has transpired in Pakistan. Our thoughts are with all those who've been affected by the outages. The U.S., of course, as you mentioned, has assisted our Pakistani partners across any number of challenges,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference on Monday.
“We're prepared to do so in this case, if there is something that we're able to provide. But I'm not aware of any particular request yet,” he said.
Pakistan is grappling with one of the country's worst economic crises in recent years amid dwindling foreign exchange reserves. The crisis forced the government earlier this month to order shopping malls and markets to close by 8.30 p.m. for energy conservation purposes. The sorry state of the country's power sector is emblematic of its ailing economy. The power outages occur frequently due to the lack of funds to upgrade its aging infrastructure.