Pakistan has, since the Indian Air Force’s highly successful airstrikes against terror camps in Balakot in 2019, been in an ever-ongoing bout of panic. As such, when the terror state’s power distribution system faced a massive outage shortly before midnight yesterday, almost everyone thought that the sudden blackout was a sign of India mounting yet another tremendous military offensive against them.
In any case, whenever cities like Karachi go dark, residents of Pakistan begin fearing an imminent Indian naval attack on their country’s largest city. This time around, however, they had much more to fear.
Almost all major cities of Pakistan experienced a blackout, with power being restored in only a few regions at the time of filing this report. Essentially, Pakistan as a whole experiencing a blackout, and a subsequent internet crash made many believe that their judgement day had arrived.
Also, the power blackout in Pakistan comes in the backdrop of a former diplomat admitting on the country’s national television that at least 300 terrorists were killed by the Indian Air Force at Balakot in 2019. This revelation for Pakistanis only added to the belief that India had mounted yet another attack on their country for its repeated misadventures.
“India crossed the international border and did an act of war in which at least 300 were reported dead. Our target was different from theirs. We targeted their high command. That was our legitimate target because they are men of the military. We subconsciously accepted that a surgical strike- a limited action- did not result in any casualty. Now we have subconsciously told them that, whatever they will do, we’ll do only that much and won’t escalate,” Agha Hilaly, a former diplomat of Pakistan had reportedly said on an Urdu news channel.
The power outage in Pakistan, meanwhile, affected cities of Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Multan among others.
Islamabad’s Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat informed that the National Transmission Despatch Company’s lines had tripped, causing the massive outage across several cities of Pakistan.
An alleged fault in the Guddu power plant in Sindh tripped the high transmission lines, resulting in the system frequency to drop from 50 to zero in less than a second causing power plants to shut down, ’the Power Ministry of Pakistan said in a statement.
The former diplomat’s admission of the IAF strikes killing no less than 300 terrorists came months after Pakistan Muslim League-N leader – Ayaz Sadiq revealing in October 2020 in the country’s National Assembly that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in an important meeting had pointed out that if Pakistan did not release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, India would attack Pakistan “that night by 9 pm”.
Sadiq was referring to the time when Captain Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan following the terror state’s failed attempt to target Indian military installations a day after the Balakot strikes. Captain Abhinandan’s Mig-21 Bison crashed after having taken down a Pakistani F-16, which had resulted in him landing on the other side of the LoC.
Power outages and a palpable sense of panic and fear have now become synonymous in Pakistan, courtesy India’s message to the terror state that it reposes the right to strike it at any moment it so deems fit. Pakistan, in any case, is living on borrowed time, and massive blackouts go nowhere near to assuring citizens that their country is safe.