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Power outages become a way of life in Pakistan

Updated June 17, 2013
Silhouetted against vehicle's headlights, people walk on a street darkened by power cuts on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Silhouetted against vehicle's headlights, people walk on a street darkened by power cuts on the outskirts of Islamabad.
During a power cut Pakistanis gather outside to escape the heat trapped in their homes while a street barber gives a customer a haircut in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
During a power cut Pakistanis gather outside to escape the heat trapped in their homes while a street barber gives a customer a haircut in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Pakistani youths enjoy a ride at a makeshift entertainment park set up outside a shrine in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Pakistani youths enjoy a ride at a makeshift entertainment park set up outside a shrine in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
A resident climbs on a pole to adjust an illegal power connection from the transmission line on the outskirts of Karachi.
A resident climbs on a pole to adjust an illegal power connection from the transmission line on the outskirts of Karachi.
A woman cooks for her family using a fire inside her makeshift home in Islamabad.
A woman cooks for her family using a fire inside her makeshift home in Islamabad.
Employees work at a textile factory partially run by privately-produced power in Faisalabad.
Employees work at a textile factory partially run by privately-produced power in Faisalabad.
A worker uses a sewing machine at a textile factory that is partially run by privately-produced power in Faisalabad.
A worker uses a sewing machine at a textile factory that is partially run by privately-produced power in Faisalabad.
A barber shaves a customer's beard by the light of a candle and a mobile phone, during a power outage in Islamabad.
A barber shaves a customer's beard by the light of a candle and a mobile phone, during a power outage in Islamabad.
Textile workers wait for the electricity to return at a factory in Faisalabad.
Textile workers wait for the electricity to return at a factory in Faisalabad.
Fruit and food vendors use gas lamps to light their carts while waiting for customers outside a hospital on a dark roadside in Islamabad.
Fruit and food vendors use gas lamps to light their carts while waiting for customers outside a hospital on a dark roadside in Islamabad.
Textile worker Mohammad Yousaf, waits for power to return at a loom factory in Faisalabad.
Textile worker Mohammad Yousaf, waits for power to return at a loom factory in Faisalabad.
Patients rest in their beds during a power outage at a hospital in Gujar Khan. Dr. Ashraf Nizami of the Pakistan Medical Association said that doctors are seeing more psychological effects of load-shedding. "It is a torture for the medical community and the patients," he said.
Patients rest in their beds during a power outage at a hospital in Gujar Khan. Dr. Ashraf Nizami of the Pakistan Medical Association said that doctors are seeing more psychological effects of load-shedding. "It is a torture for the medical community and the patients," he said.
A Christian woman works in her kitchen during a power cut at her home in Islamabad. Power can be out for up to 20 hours a day in the summer.
A Christian woman works in her kitchen during a power cut at her home in Islamabad. Power can be out for up to 20 hours a day in the summer.
Shahla Ashiq uses a hand fan to cool off her daughter, Momina, 2, during a power outage at a hospital in Gujar Khan.
Shahla Ashiq uses a hand fan to cool off her daughter, Momina, 2, during a power outage at a hospital in Gujar Khan.
Workers take a smoke break as they dismantle loom machines in Faisalabad, to sell as scrap metal at a textile factory which closed due to power shortages. Kurram Mukhtar, head of Sadaqat Limited, one of Pakistan's leading textile manufacturers, said that from 2006 to 2010 many companies in the city and surrounding area were bankrupted by the power crisis. Owners who survived decided they needed energy independence.
Workers take a smoke break as they dismantle loom machines in Faisalabad, to sell as scrap metal at a textile factory which closed due to power shortages. Kurram Mukhtar, head of Sadaqat Limited, one of Pakistan's leading textile manufacturers, said that from 2006 to 2010 many companies in the city and surrounding area were bankrupted by the power crisis. Owners who survived decided they needed energy independence.

Power outages have become a way of life in Pakistan, affecting everything from employment, to medical care and how many times households, unable to keep food cool in a refrigerator, go to the grocery store.

Hundreds of loom factories have also closed down due to the interruptions. Power can be out for up to 20 hours a day in the summer in most areas.