Zombie pipelines taunt Pakistan
Pakistan is the Asian ‘energy bridge’ that never got built. Now the country is about to implode under the pressure of unaffordable energy.
Pakistan is on the brink. The state is bankrupt and trying to negotiate another IMF bailout, its fourteenth in less than four decades. Political crises are driving a thick wedge into a polarised society. Militant separatists are active in several border regions, while corruption is widespread. Inflation is decimating the poorest, energy is unaffordable for many, and blackouts are becoming deep and prolonged.
Pakistan’s tragic slide towards failed statehood can in part be ascribed to a lack of energy. The country has both the lowest per-capita GDP among its regional peers, and the lowest per-capita energy consumption. That places it in the miserable bottom-left quadrant of the energy-prosperity correlation chart:
Pakistan also occupies an important position in the regional energy landscape. Wedged between the energy-hungry economies of south Asia and the energy-rich Middle East and central Asia, Pakistan has for years been courted as a potential ‘energy bridge’. Numerous pipelines have b…