Stories about gas

Will Russia survive under Vladimir Putin?

In an interview with the Russian and foreign media on January 19, 2014, Vladimir Putin remarked: “Sometimes it is necessary to be lonely in order to prove that you are right”. But has Putin’s self-righteousness actually been efficacious for Russia? The alteration of the foreign policy decision-making structure by Putin allowed him to emerge as the central decision-maker ever since he stepped into power. Policy matters were assigned to secondary actors composed of an informal circle of loyal associates to Putin. The inner circle of Putin loyalists are power hungry and in such a system, the effectiveness of policy is lost. Corruption is enhanced ...

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Lahore: No gas to turn on the heat, so if I froze to death, would I be a martyr?

I woke up this morning and found out that, for the fourth consecutive day, there was no gas at home – none whatsoever. The stove fluttered to life for merely a second before going out and I understood that turning on the heater would be a waste of time. The equation was simple – no gas, no heat. I would have to resign myself to a cup of tea. I knew that as long as we have our electric kettle and chai (tea) – the answer to all Pakistani problems – we would survive. The key word here is electric, of course. There was no electricity either. And this ...

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Iraq’s civil war: Fueled by Kurdish oil, tied to Iran

As the civil war continues to ravage Syria, another civil war looms over its neighbouring country Iraq. Instead of looking towards the heavens and questioning fate, one need only look into the oil fields of Iraq to see the reason behind the impending civil war. After the fall of the Saddam regime in 2003, the Kurds have been gearing towards achieving independence from Baghdad and already run a semi-autonomous region through the Kurdistan Regional Government. This region has its own ministries and a parliament with its capital city being Erbil (also called Hewler in Kurdish language). Oil is one the reasons ...

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Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness (and cheap CNG)

Fifty years after the discovery of then-one-of-the-largest-natural-gas-fields, the people of Pakistan wait in endless lines and go from one station to another for re-fuelling their CNG tanks or switch on and switch off their stoves in anticipation of a flicker. The energy which was supposed to illuminate has become the source of a dark tug of war between different stakeholders. Discovery of natural resources can have a very beneficial effect on society (Norway) or may result in civil war (Angola). Our outcome will depend on efficient management of these resources. In our case, availability of natural gas has tremendously benefited a sizeable section of society ...

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CNG woes: Can’t you see how miserable you are making us?

When I heard that CNG prices would be reduced, I was ecstatic. I, along with people all over Pakistan, celebrated this development. This reduction was intended to bring respite to the people in an environment of growing expenses and high inflation; it is no secret that here in Pakistan, even buying bare necessities have become difficult for the common man. Following this price cut, I enthusiastically took a picture from my phone of the new prices stated on the CNG pumps. It all seemed like a dream come true. Now, it is no less than a nightmare, not just to me, ...

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In a dire state

Mr President Asif Ali Zardari and Mr Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, I hope you are doing great in your big lavish castles. You are the only people in this country who are living a happy and comfortable life. Blessings are only showered on those who do not complain. This clearly explains the plight of the citizens of this country who are always moaning about the skyrocketing inflation, gas, electricity, load-shedding and other grievances. I do not know whether you are aware of this bit of information or not since you are busy making other important decisions and offering new ...

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The Pakistan-Iran pipedream

For a government often accused of indecision and weakness, Islamabad has been strikingly defiant about its determination to pursue a natural gas pipeline deal with Iran. Pakistan’s strident tone has not changed in light of Washington’s heightened sanctions regime vis-à-vis Iran, which bans countries from having commercial transactions with Tehran. The foreign ministry has declared that the sanctions do not affect the pipeline project. Other Pakistanis, however, fear that the sanctions may well present problems. One prominent lawyer has suggested Islamabad go so far as to lobby the UN to ensure the ...

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Cruel winters

Large swathes of the country are currently in the grip of a cold snap. The federal capital is said to have received snowfall over the weekend, with the Margalla Hills getting the most snow in two decades, according to the meteorological department. As expected, this has made many of the area’s residents quite excited because it’s not often that they get to see snow in their midst. Further north, in Murree, the Galiyat region and northwest into Swat and beyond, there has been snowfall for the past few days and much of the region has been blanketed with several inches ...

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Energy woes: Taking up Iran’s offer

If the average person on the street was aware of the recent discussions between Iran and Pakistan, he would, more than anything, want them to succeed. The long queues at CNG stations and daily power outages are reason enough for Pakistan to grab on to this offer for assistance from its neighbour. The Iranian foreign minister was in Pakistan for discussions on a wide range of issues pertaining to economic cooperation. These include the much-talked about Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, which if it were built, could help reduce Pakistan’s energy burden. The deal for this pipeline was first signed in 1995 and ...

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And now, a gas price increase

With ordinary Pakistanis already suffering from the burden of high food prices during Ramazan, high petrol prices, and a recent tariff increase in electricity, it must have come as a shock to many that the price of gas had now gone up as well. And it wasn’t by a minuscule amount but by the rather hefty proportion of 13.5 per cent. This is applicable on all domestic, commercial and industrial users. One wonders why all such rises and decisions have to be taken when the nation is celebrating a holy month and is set to gear up for the Eid ...

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