• Pakistan minister asks people to cut Chai tea drinking by a few cups per day

    The government doesn't really have money to import more tea on loan.

    They imported $640m worth of tea in 2020, the biggest importer in the world.

    Forex reserves went from $16b to $10b in the last couple months.

    Some say it seems unlikely the plea will have any effect, since tea drinking is done at home and isn't easy to monitor. 220m people in the country. The leaders of the country are not expected to be cutting down themselves, some say.

    Pakistan is having long power cuts (up to 16 hours) in the energy shortage. All types of energy. 45 degree C temperatures these days.

    Beijing operates lots of power plants in Pakistan. Right now those plants are turned off because Pakistan hasn't paid the Chinese companies. The IMF asked but China refused to renegotiate the agreements.

    Pakistan had made LNG deals with Italy and Qatar, but those countries reportedly are selling their LNG to more lucrative markets (Europe) instead. The suppliers have to pay penalties (30% reportedly) but still they make profits by not delivering to Pakistan. Pakistan has to buy LNG at spot prices from the market.

    They could try to get an IMF bailout but to get one they would have to remove all fuel subsidies. So the government doesn't have many options, and is asking people to not consume energy.

  • Words used about Afghanistan

    Escape, to describe how the US left

    Walk over, to describe the Taliban's easy victory

    Face saving, to describe the US motivation

    Coward and priveleged, to describe exiled (ex) president Ashraf Ghani (who fled to UAE in a helicopter, reportedly with a lot of cash, which he denied taking large sums of cash)

  • Pakistani town HIV outbreak among children

    As it it a poor, rural town where the parents work every day from the early morning, it is proving difficult to administer medicine to the young children in Rato Daro (in Sindh) who may require it for life.

    The outbreak is believed to stem from one doctor who was using unclean needles a couple of years ago. Although he was punished in the legal system, many say he was scapegoated and the responsibility lies with the government for providing good medical equipment.

  • Pakistani Camel Library

    A former wood-hauler camel is now employed traveling around some villages of Balochistan province with books strapped to its sides sides. Children run to the camel and clamor for books when the camel arrives.

    Balochistan has only 40% literacy, the lowest in Pakistan.

    Raheema Jalal is the woman behind the project, working with NGOs. The Camel Library Project is looking for further support in order to expand to other villages.