ISLAMABAD - The government on Friday suspended National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC)’s Managing Director Tahir Mahmood and General Manager of National Power Control Centre (NPCC) Muhammad Saleem over the massive nationwide power blackout on Jan 24.

According to a preliminary report submitted to the Ministry of Water and Power by the Managing Director of National Engineering Services of Pakistan (Nespak)

Amjad A. Khan over the power breakdown on Jan 24, the aforesaid persons were responsible for the power breakdown.

A spokesman of the Ministry of Water and Power told media that the acting in-charge of NTDC and NPCC will be announced by the Board of Directors of NTDC.

On Jan 24, Pakistan had been plunged into darkness after a key power transmission line broke down. The power failure, one of the worst the country has experienced, had caused electricity to be cut in major cities, including the Federal capital.

Federal Secretary of Water and Power Younus Dagha had claimed that the countrywide power breakdown was caused by militants who had blown up two transmission towers in Balochistan a day before.

He had said the system could have been revived two hours earlier had the NTDC been able to provide 10MW for the start-up of its Bin Qasim plant which could have helped Hubco to restart.

He said that when machines are off for a long time they required time to revive.